I then took off on my bike with some super fast wheels on loan from South East Cycles. Unfortunately my shoes didnt want to play though and I wasted a fair bit of time getting my feet in only to have one strap break. But it didnt stop me for long and I was soon flying along at an average above 40 kmph. I felt amazing on the new wheels, was I going too fast? No what a stupid thing to say. My bike was kitted out for the race with gels and just enough water to survive a lap. It was really clever of me until the third lap when my butter fingers resulted in a dropped water bottle and a whole lap with no fluids. I slowed it down a little and made sure I had water for the 4th and final lap. All the while I was watching for my fellow club members and we all cheered each other on. It was truly great to have my mates out on course with me, except for when they passed me.
I was pleased to finish the bike with a nice lead over my main training partner Matty Palm and I set off on the run feeling great. So great that I was running a comfortable pace close to 5min per km. I managed this pace rather well and was pleased to open up a comfortable gap over Matt until he told me his calf was blown which was a tragedy that we knew was a possibility given his age and ability. But I didn't let it affect me or how I was approaching my race. I was aiming for a 5 hour race and was on track to achieve this. Until it happened, I am not sure what happened even now but at the 16km mark my body collectively said NO and I was in a world of pain. I went from a comfortable 5:20kph to having to walk in a matter of 20 meters. It was pure agony from that point forward but I coaxed my body into running a little then walking a little. Until I ran past Matt who had clawed back a huge amount of time on me and I was in danger of being taken over for the first time in the race. I had to dig deep to find something and push through the pain. It was bloody hard but again I took a lot of comfort from my fellow team mates who cheered me on along the way. Finishing strong I quickly found a chair after I was finished and collapsed into it waiting for Matt to be right behind me. Unfortunatly for Matt his calf had blown again after he let his competitiveness get the better of him and pushed his calf too hard when he thought he had a chance to catch me. Silly really given his age and condition but I admire him for having a go and truly appreciated his mateship during all the training together and support during the race.
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