For me Coffs harbour is only a 90 minute drive south, so I was looking forward to racing so close to home! This race is as good as they get – The swim is in the stunning north coast ocean and takes you out around the infamous Coffs Jetty, the ride is on fast, fully closed roads out to the Coffs Harbour airport, and the run takes you out to the end of the Jetty, then loops around to the end of the newly revamped breakwall. It’s one of those events that can be hard to focus on the actual race because the scenery and atmosphere is so unreal! Last year I competed, and I placed 2nd to 2x Olympian Brad Kahlefeldt. This year Brad wasn’t on the start list, however this year the Elite competitor start list was loaded, and the possibility of winning hadn’t really even entered my thoughts.
The starter siren went off at a civilised 7.45am, and thanks to all the Sunday handicap surf swim practise, I waded through the waves well, and was off to a great start. I jumped straight onto the feet of Clayton Fettell, who is well renowned for his powerful swim/bike combo, so I knew he would be the man taking the race out hard. I was able to hang off his feet for about 400m, and then had to settle into a more manageable pace.
(Photo Credit - Nashy's Pix)
I and two other elite competitors exited the water 45seconds down on Clayton Fettell and Joey Lampe. I knew the lead duo were incredible cyclists, so my aim was to minimise the deficit as much as possible. After a swift transition, I built up my speed quickly and was feeling focused yet relaxed. When we got to the first straight, I could see Lampe about 30seconds ahead, and as soon as I got sight of him, I put my head down and pushed hard until I caught him. By the 15km mark I passed Lampe, which meant Fettell was still up the road. Local Richard Pearson and David Clark were also racing strong and helping me keep the pace high during the cycle leg. Our pace slowed slightly in the 2nd lap, which allowed Fettell to open up a 90second lead coming into transition 2 (thanks to Jess for all the time splits!).
I got into transition alongside Clarke and Pearson, and tried to settle into a quick pace early on. About 2km into the run I was in 2nd and could see that I had already taken a big chunk out of our 90 second deficit. At the 4km mark I had taken over the lead from Fettell, however the lead 4 competitors were still within about 30seconds of one another. In the following few km’s I was able to extend my lead to a minute. In the final 2km I was beginning to fade, however I was able to relax and soak up the finish chute with the buffer I had on 2nd place.
Photo credit - nashyspix
I am truly proud and grateful to achieve another great result. Last year I was 2nd, and despite being really happy I was overshadowed by 1st place, and missed out on all the attention from the Media (Check out the NBN news coverage http://www.nbnnews.com.au/index.php/2015/03/08/yambas-lindsey-wall-wins-coffs-triathlon/ ).
Thanks to Jess and all the Clarence Valley Triathlon crew for all the encouragement on course, it makes a huge difference! Thanks again to all my supporters for helping me to reach my goals – SHOCK sports, Xtreme Cycle and Skate Yamba, Compressport Australia, Cranktip and Scicon (and Mum & Dad.)