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Karri Valley Triathlon - TriathlonOlympic


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Pemberton, Western Australia
Australia
Stadium Triathlon Club
22C / 72F
Overcast
Total Time = 1h 29m 7s
Overall Rank = 58/68
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

The race took place at a beautiful resort set around a lake in the Karri Valley near Pemberton, the only natural Karri Forest left in the world - the most amazing trees, really old and like something out of Middle Earth. The club I'm a member of organises the tri and takes over the entire resort and this was my first time.

We'd driven the 4 hours down from Perth the day before so had a lazy morning at the resort as the race didn't start until 2pm. I was feeling quite confident about my swim after nailing a couple of 1.25km OWS races in the ocean in January so I watched some people swimming in the lake while drinking Earl Grey on our balcony and admiring the amazing scenery. In hindsight this was a HUGE mistake and I should have been in there with them. Yes, gentle reader, pride really does go before a fall. Had a big brekkie and morning tea.

We wandered around the resort, scoping out things for our five year old to do (as we had decided to stay an extra day after the race) and checking out tranistion, chatting to folk new and old. The swim finish is about 500m from the tranisition area along a tarmac road and then over the sports field. We had been told we could leave shoes at the swim exit and I wasn't going to bother until I saw the field; it was covered in emu poo - we saw the wild flock the next day, cute little baby emus too. That decided me - no way I wanted to set off on the bike with keech squished between my toes, never mind what it would do to my shoes. After an exciting encounter with a wild kangaroo, we set off for lunch, well I had another cuppa and a gel while watching my beloved tuck into an everything burger, even had a perfectly fried egg on top, sigh. Curse races that start at 2pm. Weather was perfect, overcast and cool, which is really unusual, this race usually takes place in blazing sunshine and 30C.

When I was waiting was the race briefing, I was stunned to hear the announcer say my bike in a list of bikes that infringed the rules and hurried off to find out what it was all about. Turns out I'd lost a bar end stop - hadn't even noticed (later found it on the floor at home). Luckily, the officials had spares and gave me one so that I could race. Now I know to check and carry a spare.
Event warmup:

After the race briefing everyone set off for the walk to the lake, all chatting amiably, it was really friendly and fun. After getting up the hill, I realised I'd left my ear plugs in transition. Had to jog down to get them then up again so when I got to the lake I only had time for a quick splash, gasping at how cold the lake was. Had time to quickly kiss the family and then we were off.

BTW My timing chip didn't register for the different legs and I never thought to set my watch.
Swim
  • 00m
  • 500 meters
  • / 100 meters
Comments:

A really awful swimming performance. The moment I put my face in the water, I started hyperventilating. I don't know if it was the cold, or the fact that it was black and I couldn't see a thing. The lake is surrounded by trees which drop leaves containing tanin into the water and this dyes it really dark brown. It wasn't nerves because I was way more nervous for the OWS ocean swim I did a couple of weeks back and I had no problems.

I didn't manage to string more than a few strokes of freestyle together and breast-stroked most of the way. The strange things is, I should be gutted that after months of training, I swam no better than my first tri 6 weeks after I learned to swim, but I'm not. There was a whole bunch of us struggling away at the back and I just wanted to enjoy being in the water so I gave up the struggle to put my face in the water and paddled away, miles behind the pack. Even with my ear plugs in, I could hear my son screaming at me to "go Mummy go" which made me really smile and he got a huge wave as I left the water. Big, big learning experience but, hey, that's why we love triathlon so much; just when you think you've got it sussed, along comes something to smack you in the chops.
What would you do differently?:

Swim the course in the morning when I had ample opportunity to do so and not be such a cocky besom. Not wear dark tinted goggles. Not forget necessary kit so that I had a chance of a warm-up.
Transition 1
  • 00m
Comments:

Shoved my wet feet into shoes and ran the 500m or so to transition, great feeling as people were all moving towards the bikes and cheering me on. Had a really fast shift out my shoes, which had absorbed tons of water (they still smell awful after sitting wet in a baking hot car on the drive home) and into bike shoes. Had decided not to leave the shoes on the bike as I hadn't really practised enough getting my feet in. Helmet on really fast and beat the guy next to me out by miles and he'd come in from the swim way before me. Just started to rain. Oh goodie, first rain for months, just enough to make the dusty road really greasy.
What would you do differently?:

Practise getting feet into shoes while moving.
Bike
  • 00m
  • 15 kms
  • 0.00 km/hr
Comments:

The organisers had said it was "undulating", mmm, it was HILLY with hardly any flat spots - no chance of getting bored. The surface, which had seemed nice from the car last night, was rough asphalt, the kind that gives you lots of grip but puts vibrations up your wrists and ankles but at least I felt safe and the rain only lasted a few minutes. I was so glad it was cool as the uphills were hard work and I hit my granny gear at one point.

Loved every moment of it and tried to not be so chicken on the downhills, reaching my fastest max ever (66kph). Towards the turnaround, guys from the long course started catching me and I could hear that amazing noice carbon wheels make as the came up behind. They were flying; some made nice comments as they passed "good work" kind of things but one chick, in strident tones, shouted "YOU THERE, STAY RIGHT OVER TO THE LEFT". Maybe she was the one forced off her bike when someone tried to pass her at the turnaround, I'd have felt strident too. The traffic management was great, reckon I saw about 5 cars the whole time and the some people from the club doing it knew me so it was nice to get encouragement as I went past. The countryside around the valley is beautiful so I really enjoyed my ride. Was so thirsty though with all the hill effort but managed to get some fluids in although it was hard with all the up and downing, some flat would have useful.
What would you do differently?:

Practise with the shoes.
Transition 2
  • 00m
Comments:

the nasty buggers hadn't left me a space on the rack and I had to move a couple of bikes before I could get my on but apart from that I felt quite fast. Runners got a bit stuck as I tried to put them on but no drama. The family was there taking pictures and cheering me on (they'd played mini golf while I was on the bike) so I got a couple of kisses before I set off.
What would you do differently?:

Get in sooner so that I had some space on the rack. More bodyglide on my shoes.
Run
  • 00m
  • 4 kms
  •  min/km
Comments:

Although I was still thirsty, I could feel all the water I'd drunk sloshing in my stomach but not serious and didn't spoil the run. It was glorious, The first part was really up hill so the shuffle for the first few hundreds yards wasn't really noticeable. Then out across the dam and through the forest to the turnaround. Having people coming towards me was great, we were saying encouraging things to each other as we passed.

