Telstra Tri Series 2014/15 – Race #2: Armadale – Champion Lakes

I wasn’t surpised to receive the email during the week leading up to the event letting the athletes know that the swim leg would be cancelled for this event due to poor water quality. Having raced there last year in the murky conditions it was only a matter of time until a swim would be cancelled, especially with the consistent hot weather leading up to the event.

A view over the lake we wouldn't be swimming in due to water quality issues
A view over the lake we wouldn’t be swimming in due to water quality issues

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Run #1 (2.5km [2.4]; 11:00; Pace: 4:34min/km) Place: 36 / 54

Given there was no swim leg, I wore cycling socks with my running shoes. This had the added advantage of being able to put the ankle timing chip over the sock which made it a little more comfortable. The start format was a time trial start, which athletes heading off every 5 seconds, in numerical order of bib number. For the first run I set off at a reasonably quick pace as I wanted to maintain the gaps initially so as not to get in anyone’s way or find myself having to pass or be passed. However as I was expecting I set off to fast, averaging 3:30min pace for the first 200m, I slowed down 4:40 up the bridge, but sped up to 3:30 again on the downhill. For the rest of the first km I slowed down a bit so the first split was 4:18, and maintained the pace to end up with 4:35min/km. I was pretty happy with the speed, but slightly worried I took the first run a little to fast.

Cycle (20km [20.8]; 40:58; Speed: 30.4km/h) Place: 43 / 54

I could tell it was going to be a windy cycle, given the headwind on the return section of the out and back initial run. However, it was really only one quarter of the more-or-less rectangular course where you felt the strong headwind. The ‘back straight’ was actually a nice long stretch of tailwind so I got my average for that section up over 35km/h to compensate for the slow section. Not a lot else to report except I felt that the flatter course suited my training, rather than the more hilly courses at Left Bank and Hillarys. I finished the bike with 30.4km/h average, finally beating the 30km/h average in a race.

Run #2 (5km [4.9]; 24:35; 5:01min/km) 36 / 54

Running out of T2 I didn’t feel too bad – I think on the whole the initial run is less exhausting than a swim leg. I set out trying to maintain 5min/km pace, and not getting tempted into running the first km too hard. The first 2 splits were 5:04 and 5:08, I tried to pick up the pace a bit in kms 3 and 4, but they ended up being 5:10 and 5:11. I had been focusing on cadence in training drills, and tried to keep the cadence at 180 during the run, but it drifted to 176 and 174, as I just could quite it the right turnover rhythm. For the final km I pushed a lot hard, increasing stride distance having given up on cadence leaving it at 174. The pace for the final 900m, was 4:30, including a final sprint that had me only 1 second slower over the final 100m sprint Strava segment that I’m still equal 3rd overall. I ended the run leg utterly exhausted averaging 5:01min/km, which I was pretty happy with.

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Overall 1:19:41 38 / 54

I was very happy with the overall age group placing I managed to get this time, however, many of the more ‘serious’ triathletes did not attend due to it being a long drive to an event with no swim. However, you can only beat the people who are there, and with a bike over 30km/h and a second run leg at 5:01, I’m confident I got the best out of myself.

The Open Race was exciting to watch afterwards, and there were some sprint finishes for podium places.

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Afterwards I spotted this awesome orange Giant Propel – definitely the brightest bike this season.

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Then I enjoyed a recovery coffee and bagel at The Roastery.

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