After a hard week of training I wanted to use the Midlands Ultra Sprint event as a quality training session. My family, my girlfriend and I arrived at Midmar early Sunday morning with decent weather, not so hot and quite windy.
We were under way and immediately I had a gap over the rest of the field. After not listening to race briefing I headed for the wrong 2nd buoy and found myself about 50m+ behind the leaders. I changed that in 300m by coming out of the water first with 15seconds to spare.
I went out on the bike and got into a good rhythm, not pushing too hard because I felt very heavy and didn’t want to blow in later in the stages. Coming back on the 22km loop I picked it up and extended my lead.
I then headed off for a hilly 5km run that turned into a 7km run because of bad communication between the marshals on the road and the race organisers. Ironically last year, in the same race the exact same thing happened to me there. After doing just enough to win I picked up the pace coming back because I was lying 6th. I managed to settle for a 3rd spot. I know it would’ve been an easy victory but sometimes you have to settle with those bad days in your pocket…
After I injured both my iliopsoas muscles which was making running a very painful and frustrating discipline, I wasn’t too upset about it because after all, it was just a training session and a tester for SA Champs in 2 weeks. I hope it’s not going to affect me fitness-wise, but I’m not looking too bad at the moment. Only on Thursday at its worst we found the problem and I am having treatment done on it and some rehab and hopefully come SA Champs I will be all in the clear.
The weekend before last I competed in the annual Midmar Mile, the biggest open water swimming event. It was good preparation and training for a mass Triathlon swim start and swim amongst a lot of people around you.
The Saturday I had an early 4am wake up to complete my bike interval session before heading out to Midmar for the team event at 11am. I raced for Varsity College A team and we came 2nd. I had the 6th fastest time in the event with two world class Italians up there in the mix.
On the Sunday I woke up and went for a training run before heading out again for the main race of the Midmar Mile with many top class international athletes competing. I never expected much out of the racing but I finished 5th just behind my brother and 4th South African. This shows my fitness is looking very good at this stage and swimming is improving without even putting focus on it.
I had a longer travel than normal and arrived in Cape Town after a 7 hour travel from Durban because we flew via PE. Let me tell you when I got to Cape Town it is literally freezing compared to the humidity in durbs! I could easily live and train there. I went for a very short swim to Loosen up after a long travel like that. My preparation for this race didn’t go as planned because of some problems in my outer quads and hamstrings from intense running so wasn’t as sharp on race day as I would have liked.
Saturday was just pre race warm ups with about a 45min swim, 25min run and a bike ride to see if the bike is all fine, and it wasn’t… gears were making noises and I don’t like noises!! Anyway…. then it was race briefing to see how the course goes and a reminder of all the ITU rules in place. Well everything was very simple until the run course. The last 3km is like running a X-country race.
Early 4.30am wake up on Sunday for an early 7am start. It was dark when we got there but fortunately it was okay when we started. The water was 13.5 degrees Celsius and I don’t think my wetsuit helped at all. I never warmed up and my head wanted to shut down from the pain. My mouth actually got stuck in a fixed position because it was too cold to move..!
I exited first, again, comfortably and waited for the main bunch to catch up. Everything was going well until I changed gears over a bump and my chain on my rear derailer jumped off. I was now probably cycling twice as hard and actually struggling to keep in bunch. I really just wanted to get to T2 to see how my running is going! About 1km from T2 my chain jumps off and I struggle to get it back on. After the bunch is about 50m ahead I get it on and sprint back and only caught them going into T2. I was basically walking through transition because of the traffic of everyone in front and by the time I hit the run I was trailing the leaders by 40seconds. I never gave up because I could still earn valuable ITU points in which I did by finishing strongly in 17th and coming 4th in SA Sprint Champs. I had a top 10 fastest run on the day with a 16:11 which means my running is improving and on track.
Cycled like this for 15km! Crazy
Good experience learned and hopefully I can still use my old 2nd hand bike again! Congrats goes to winners Rich Murray and Carlyn Fischer. Two South Africans winning the top podium. Thanks to 11 Global for a well organised and fantastic event in Blouberg.
This past weekend was KZN Champs down in Richards Bay. Driving up the day before helped a lot as it was an early 7 am start. I think it was good to get it over with early because on Sunday it got scorchingly hot during the day! I was really excited to race because SA Champ, Claude Eksteen was racing and I felt up to a challenge. We were off in slightly windy conditions and I immediately broke away from everyone. I exited about 1minute ahead of Jeff Norton and Claude and head out onto an 8 lap bike course and immediately hitting a very steep hill that we had to cover 8 times! I thought it was nice to have a change from just flat racing. I came off the bike and headed onto the flat 4 lap run course, 1 minute up on Claude. With the pace I was running I thought I would have this race in the bag, but I was wrong as Claude was flying and caught me at 5km. I tried to stick with him but I begun developing a cramp on my inner quads and really felt like it was going to pull so I didn’t push myself to where I could have but very happy with my result at the end of the day. Congrats goes to Claude Eksteen and everyone who competed and thanks to KZN Triathlon for a well organised event on a really cool course! It was probably one of my most enjoyable races.
Every race has its challenges and for me it was the shark infested waters, Richards Bay is known for many sittings of sharks, as I kept worrying about it before and during the race and didn’t even have a proper warm up in the water, haha! Next was the very steep hill we climbed 8 times in a non drafting cycle leg. And the last was on the pier that we ran on there was about 250m of beach sand in total for EACH lap and was kinda hard and irritating to run over. I have only competed in two Olympic distance races now and I’m definitely moving in the right direction with my performance.
Next race will the ITU Sprint Champs in Blouberg on the 19th Feb. Will be looking forward to that as there are 40+ international athletes competing!
Great way to kick off 2012 with a win in my first race and first standard distance finish (ever), triathlon this year. I couldn’t be happier as race conditions were insanely hot and a bit windy too. I’m not really the one who enjoys the heat but I would much rather prefer a rainy day, just saying ……
We started late as usual at about 8.20am and had a very tiring swim in the big surf. I came out in 17minutes and something and headed out on the 40km non-drafting cycle with a kakamarag bike! Only thing that helped me gain more time on my chasers with their “time machine” TT bikes was my Profile Design wheels. Think I put an extra minute or two on the chasers and came into T2 with a 1 hour 3 bike split. Off I went for the 10km run, maybe started too hard because I’m so use to sprinting out of T2 for the 5km run in the BSG series. Luckily my dad saw and shouted I should slow down more before I do any more damage. I got into a good rhythm between 2 – 5km then things started going down hill. The water being handed out at the water stations weren’t enough and because I sweat more than normal those fluids are vital for me, and could feel my body shutting down as I started with cold shivers, then dizziness and then total numbness and loss of strength in my upper body. The heat was that bad, for me it was. BUT I kept it going and made sure I finished and won my first Suncoast Series Triathlon! My run was just over 40minutes… can be much better but this race is very soon as I am only about 4 weeks into the season and raced after a very intense week of training. Purely for training and to see where I’m at for now .
When I woke up this morning it felt like I was hit by a bus or something…?? But I would be worried if I wasn’t sore and stiff because then I know I could’ve gone harder!
I hope everyone had a great festive season and look forward to a new year.