Philippe Lanuox recently completed in the ITU world championships
Up early and down to transition, I quickly set up and waited for the official news on the wetsuit ruling, which as expected came back as a No Wetsuit Swim, with the water being back up to 24deg. Off to the swim start area, which was a short walk away, and some time to settle the nerves, wait for Eve and Chloe, and then get in a warm up swim. Marshaling was 15min before wave start so although it was good to get the warm up in, it was a little too long between the warm up and race start. Into the water for a deep water start, and it was time to get stuck in.
Pretty hustle and bustle being a deep water start, with about 60 athletes jostling for position. I think I let the excitement of it all get the better of me and I went out too hard, trying to find some space and then look for feet. I paid for this pretty quickly with the second 250m being a struggle, no rhythm and a mental game to pull it all back together and compose. The pack had spread by this stage so it was very much a solo swim, with someone very obviously on my feet most of the way. Conditions were not ideal, with a bit of swell and chop in contrast to the beautifully flat lake for most of the week. Really happy with my sighting and direction, avoiding my usual zig zag, and once I settled my pace was reasonable given the conditions. Out of the water in 56th, it was a reasonable swim but still not executed the way I know I can.
A pretty big transition area means once I grabbed my bike it was a good couple of hundred meters running with the bike before the mount, mount was without issue (didn’t kick off any bottles!), and I was quickly settled and ready to go.
Bike course was certainly challenging, two laps, each with three pincher climbs, multiple u-turn points, right angle turns (one at the bottom of a 12% downhill section...love my disc brakes!), and plenty of roundabouts to navigate. This was complemented by some long quick undulating sections of smooth road where you could tuck in and hold some decent speed. I felt strong on the bike, I controlled the climbs (resisting blowing out by attacking these too hard) and used the faster sections to reel in those that blew out on the climbs. The course was a little congested, and there were times that in hindsight I needed to be a bit more aggressive. I was certainly trying to push the downhills, but with all of the smaller technical downhills into turns and roundabouts, my power was definitely down on target output on average. Always learning, and this ride will be one I remember! 31st on the bike, but probably my biggest opportunity from the day where I didn’t execute as well as I would have liked....the difference probably being a couple of minutes (so probably 15 spots on the bike and 10 spots overall).
But the reduced effort on the bike probably assisted a little with the very challenging run! Again two laps, and again some steep and technical sections (one maxing out at about 30% 😕), certainly tested out the legs. Strategy was survive the hills, and try to protect the legs to push a bit of pace on the flat. Was tough, and this is where I was definitely outclassed by some quality runners! Again, a good controlled run, but only good enough for 79th fastest run, and 54th place in my Age Group at the finish. Second fastest Aussie in my Age Group, outclassed (yep on the run) by Andrew Rolls, who had a great race.
Body held up reasonably well, and a few hours later I am feeling really good. Probably an indication that I had a few more % available, but also a good indication that the body is ready for the longer race in a week.
Awesome experience, amazing being part of the Aussie Team, with some amazing sideline support, and a very proud moment wearing the Green and Gold. Thanks to my amazing wife and family for being there to support me, and thanks for all the wishes and support from back home, it means a lot.
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