With the line up of professional triathletes racing in Challenge Gold Coast (including 2 past world champions), before the race it wasn’t hard to predict that it was going to be fast! Companies like ‘Challenge’ are now offering prize money to the top 10 Pros, which not only has increased the depth of athletes competing in these races, it has also really lifted the standard and excitement of racing for what would normally be the ‘minor placings’.
After a bit of a stuff up at the start, we were all called back after having swam 50m, luckily the 2nd time around we were off and racing with no issues. My lack of swimming over the winter was pretty clear in the first few hundred metres.......In the swim I lost touch with the front group early on, and I exited the water in a small chase pack only about 20 seconds back from the group ahead.
With a modified bike course due to the weather, the intensity was very high early on. I felt pretty sluggish and It took me about 10km to get comfortable, but once I found my legs I was able to ramp it up, and reel in some of the guys up the road. At the half way turn around, Tim Reed and Sam Appleton were showing their dominance (whatever you guys are eating, I want some!). The 2nd half of the bike was fast and mostly downhill, and our chase group was able get within sight of all but Tim and Sam.
At the start of the run, there was only about a minute separating 3rd and 12th position, so the prize money was up for grabs! My aim was to build into the run. At the 5km mark I was in 10th place, and I was starting to feel light on my feet. I was then able to open up my stride, and by the 10km mark I had moved up to 7th and was still feeling strong. In the 2nd half of the run I was able to maintain a solid tempo to gain one more position, bringing me up to 6th.
This has been my first race for the season, so I’m really happy to finish in 6th. I hope to keep working hard, and hopefully climb my way up onto the podium.
As always, thanks to OnTheGo Racing for the great new race Kit and continued support, Merida Bikes Australia, Shock Sports and my biggest supporters my family and partner Jess.