It was a hilly(ish) run so lots of variety. As we passed the resort, I was able to nip into reception for a much needed pee and then I could really enjoy the beautiful surroundings and have fun with the run. Sean O'Neil, who won the long course event, past me so I was able to yell out "GO SEAN". Later on, some other long course athletes past me, amazing, they'd done twice what I had on the swim and bike and now were screaming along. The last part of the run is downhill on the grass so you get to work up a good speed and have a fabulous time on the last bit before the finishing chute, which I did. The family was waiting for me and it was hugs and kisses all round.

What would you do differently?:

Really need to work on my hydration, I'd gone back to just water after having gut issues with the isotonic mix I'd been using. Other than that, nothing, the pace was good.
Post race
Warm down:

Grabbed some fruit and water and wandered about watching others finish and chatting to people. Then off for a shower and bite to eat before the presentations and party in the evening.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Obviously, the swim was bollox and I would have gone faster without the pitstop.

Event comments:

I had a fabulous weekend. Staying at the resort with the club was wonderful and I'm so glad I joined, even if they do still drop my every group cycle :-) I will always go to this event, if I can't race, I'll volunteer. It was full of families and it was great for my beloved to meet and chat with other long-sufferering spouses. The organisation was brilliant and not a buck is made in profit (the race fee entry in teeny) and the whole spirit of the event was awesome. The course was challenging but not gruesome. My son declared it "the best holiday, ever" and I have to agree. Anyway, I have to go back, that lake and I have some unfinished business.


Profile Album


Last updated: 2010-01-19 12:00 AM
Swimming
00:00:00 | 500 meters | / 100meters
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/68
Performance: Bad
Suit: Too warm, but allowed in short race for novices
Course: Triangular course around three large buoys.
Start type: Wade Plus: Shot
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Low
200M Perf. Bad Remainder: Bad
Breathing: Bad Drafting: Bad
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
T1
Time: 00:00
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
Biking
00:00:00 | 15 kms | 0.00 km/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/68
Performance: Good
Wind: None
Course: 7.5km along the Vasse Highway to a turnaround and then back.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering:
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Not enough
T2
Time: 00:00
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Below average
Shoe and helmet removal Good
Running
00:00:00 | 04 kms |  min/km
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/68
Performance: Good
Course: Across the dam and out along the bush tracks by the lake, gorgeous, shady too.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Too much
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall:
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race? Yes
Evaluation
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

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2010-02-10 12:30 AM

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Expert
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Perth, Australia
Subject: Karri Valley Triathlon


2010-02-10 4:53 AM
in reply to: #2664963

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Veteran
339
10010010025
Melbourne
Subject: RE: Karri Valley Triathlon
Awesome!!!!!  Great race, great report, and sounds like a great event!
The Karri forest is so amazing, isn't it?
Glad you had a fantastic time!!
If you're doing the BRW don't forget to have a trial swim in the river to get used to the little jellyfish first :P
And to top it off, 66km/h Speedy you!  Hope it wasn't in a 50 zone
2010-02-11 8:57 PM
in reply to: #2664963

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Member
56
2525
Montana
Subject: RE: Karri Valley Triathlon

Loved your race report. Sounds like it was a beautiful course and you had a strong happy finish. Nice job! Would have been interested in some details of the run in with the wild kangaroo!

2010-02-11 8:57 PM
in reply to: #2664963

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Expert
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Highlands Ranch, CO
Subject: RE: Karri Valley Triathlon
Looks like you had a great time. The race sounds really fun!
2010-02-11 10:05 PM
in reply to: #2664963

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Master
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Perth, Australia
Subject: RE: Karri Valley Triathlon

Well done! It looks like you really enjoyed this race and didn't let the set-backs get to you. I've never done this triathlon but I've been swimming at that lake many times, yes its rather scary! I hate looking down and seeing nothing but pitch darkness! But now that you know what you're up against, I am sure you'll be back with a vengance next year :-)

2010-02-11 11:04 PM
in reply to: #2664963

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Veteran
208
100100
Perth
Subject: RE: Karri Valley Triathlon
great stuff ! I think the swim would have freaked me out too!!


2010-02-12 8:22 AM
in reply to: #2669047

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Expert
861
5001001001002525
Perth, Australia
Subject: RE: Karri Valley Triathlon
hollybushellehill - 2010-02-12 11:57 AM

Loved your race report. Sounds like it was a beautiful course and you had a strong happy finish. Nice job! Would have been interested in some details of the run in with the wild kangaroo!

Holly, this roo was huge. We saw it in the distance and it didn't move away as we got closer, guess it was used to people at the resort. I've fed the small, tame ones at the zoo but this was clearly a wild creature, just looked so big and strong with massive forelegs, it was taller than me and towered over my son. It just looked at us for a bit and then bounded off over the mini golf course which was a bit surreal. I've only been in Aus 7 years and still get excited by the amazing fauna here.
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