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Karri Valley Triathlon - Triathlon

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Pemberton, Western Australia
Stadium Triathlon Club
Total Time = 1h 45m 23s
Overall Rank = 23/25
Age Group = 40-49
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

We drove down to Pemberton (about 400km) the day before and arrived about 4.30pm. It was so gorgeous to be back in the Karri Valley. It's such a glorious spot and one of my favourite places on the planet, so to get to race here is pretty special. The bike racks were in transition, surrounded by a pack of kangaroos. Even after 10 years in Aus, that was very exciting. We unpacked, checked Eddie my bike had survived the journey on the bike rack okay and had a wander around the lake. Then an early dinner at the Lakeside Restaurant (delicious) and off to bed.

This race starts pretty late (10am) so we had plenty time before which was a really nice change. Had a cup of tea and an Up & Go and got to registration at 7.45 when it opened - managed to score a great spot on the end of a rack, got body marked, everything set-up and wandered back to the room. It's so good staying at the resort - in fact, our room was right on the lake side. I had time for a decent swim before getting changed and back down to transition for the race briefing at 9.15am. There we were told about the slightly scary conditions on part of the bike course where there was new asphalt "if you go around this corner at 20kph YOU WILL FALL". Also realised that they had managed to sneak a new hill into the run - I tell you, if Rob the head coach could have found a way to put a hill in the lake, he would have.
Event warmup:

We all wondered up to the lake side for the start, it was really great, everybody chatting, saw lots of people I hadn't seen for a while so lots of hugs and well wishing. Kissed my boys and got into the water for a final splash around, before getting back on the beach for the hooter.
  • 19m 30s
  • 500 meters
  • 03m 54s / 100 meters

Me and this lake have history. I did this race 2 years ago feeling confident for the swim after doing some OWS races in the ocean. But this isn't the ocean - it is a brown, dark, slimy, trout filled cold lake and I couldn't put my face in the water without hyper-ventilating, I ended up doing breast stroke. This year, I've been doing OWS sessions in the river near my home which is very silty so similar problems with the lack of visibility. I had decided against my wettie because the water temperature felt great when I'd gone in earlier and it's only 500m so doesn't seem worth the faff. I had a gorgeous swim, could breathe bilaterally the whole way (a first!). I wasn't any faster, still second last out the water but at least I free-styled the whole way. It made everyone of those 6am starts at Matilda Bay worth it.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing, I was happy with my performance - while still slow, I have massively improved in confidence and really enjoyed this swim.
Transition 1
  • 00m

The swim time included the 600m uphill run from the swim exit to the top of the hill. The run down the hill to transition and T1 time are included in the bike ride. I HTFU this year and did the run in bare feet, decided I could cope with the roo and emu poo between my toes. It was everywhere in the paddock and couldn't be avoided.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing, everything went smoothly, maybe not stop to kiss my husband (who was a volunteer) but that was worth the extra seconds ;-)
  • 58m 41s
  • 20 kms
  • 20.45 km/hr

Eddie was a dream to ride, big smile on my face the entire time. The course had changed a bit this year but was still very hilly with mainly uphill to the first turnaround. I could really feel the reduction in vibration using the carbon frame and felt really comfortable, mm, a bit too comfortable really.

The weather seemed really nice, cool and cloudy with just a bit of dampness from yesterday's rain. Everything changed at the turnaround though, as a did my u-y, I saw the huge buildup of dark clouds that had been behind me and after about 20m, the heavens opened. The wind picked up and we were blasted by the rain, boy, was it cold. I was now, exceedingly nervous on the downhills, I'm a big Jessie normally but the rain just made everything worse and the few people I had passed going up, now passed me going down. All the free speed went to waste. Towards the end of the lap, the rained stopped and the sun broke through turning everything instantly steamy. A bit 4-seasons-in-1-day. I had a spooky turn towards the end where the traffic had been stopped and I had to overtake them all on the wrong side of the road (under directions from the race official) which I did at about 5kph.
What would you do differently?:

I don't know, I would like to be a bit more gung-ho on the downhills but the rain was pretty nasty.
Transition 2
  • 00m

T2 time and the run up the hill to the start proper of the run course included in the bike-time.

