Coach’s remarks: Most of you know by now that Chris is quite humble but he allowed me to pass on this report over last weekend. I think it goes without saying that Chris has won AOTM for April with 2 wins in 2 days against some strong athletes. Not only that, he won them easily to be fair. Anyway, I am allowed to talk him up as he will never 🙂 Great reading and very kind words about T2A Chris, mate, you been with me through thick and thin since 2006, 8 years of seeing us go from a “runner” to a accomplished triathlete who also went on to get faster at running anyway!! Thanks for sharing Chris and I bet my house Stuey and Shaz are first to reply 🙂 CP
I’m a bit overwhelmed by what happened to me and the Team this weekend. I just wanted to fill you in on how it went from my perspective. I don’t usually write race reports, but I guess you can consider this one.
Friday – Duathlon
Got there nice and early, didn’t feel good, felt tired, run down and a bit grumpy as I knew Olivier would turn up and bury me on the bike. But I set up and had a warm up run with Suz. I felt good, legs felt easy and there was no sign of Olivier, but Jimmy, Marshy and Dieter were there. So I thought, “Okay, this is going to be a different kind of race, probably one where I’m hunted on the bike by three guys who can really ride”.
The gun went (one Gu before the run) and I settled into 3.30’s, much quicker than I thought I should be going, but my HR was 175bpm, not 180bpm so I knew I wasn’t red lining. I was conscious someone was tracking me but didn’t realise it was Dieter till the turn at 1.25km, I held my pace and began to ease away from him. Marshie was in a group of 4 some way further back. The second lap I saw Marcy just starting and felt sorry for her starting late, she had a lot of work to do to catch the girls. By the time I got to the bike I had averaged 3.34’s (17.52mins at 175bpm AVE HR) for the first 5km and had gapped Dieter by 150-200m and Marshies group by a bit more. I took off because I thought Marshie and Dieter’s group would come together pretty quickly and start working.
The bike was 4 laps of the big camel circuit (11.5km). There were nice tail winds heading out (45kph), headwinds and slight hill round the bottom section (31-34kph), then slight tail winds coming back (36-37kph). I kept looking back but didn’t see anyone except those I had passed in the short course. I kept my tempo pretty solid all the way through, just thought of those AQ 70km’s at 36kph and thought “I can TT this steady without blowing”. Heart rate was 175-180bpm, holding steady. One Gu at the start of the bike, another half way through. When I didn’t see anyone chasing I knew that all I had to do was hold my composure for the 5km run and I had it. Bike was 1.13.34hrs for 47km at 176bpm AVE HR. 38.1kph average speed, big improvement on the 37kph I managed over 50km in the previous Duathlon, well happy with that.
Straight into the run (last Gu), I was determined to try and back up the second run similar to the first, legs felt a bit odd, had a stitch but was running 3.40’s, I could live with that. Got to the 1.25km turn and saw one guy coming the other way. I timed the split to him at 1.15mins (it was Marshie), that meant he was 2.30mins behind me. He was followed by Jimmy, one other guy and Dieter. I was surprised to see that Dieter must have been passed by Marshie and Jimmy on the bike and not worked with them. I timed Marshie again at the 2.5km turn, now he was at 1.37mins, that meant 3.14mins behind, good news for me. I enjoyed the last 2.5km and was able to pick it up a bit in the finishing straight. Second run was 18.51 at 177bpm AVE HR for 3.46’s per km. Marshie finished 2nd (3.39mins back) with Dieter finishing strong in 3rd and Jimmy holding 5th in a sprint finish.
Brilliant morning with great performances all round from the team: Claire and Dieter, Suz and Marcy, Andy Veal, Marshall and Anders. I took the Series win only due to the fact that Olivier didn’t turn up and Jordan Janzen the teenage wonder kid punctured. all he had to do was finish in the top 5 to beat me in the overall. Tough day for him and his Dad (who was recording my splits each lap on his stopwatch).
Spent Friday afternoon on the beach with the kids. Emma was body boarding in some nice waves and has now decided she wants to be a surfer. Had a couple of beers in the evening, nice and relaxed that there was no pressure on me in the Criterium, all I had to do was work for the team – and we had a helluva team coming out.