I have done the 2010 Gold Coast Half Ironman triathlon, yes, again, with some very ordinary results. Nevertheless, it was to be expected considering my pre-race preparation. I had so many punctures during the weeks leading up to the event, which had, obviously, disrupted my training schedules.
My bikeride on the day was very mediorce, accordingly. During the 90km bike leg, I was very disappointed with an official who handed me an electrolyte bottle without tightening the lid, the contents spilled all over me when I had tried to take a sip. I had, then, accidently, dropped the bottle on to the cycling course. Then, during the runleg, there was an official who handed me a cup full of purported water, which had tasted insipidly like recycled something? which I had spat out. Apart from these isolated incidents the race conditions were cool and freezing on the bike. The inclement weather made for some very anxious moments with my core body temperature plummetting to teeth clattering levels. As previously mentioned, I was annoyed with the electrolyte refill bottle with a mind to call this official as an insurgent elements.
Previous to the bike and runleg, was the swimleg, which I had considered to be the better of the three of my triathlon legs, which is ironic, since it was meant to be my weakest of the the three. I had, overall a comfortable swim, in fact, I had overtaken the tailend slower swimmers from the wave ahead of mine. still the fastest swimmes from the wave after me did catch up with me 500 or so metres from the end, they were the younger 20-24 age group males, who were just coming into their prime, only their top ten caught up to me 500 metres from the end. The tailend swimmers from the wave before me, however, would get their revenge on the bikeleg. My bike is way past its prime, it is uncompetitive in the ironman triathlon levels. The evolution of bike technology in a short space of time has come leaps and bounds with every second person having zipp wheelsets, costing $3,500aud a piece. I was very much intimidated and certainly seeing them whizzing past me on the race course was very crestfallingly demoralising. I could see their legs peddling at the same tempo as I except their bikes were moving four times faster than my clackety clack old Specialized roadbike. I had considered the level playing field scenario and realised how life was a classist reality when it comes to elite performance in elite sport. I had thrown my glove into the gauntlet and had taken on the uneven odds and got completely thrashed.
My swimming time was ok considering the fact that I was taking over the tail end of the group ahead of my wave group, which was the first time I have ever been able to do this, in my previous triathlon performances I had people punching into me and would be as obstructionist as possible. Obviously then, I was already improving in my swim stroke in the water. However, I had started to cramp about 100 metres from the exit and literally stopped in my tracks in the water so as to try to stretch out my cramped calves. I had outswam some of my wave group triathletes and I was about to post a very good swim time when I had started to cramp in my left leg calf muslce region. In truth, I was not even tired. My body was attuned to doing a 3.8km ironman swim, so I was still doing a regular tempo on a very good distance per stroke swim. I did loose my sighting out on the water, which often happens, I had begun to swim out of direction on a couple of occassions, just as I was heading inbound in the 1.9km swim. I was certain that my time would’ve been even faster still if I figured out the correct aquarace line. had I swam too far to portside heading outbound and almost scrapped my figures onto the rocks along the embankment on the eastside of the mariner. This was an annoying situation. Srangely though I did not have anymore swimmers punching into me like previous triathlons. So it is obvious then that in my previous triathlons people were targetting me out in the water.
Finally, the run was nice and cool, except running without socks on muddy puddles and wet surfaces means blisters for my toes and feet. I felt the first painful throb at the 10km mark I could excruciating pain for every footfall on my left and right foot pinky toes, like grating my flesh on the side mesh of my running shoe I felt the full 21.1km on my toes. I had willed the pain away in my mind and continued relentlessly, As I had rounded ever bend in the first lap I was surprised with the continual turns and bends of the course, overall, it was a fairly good running course, flat, cool and runner friendly. The drinking stations were strategically positioned very well. The officials overall were very good and assisted the triathletes fairly and cordially. The matter of funny water remains a mystery to me still. I have tasted the same flavoured water in the Gold Coast 42km marathon and the Brisbane 42km marathon over the years which has always made me whinge very voraciously to officials during these events. I am certain that it is recycled water which they are serving the athletes. But, on other drinking stations the water is pure and refreshingly so. I am annoyed with the odd occassion whereby some water being given to the runners/triathletes are contaminated.
In summary, the Gold Ironman triathlon will officially be my last triathlon due to one reason only. My bike is too outdated to be competitive. This is the official dismal result. Still, I have come, I have seen and well, in a way I have conquered the Gold Coast Half Ironman, again. Yes, I have done this event before except in a different venue.
In the meantime, it is back to running training and to open ocean swims for fitness and competition in 2010-11.
Tofa for now folks.