Friday, November 05, 2010

Noosa Race Report: Back to Oz

I went back to Australia for the first time 2 weeks ago. I had gotten an entry into the Noosa triathlon, so I planned a holiday around it. I went to Canberra, the Gold Coast, Brisbane and finally Noosa. It was fantastic to see old friends everywhere I went. It took several days to get acclimated to driving on the left, referring to my "mum" and thinking in metric, but it all came back pretty quick.

I did a terrible job taking pictures on this trip, but a great job catching up with people and making new memories. Lauren and I went to Question Time in Australian Parliament which was quite the experience, we hiked Mt. Ainslee with Kimberley and Hamish, I met Joslyn's new man Matt and shared a coffee with her overlooking the Brisbane River from the Powerhouse, I had lunch at Jamie's new cafe, had morning tea (and tim tams) with the ITIG guys, went shopping with Julie, shared homecooked meals with Julie & Jonathon, celebrated Jawad's birthday and finally headed up the coast to race.

[seriously, I can't figure out how to get this picture to rotate]

I went up with Vanessa Friday afternoon and met her elite brother and his elite girlfriend (who won the women's race after coming second at Kona 3 weeks earlier) and her parents. There were over 3300 individual competitors at the race. We registered at the massive bays:

And checked out the expo. Asics makes their own Noosa tri running shoe:

And we checked out the gorgeous sunset:

The race itself was not something I've been training for. Good races at the end of the season in the US had made me confident that I could have a good race at Noosa, especially relative to my last showing at Noosa in 2008. 2:48 was the time to beat.

Not sure exactly what happened on the swim. I got smashed in the left eye early on, and I couldn't open it for the rest of the swim cause my goggle was on so tight, so maybe I wasn't swimming straight with only one eye, but I came out of the water in 32 minutes and thought "sweet, oh, wait, this wasn't a half ironman distance. Suck." I expected at most a 28 minutes swim. Oh well. 3 minutes slower than 2 years ago.

On to the bike. The bike felt good, despite not being on my own bike. Heading out to the turn around, I was flying with the tailwind. I felt strong going up the hill, and cranked coming back home. My knee was a little cranky at about the 30K mark cause the seat wasn't high enough, but otherwise, everything felt good. 1:22 in the end. But I was watching my time and still shooting for sub 1:48, that meant I needed to do the run in 54 minutes, which seemed very doable.

Finally, the run. Two years ago, I had a terrible run. This year, I felt good. Ran it in 52. Sweet. End time was 1:47, so one minute better than 2 years ago, on no training and a bit of jetlag.

And on to the 4th leg. I went to the official Noosa after party at the surf club for the first time. It was fantastic. Every one was into it.

It was great having a chance to come back and see every one and even better to get to race in the 3rd largest race in the world. I'm thinking I might make a tradition out of it, and try to go back for Mooloolaba 2012. That will be another 18 months. Though having an extra week down there would definitely be in order.


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