Race 2 was done on, as it turned out, not one but two flat tyres. So it could only get better from there!
The weather conditions were significantly better than last time – it was still a bit windy but it was a lot warmer.
It was clearly the bike leg that needed improvement. All I needed to do was have both tyres adequately pumped up, and use my gears properly. Simples!
The day before the race, I got a parcel from Mekong which included my brand new tri-suit! There was nothing wrong with my old one, but the Mekong one was just so pretty, plus I had been assured by several people that it would make me go faster, so naturally I had to have one! And this duathlon would be the perfect opportunity to try it out!
On arrival at Victoria Park, I racked my bike and coach Kent (the one who pointed out my flat tyre last time!) came over and checked my tyres – they both got the thumbs up!
There were a few familiar faces out there, notably ultra running mother/daughter team Heather and Ally, both doing their first duathlon. Kristie was back again, and Karen and Daryl were there as spectators this time (Karen having had a bike mishap during the week).
After the race briefing we were split up into our waves – Open and Under 40 athletes in the first wave, 40 and over in the second, and Short Course in the third. (I was doing the long course again – 4km run/16km ride/2km run. The short course was half those distances.)
It was quite warm out there, for the first time in any of the duathlons I did take advantage of the cups of water near the start/finish line on most of my running laps!
On the first run I started reasonably conservatively on the first of 4 laps but then my competitive side kicked in and I decided to try to pass as many people as I could on the run. I would probably pay for it later but it was my chance to get a bit of a head start on the bike leg!
According to Strava I finished the first run in 17:59 and got through the first transition in 13 seconds – I’m not sure about that T1 time but I’ll take it!
It took me a few hundred metres for either of my feet to click into the pedals, which was a bit frustrating, but eventually I did get them in! Riding past the grandstand (with wind assistance) I went into a higher gear (as per Shane’s advice from the first duathlon) which really helped to stop my legs from going too fast!
The trickiest part of the course as always was the ‘hot dog’ hairpin turn (so named because on the map it kind of looks like a hot dog – they probably could have called it something else but it is a family-friendly event!) It took a few laps before I got it sorted – and as per previous races, as the laps ticked by, there were less and less people left out there to potentially be trying to pass me!
I did get passed on my left a couple of times but mostly people were really good and called out as they were about to pass me on my right.
All in all, the ride went pretty smoothly. My Strava time for the ride was 37:46, compared with 44:08 in Race 1 and 47:43 in Race 2. It was all because of the suit!
Then I went through T2 just behind Kristie (T2 was 39 seconds according to Strava) and headed back out for 2 more laps of the run course. Kristie didn’t use bike shoes so her T2 was a lot quicker than mine, giving me something to chase in the run!
The second run was a bit slower than in Race 1, maybe because I’d really pushed hard on the bike. Thankfully, it was significantly better than Race 2 (EVERYTHING about Race 2 sucked!)
Gosh, 2km feels like a long way!
On the second lap I decided to try to pass as many people as I could. Although my legs felt pretty heavy, I guessed everyone else would be in the same boat! When I got to the last few hundred metres there were a couple of girls I decided I needed to at least try to pass. I actually ended up passing one RIGHT on the finish line, that was a good feeling – for me at least!
My overall time was 11 minutes faster than Race 2 and around 6 minutes faster than Race 1. So it was an overall PB as well as a bike PB – a great way to end the series!
Thanks to Triathlon SA and all the volunteers for putting on the series, I have learned a lot from the 3 races and I know I still have a lot to learn! One of the things I love about the triathlon scene is that people are really friendly and encouraging, and always willing to offer a tip or two to help a newbie like me!
I’m still deciding whether to go to the final race in the Barossa Valley (there’s a hill in the bike ride, but there is wine in the Barossa…). Decisions, decisions!