Western Sydney 70.3 Race Report
Ironman Western Sydney 70.3 this was my first time on this course. I have previously done Geelong and Port Mac.
Leading up to the race I was very excited to be racing and had an uneventful registration and transition set-up. It is a good 5 to 10 minute walk from the carpark to the transition/start and a bit of traffic getting into the carpark so need to leave plenty of time.
Western Sydney is held at the Regatta centre and is a fresh water swim. It was non-wetsuit swim as I am lead to believe has been the case in previous years. It is a deep water start. You jump off a pontoon and swim about 50m to the starting buoys. It is a rectangle shaped swim and I found it easy to sight. At some points I located cables under the water and just followed them. The swim didn't feel congested and I managed to find my own spot fairly quickly. Swimming is my weakest leg so I wasn't expecting miracles. I came out in a 42.21 which I was happy with.
Into transition which I thought was well spaced between racks compared to Port. I have been doing a lot of work on the bike as I injured my knee at Sydney Marathon and wasn't able to run near as much as I wanted, in order to let my knee heal. I live and train in Port so roads were amazeaballs to ride on . Mainly all hot mix with 1 road slightly bumpy. There was a few very tight turns which you really had to slow down at. But all in all I found it a flat and fast course, albeit a bit shy of 90km I had it at 87.82 on Garmin. I was genuinely surprised and happy with my ride coming in at 2.34.35.
Then it was out to the run. This was my biggest concern coming into the race carrying a knee injury and feeling very under done on training. Running is usually my best leg so I just promised myself that regardless of time I would be proud of myself if I genuinely gave it my best! We headed out of the regatta centre out onto the road way for sometime and then down along a footpath agent to the river. Then it was back to the regatta centre for 2 laps. Again the run was pretty much flat and fast and I only remember one small incline. By the time I got onto the run the clouds started to clear and it was getting warm. I stopped at every aid station. I had Coke, I had Endura, I had water, I had Watermelon, I had Gels, I had ice down the front of my tri suit, I had ice down the back of my tri suit, and anything and everything I could grab. In fact over the course of the day I had 3 different brands of gels. I am so lucky I appear to have iron guts!! I smiled as much as I could I thank as many volunteers as I could, and I just really tried to immerse myself in the atmosphere. After all the race is the reward for all the hard training! The run got tough about 15km but I managed to hold it together at one point to distract myself I was chanting in my head '3 piece feed, 3 piece feed, 3 piece feed' dreaming of KFC treat after the race! So my run time was 1.45.58 and I came across the line in a new pb at 5.06.55 2nd in my AG 40-44 years
I headed off to recovery got myself an icecream and a massage which was torture!! and then back to the finish line to cheer on the rest of our group.
I rang my husband and he told me I came 2nd in my AG and I was absolutely shocked I didn't believe him till I checked it myself.
The rest of the afternoon I spent cheering on my fellow team mates and others at the finish line. Watching faces of sheer joy as they cross the line. Obviously never expecting a podium I hadn't checked the event schedule to see when the presentation was on. So alas I missed my AG presentation but I did manage to make roll down and get a spot to World Champs in Chatanooga Sept 2017. I am really excited as I never dreamt this was possible.
So I wrap up this ridiculously long and probably very boring race report by giving newbies like myself some feedback on the three 70.3's I have done this year. I only started in this sport last September 15 having never owned a road bike, very poor swimmer, ok runner. Did Geelong in Feb 16, Port May 16, Western Sydney Nov 16.
Geelong - funky art town, great atmosphere, good swim.
Port - cannot beat the atmosphere, awesome town (bias my home town!), hardest ride of all 3 but doable, just train hills and crap surfaces .
Western Sydney - flat and fast good beginner course. Heard horror stories about the swim but just train no wetsuit!!