Monday, February 23, 2009

N-Duro Series # 3

The ever popular Summer N-Duro series wrapped up Sunday in Rotorua, on what was fittingly the best (and toughest) course of the series. I was pretty smoked from a hectic final week at work, but determined to finish the series well. While for Nic it was the last hitout pre-Nats.
Interestingly, I was back on 26" wheels for the first time in about 14mths. My Superfly was sold, and has yet to be replaced, so was on a very nice borrowed "mini wheel" XC fully. certainly interesting to chop and change and match up the 26" and 29" pro's and con's subjectively.
In the 45km the pace was pretty intense as Clinton Avery and Mikey Northcott tested each other out prior to next weeks national champs. I managed to find something in the old legs and hung on grimly. It was an intense pace that I think had all three of us in trouble at times, distancing ourselves from the rest of the field quickly. I was yo-yoing a bit, and eventually about 2/3rd's of the way through the elastic snapped and I drifted off the back, leaving Clinton and Mikey to fight it out. Mikey got the nod, Clint 2nd, and me not too far back in third.
In the 25km race (skipping the 45km so as not to be too tired ahead of next week) Nic put it all together and dominated a strong womens field. Proving to herself that all the work she's put in pre-Nat's is coming to fruition. Riding smart, watching her rivals, before riding away at the appropriate moment to a comfy win. All looking good for Nelson then. We head down tommorrow. Hope the weather is good as I'm looking forward to quality "lazying on the beach" time.
Clearly Nic enjoyed her race....
....whilst I'm smiling as we're almost finished.
Something was obviously funny. My hair perhaps?
Thanks to Helen for the pics.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Manawatu Club Tri

It was a rest weekend this weekend past..... so of course I raced. Race #2 of the Manawatu Tri clubs summer series, and despite my need for re-build training I couldn't help myself. A) we are in the middle of moving so it may well be my last race race as a Manawatu Athlete. And B) I still haven't given James Dobson his flash wheels back yet so felt they needed another thrash.

5km run/25km bike/400m swim. In that order. A bike specialists dream! It's also held on an army base so traffic is not an issue. Its just wayward golf balls you need to look out for as the course goes straight through the middle of a busy course.

I put together perhaps my best race at one of these yet. Strong run, crushed the bike, and swam it home strongly. 1hr01 for a 5min margin over 2nd. I was doing 6min45 per 5km lap on the bike. If only I'd done that last week at Kinloch?!

This week I'll get around to that re-build training....

Local Hardman Steve Stannard pushing the run pace along

Once again, flash wheels.... Thank you Mr Dobson

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Cycling in Palmerston North

So it rained a bit in Palmerston North yesterday. Making cycling an as always, fantastic option for the youth of the region. I was lazy yesterday and drove to work. Wonder why?

Monday, February 9, 2009

NZ Sprint Tri Nationals: For once I didn't get 2nd...

... but I didn't win either. My plans of taking out the overall 2009 NZ Age-group Sprint Tri Nats were scotched by two strong races from Tristen Calwell and Shannon Barnett respectively. So 3rd it was.
First mistake was perhaps that I actually rested before the race. Not the norm for me?! Anyway, tried hard but just didn't feel that extra zing needed.
On a stunning (and scorchingly hot) day in Kinloch, I joined a few hundred other keen beans on the shores of Lake Taupo. Jealous of Nic who was off enjoying some great MTB training on the iconic kinlock-kawakawa bay track. Just wearing my wetsuit for 10mins prior to race start and standing in the sun produced one of the more effective warmups I've done.
Swim went ok. Water was a bit lumpy which made things a bit slower (and decidedly more interesting). Well down on the leaders (but a lot less than in the past) out onto the bike, and whilst fast, I just didn't quite get on top of things. Essentially rode the whole 20km side by side with T-Rex, and managed to survive many close calls with both cars and unpredicable riders. I then proceeded to totally balls up my bike/run transition, before getting my s*^% together and running through the field to 3rd with one of the faster runs of the day.
Happy? I guess. Didn't feel great, but produced a solid result regardless. Kinloch marked the end of a very busy 5 week race/travel schedule. So now looking forward to a bit of a training rebuild over the next month to make some solid gains towards March/April. Should be good
300m to go. Thank christ for that

The immediate aftermath. Not pretty.... but 1hr near max effort in 30 degree+ heat ain't that pleasant

My rig for the day. Thanks to Dobson for the flash wheels

Monday, February 2, 2009

N-Duro #2

It was kindly suggested yesterday by Will that perhaps I should aquire a bridesmaids dress to wear at N-Duro prizegivings. Yes, it was yet another 2nd place in yesterdays race.
This time it was young Dirk Peters from Rotorua that did the business. On a hot, sunny day, the Rotorua trails were perhaps the most slippery I've ever ridden them. They were so hardpacked and dry with dust all over that traction was a rare commodity. Even the gravel roads were sketchy (as Hiskys visit to the A&E to have debris picked out of his knee proved).
A torrid pace early on saw Dirk, Stu Houltham, Patrick Avery, and myself well clear early, until Dirk dropped the hammer up direct road and blew it apart. To watch this boy climb is something very impressive. I managed to bridge back and we pushed on until I dropped my chain and tangled it between crank and chainrings. Dirk didn't need a second invite and capatilised. Flying home to put 1 1/2mins+ into me by the end. Good hard race though, and pleasing form as my legs had felt absolute shite the day before.
The trip home was interesting too. I'd planned to jump in Lake Taupo for a nice open water swim but got a little more than I bargined for. The wind having whipped up quite a swell, the swim became somewhat of an adventure. I managed 15mins without feeling too seasick.......!
The waves started to look a bit bigger from water level...

Feeling quite small at this point....