.... I really would have liked to stay in Taupo Saturday night.... but I had to get home for a reason. Sunday saw the first race of TriNZ's Contact National Tri series at Blue Lake.
I've hardly run or swim in the last few months. As a hint I do need more than the fingers on one hand to count the respective runs and swims. But I wouldn't need my feet....
A demanding hilly bike course, and equally testing run were right up my alley, so what better way to kickstart my 1/2 ironman training? In perhaps logic only I would use I thought racing on smoked legs from the Huka would be great endurance training. Turns out it worked ok. But not after one of my most bizzare race experiences yet.
My swim was average (but to be expected). I would have enjoyed it except for the munter who seemed insistent on trying to read the model name on my googles. I can only assume that is what he was trying to do since he insisted on swimming on top of me for almost the entire 1500m despite my continual movements away from him, and the complete absence of other swimmers around us. Anyway, I survived, 6min or so down on the front, and executed a good transition before getting into my work on the bike. Until my race took the bizzare and unexpected twist...
.... a car on car collision occured at the bottom of Okareka Hill just moments before I arrived. I wasn't first on the scene, but was the first triathlete to stop. Someone quickly gave me directions to go rouse a local doctor who lived nearby. I found the house evebtually after some unsure circling and got him on the way. It seemed to take forever but was realistically only 4-5min. I was at a bit of a loss then as to what to do. Race was effectively over, and there was nothing more to do as accident scene was under control.
So I rode on, in somewhat of a daze, before deciding it was training and to start hammering again. I took a visual check when I passed the leaders on and out and back section. 20km later and it was only Mark Bowsted who had made any significant time on me. So it was nice to know I was one of the quickest on the course.
I got pretty angry with some of the lead (top 10) competitors who were ignoring the race breifing to stay on the walking track and running on the road (open to traffic) and forcing oncoming cyclists to ride wide on the road. I yelled at a few, rode straight at a few, and even paused in transition to ask the tech official to send a roving marshall out. I might seem like a grumpy old man, but organisers have safety rules for a reason and it pisses me off when competitors think they are so special they can do what they want. If you don't want to paly by the rules.... Stay home.
Anyway, when I got running I put together a solid time. Top 10 run split, 15th overall, and when TriNZ correct me time (which they generously offered to do to account for my doctor searching mission) I was around top 10 overall. I was then called up at prize giving for a special prize to acknowledge my mid race detour. So big thanks to TriNZ and huge credit to them for a well run event and their care for their participants. Nice work.
I'm typing this on Monday. It was a big weekend. Not surprisingly I am a little smoked.