Huskisson Triathlon 2015
The Huskisson Triathlon 2015 has kicked off the triathlon season once again which means you’ll start seeing a lot more nervous Beachsiders taking the plunge to master the 3 disciplines and tackle a new and very rewarding achievement. Pete is one Beachsider who is tackling his second tri season and has a great account of what it is like to complete triathlon with the Beachside Family-
“November to May is Triathlon season and for Beachsiders, Huskisson or Little Husky as the November event is known, is a favourite place to swim, ride and run.
Most of our team are relative newbies to the sport and we each have parts of the race that we favour over others. For me, swimming is my greatest challenge and it’s not till I see the last buoy near the shoreline that I start to relax into the race. Swimming is not something I’m great at, especially in open water with no black line to follow! You don’t have the side of the pool to grab on to either but there are always kayakers close by if you get into difficulty. It’s overcoming personal challenges like this that makes the triathlon experience one that keeps drawing you back to do it again and again.
We all get along to Saturday morning tri-group too, which gives us some good pointers and practice with each leg of the race, including transitions between the swim/ride and the ride/run. Tri-group has been the best place to work on technique and to gain confidence. It answers a lot of the unknowns and gets some of the fears of competing out of your system.
Our line up at Husky was Lauren who opted for the Enticer: 200m swim, 8km bike and 2 km run; Jess, who competed in the Enforcer – swim 400, ride 15 and run 4; then Kieran and I who raced in separate age groups of the Sprint – swim 750, ride 20 and run 5km.
Triathlons always start with the swim. Husky’s start was in the water, not on the sand, and unless you could find a rocky outcrop, you’d be treading water while your group of forty or more waited for the starter. As soon as the hooter sounded, the stronger swimmers scrambled for front position before bearing down on the first buoy and trying to hit the turn in a bit of clear water. In his race, that was Kieran. He finished his 750 swim in about 15 minutes.
I relegated myself more to the back of the pack, conserving oxygen so that I could look up occasionally and try to stay on course. Starting to the side and near the back, limits my chances of being ploughed over or being bumped on the head by someone’s arm or foot. Rough conditions made this swim harder than any of us had experienced before and for the 24 minutes I was out there, I was redirected back on course by the kayaks more than a few times. Lauren swam a strong 200m in 5:37 while Jess powered through her 400m swim in 8:06.
As a newbie, it’s easy to focus on just the swim, ride and run and to forget that everyone else is still racing forward when you reach the transition area. The time continues ticking and every second you spend putting shoes on, grabbing a drink and giving yourself a rest, is time added to your finish result. Transition times from the swim to ride saw Lauren on the road 2:48 after leaving the water, climbing a long set of stairs, weaving through the rows of bikes to change into cycle gear then run her bike to the mounting line. Jess managed this in 1.40, Kieran 1.34 and me a very relaxed 2.30 – I’ll have to stop wasting time with socks and brushing sand off my toes.
Everyone managed a good pace with their rides which was a very gradual climb to a half way point and then a U-turn and speedy ride back to the transition area. No flat tyres or incidents on the road. Cycling speeds for the group averaged between 20 – 30kph, Lauren commented that “it would have been much easier had I done an ounce of training”.
Transition times between the ride and run were much quicker for everyone with Jess having the fastest of just one minute flat.
Running after a triathlon ride is different to running on fresh legs. Your legs usually feel heavy. Not the case for some of our team though. Lauren powered home with a 2km run that she said was “enjoyable!” Her pace – 5.29/km. Jess’s 23min 4km run was a pace of 5.50. Kieran ran an astounding 4.27 pace over 5km, whilst I was happy with my pace of 5.12 for the same distance.
Summing up, Jess said, “it turned out to be a great day with some great company. The encouragement and support during the event, not only from the Beachside family but also all those along the course, encourages you to dig that little bit deeper.”
Like all of us, Lauren “can’t wait to do the next one.”
There are plenty of reasons that people have, not to do triathlons, but overcoming the obstacles one at a time and having a go at even a short distance, will really get you hooked on trying to improve on your previous efforts. That’s how I approach every event. My goal is to beat my previous time in the water, on the road or on the run track. That’s what I did this time and it’s what I plan to do next.
Overcoming your reasons to not take on a challenge, gives you a certain strength and confidence and as Lauren says, “strength doesn’t come from what you can do – it comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t do”.
Thanks Pete! If you’d like to take your training to new heights and are looking for a rewarding goal that is a he achievement, chat to us about completing your first triathlon. We’d love to have you on our team. A big congrats to Jess and Lauren placing 3rd and 4th in their categories too!