Racing only one week after Huskisson long course triathlon was always going to be a big ask. Although the legs had come around by late in the week I had some doubts about my ability to push myself to the level I needed to come Sunday. My focus this season has been mainly on long course races but with the bcu Coffs Triathlon being at my doorstep it was obvious decision to race, even with limited rest. Unfortunately I did not have the race I was planning but I can say I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend of events and a huge congratulations must go out to both Village Sports and bcu for making the event such a success.
Fortunately the weather this year, particularly the wind, was much kinder and made for a more comfortable swim in the harbour. With Commonwealth games gold medalist Brad Kahlefeldt deciding to enter earlier in the week, the heat was going to be on from the gun. As expected Brad lead from the front early in the swim and did not look back from there. The plan was try and stay as close to Brad's feet in the swim and see if I could hold on! Within in the first 100-200 metres in the swim I knew this wasn't going to be my day. Some days speed and power comes easy, this was definately not one of those days! I was unable to hold any speed in the swim and immediately dropped back from the front few guys within the first 400 metres. From then it was a matter of limiting my losses in the swim and try to make time in the bike and run. Exiting the water I had lost almost 2 minutes to Brad, which in an Olympic distance event is quite a significant amount of time. Never the less I wasn't ready to give up yet. A slight detour in transition (not realising where the exit was) cost me some more valuable time.
If there was any leg I thought I had a good chance of making up some time it was the bike. With dry roads and no traffic to contend with, it was a chance to really rip in. Sitting in 4th place after the swim I realistically thought I could catch Richard and Lindsay who were about 1:10 up the road. By the halfway mark on the bike, I again realised that this wasn't going to be my day. I continued to lose considerable time despite the fact I thought I was riding well. I felt like I was working on my limit and putting some good power into the pedals but this was not the case. Similar to the swim I lost almost 2 minutes to the leaders on the bike which confirmed that my chances of taking the win were gone.
After heading into T2 knowing I was quite some time down on the front 3, all I was hoping for was to put together a good run. As per the swim and bike, the run was a battle. Having no chance of making the top 3, I simply enjoyed the 3 lap run and ran at a comfortable pace. I ran up the finishing chute to a line of high fives and crossed the tape in a time of 2:02, almost 6 minutes slower then last year. To say I was a little disappointed with my race is an understatement. I had high expectations on myself for the race and to finish in 4th is disheartening. Full credit to Brad, Lindsay and Richard for putting together quality races.
A huge thanks to bcu for sponsoring the race and Village Sports for organising a amazing weekend of events. I look forward to racing many more Coffs Triathlons in the future. For now it's rest and recuperate over the coming weeks and prepare for a better outing at Mooloolaba triathlon on the 16th March.