Whew, still plenty of space on the rack, for a tail-end Charlie like me, having to move other bikes to get mine in is always a risk. Luckily I had put my socks on top of my shoes and this had stopped the rain getting in. My socks were soaked so I put the shoes on barefoot and they were fine. The spot where they had been rubbing before wasn't.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing, it was as fast as I could be.
  • 27m 28s
  • 4 kms
  • 06m 52s  min/km

I so enjoyed the run - the course is beautiful, across the dam, through the bush and very hilly. The smell from the gum trees is gorgeous and the air is pure. The course had changed this year and we ran further up the hill after the dam. They had also stuck a hill in right at the end - we ran down, then up on the road, into the paddock and down the hill on the grass. My 8 year old son ran the last bit down the hill with me which was gorgeous.
What would you do differently?:

Post race
Warm down:

Water, apple and then a quick dash to our room to change into dry clothes. Then volunteer for the long course. I spent the next three hours shouting at people in strident Scottish tones to "watch the slope, it is extremely slippery". The Munchkin was tirelessly cheering everyone on and we got very croaky towards the end. It rained intermittently with glorious sunshine in between. After we cheered the last athlete home, a welcome shower, about a gallon of tea before the evening's awards and festivities.

The club recently partnered with the Leukemia Foundation and several members had their heads shaved to raise money for the charity and we won a car battery in the raffle - anyone out there need a car battery? After a few beers, the atmosphere was brilliant as everybody relaxed and we raised about $5000 which is amazing for an event of about 300 people. The open race was won by Kate Bevilaqua and Guy Crawford - it was incredible to have professional athletes there at our club race. Kate had podiumed in Singapore and New Zealand already this month! Guy had been 6th and 8th in those races. The both agreed Karri Valley was tough but fun.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Not learning to swim until my 40s, a big Jessie on the bike and a run form that makes the coach weep.

Event comments:

This is a club run event that punches way above it's weight due to the incredibly hard work of the organisers. The setting is truly stunning and well worth the long drive there.

The short course I did is the support race to the main event - a 1.5/60/12 which is a hit-out before the HIM at the start of May but most people doing it feel it's a much harder race due to the hills. It was the first time I had attended anything more than a sprint since an ITU round in Perth ages ago and it was brilliant being a volunteer and watching the athletes on the long course. Wow, I was really humbled and inspired by the performances - so much determination and guts on show. It really inspired me to try to move up to the long course distance and this is the first time that I have felt I could be capable of it doing it.

Last updated: 2012-01-11 12:00 AM
00:19:30 | 500 meters | 03m 54s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/25
Performance: Good
Suit: Decided not to
Course: out to the centre of the lake around a buoy, along parallel to the shore, around another buoy and back to the beach.
Start type: Run Plus: Shot
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Low
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 00:00
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
00:58:41 | 20 kms | 20.45 km/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/25
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Road: Smooth Wet Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 00:00
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
00:27:28 | 04 kms | 06m 52s  min/km
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/25
Course: Up the hill, over the dam, up another hill through the bush, back down, over the dam, past the resort hotel, into the bush, back, uphill, downhill, uphill, downhill.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2012-04-08 12:59 AM

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Perth, Australia
Subject: Karri Valley Triathlon

2012-04-08 2:03 AM
in reply to: #4136277

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Subject: RE: Karri Valley Triathlon

Wow!!!  What a great race, Gwen.  You've come so far since the last time you did Karri.  I remember your RR then, and the fear you had of the water.  So so proud of you to conquer all those fears.

You made the whole day out sound such a blast, you did so well there girl!!  Would have been so easy to crash Eddie, right choice in playing safe in the rain.  You didn't want to drive into a ute did you.....

So, a long course eh???  Good on you.  WIll definitely be stalking you on that journey!

Well done, on both the race and the report.  You rock!

2012-04-08 4:53 PM
in reply to: #4136277

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Subject: RE: Karri Valley Triathlon


So many positives from this race....overcoming swim anxiety and swimming free the whole time, having fun whole day, raising money for a great cause.

Pretty neat some top level athletes come out to support this club event.

2012-04-09 11:34 PM
in reply to: #4136277

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Perth, Australia
Subject: RE: Karri Valley Triathlon

Awesome race!!! How good did it feel to conquer that lake?

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