On Saturday the 21st of February I raced at the Australian Triathlon Championships in Devonport, Tasmania which was also the third race of the Australian Junior series. The swim was located at the beach at the Devonport Surf Life Saving Club. The ride was along the coast and it had a nasty 15% climb halfway through each lap. The run was also along the coast towards the city centre with a U-turn bring you back towards the finish.
On the morning of the race the water was choppy which doesn’t suit me. To make matters worse wetsuits weren’t allowed as the water temperature was just too high. As I was ranked in the series I received a low race number of 9 which allowed me to choose a good spot to start the swim. I didn’t get the best start of the line and was already behind running into the water from the beach. I was with the pack out through the surf but was slowly dropping back as the race went on especially once we got to the turning buoys. I came out the water second to last but I was confident that I could catch up lots of positions on the ride and run.
On the bike there were four laps of a 5km loop. Each lap I caught a few riders and tried to work with these athletes but they were all too tired to help out. I basically time trialled for the 20km and I was pleased to have caught up around 20 positions. I felt strong going up the hill each lap and I don’t believe it affected my running legs too much.
Starting the run I knew the pack ahead was about a minute in front but I was just trying to focus on having a fast run leg. There were two laps of a 2.5km loop and after the first lap I could tell I was catching a few athletes. I felt strong the whole way through the run and ended up catching around 4 athletes. I finished with a run split of 16:45 which I was happy with. Overall I was happy with my effort I was just disappointed with my swim because I know from previous races that I can swim better than what I did.
On the Sunday morning there were relays consisting of teams of 3 (male, female, male). I was paired with Tegan Scott from WA and Gabe Dennison from TAS. We formed a composite team “South South West” and we all had a great race. Each of us raced over a 250m swim, 4km ride and 1.2km run before tagging the next person. Gabe started and got us into a solid position so that Tegan was in contention for her start. She had a monster bike leg and came on to the run in first. At this stage I felt a lot of pressure to race well as my team had done such a good job. Tegan tagged me in third position and I was over taken by Matt Hauser in the swim. I got into a pack of 3 on the bike with 2 riders up ahead. I had a great transition on to the run and I battled with Christian Wilson over the 1.2km run to see who would claim 3rd. I put a few surges in but he stuck with me so I waited until 200m to go and just went for the line. Thankfully I gained a few metres and got third for the team. Although, as we were a composite team and this was an Australian Championship we were not awarded any medals but we didn’t need medals to know where we placed. Overall it was a great weekend for SA with Sam Tierney finishing 3rd and Patrick Goodwin finishing 9th.
Blog 5 Runaway Bay
In mid December I competed interstate in the opening race of the Australian Junior Series and I attended the National Junior Development Camp. The first race of the series was the Runaway Bay Super Sprint Race Weekend on the Gold Coast which followed on straight into the development camp.
The race at Runaway Bay isn’t your traditional triathlon as the racing is spread out over 3 days. The race is points based as shown below:
On the first day there were three races including an aquathlon, a bike criterium and a 1km track run. My time in the aquathlon wasn’t fast enough to acquire any points but it was good to get a feel for the swim and run course. The bike criterium included a 300m run into transition to collect your bike and a 300m run off the bike to the finish. I was expecting to gain points in this event but coming back into transition I dropped to the back of the front pack and finished 6th missing out on points by one position. I was really disappointed but I used this as determination to run well later that afternoon. For the 1km run there were several heats and the two fastest athletes in each heat qualified for the final. I won my heat with the fastest qualifying time of all the heats with a time of 2:36 for the 1km. An hour later the final was conducted and I was able to finish 2nd with a new PB of 2:34. This meant I was on 20 points and in 9th position going into day two.
On day two there were two short triathlons. The first was in the morning and it was a 300m swim, a 6km ride and 1.6km run. I had a strong race finishing 1st in my heat and with the 9th fastest time overall. This meant going into event 5 I was on 41 points. In the afternoon the second triathlon was raced over a 200m swim, a 4km ride and a 1.2km run and as you can imagine this was a sprint the whole way. Once again I backed up with a strong performance finishing 3rd in my heat and had the 9th fastest overall and therefore I was on 62 points. As there are so many competitors the Final race on Sunday is split up into A,B,C and D Finals. Depending on where you are placed and how many points you have determines what final you are in. The top 18 athletes with the most points make the A final and fortunately I was in 9th position and was stoked to have made the prestigious A final. The most points are offered in the A final over the whole competition so it was very important to me to race well and gain as many points as possible.
The triathlon on the Sunday morning was the longest event of the weekend with a 400m swim, an 8km ride and a 2.4km run. I did a PB 400m swim of 5:05 to start of the race so I was already at a high heart rate going onto the bike. I rode solo most of the way trying to make up as much ground as I could on the competitors ahead. As I got onto the track for the run the three lead runners had already done just over 400m lapping me but I was determined to catch up as I was confident in my run. After a lap and a half I had caught the leaders and once I got to the back of them I decided to go straight past to make a statement. They were all surprised that I was unlapping myself but I was just trying to catch up as many places as possible to gain maximum points. I stayed on the leaders pace for majority of the 2.4km until they sprinted for the finish. I ended up in 9th position once again but jumped into 7th on the overall points score with a total of 86 points. I’m proud to say this was the best result a S.A triathlete had done at the Super Sprint Race Weekend.
If you would like to view the results to the race click on the following link:
As I had raced so well Triathlon Australia rewarded me by inviting me to stay for the National Development Camp for three extra days at the Super Sports Centre. I learnt a lot from all the national coaches and got to know some of the interstate triathletes better. On the final day of the camp we had a 1km swim time trial and I did a PB of 13:50 improving on my previous best by 10 seconds.
Firstly I’d like to recap the last month or so as I wasn’t able to write a review of my previous races due to my final year 12 exams. I competed in the Australian Duathlon Championships in October and raced well to come away with 2nd in the Junior Elite category. It was a tough race as the pace on both the run and bike was blistering, which was to be expected. I came off the bike in a group of four including myself and was able to beat the rest of my group to the line during the final 2.5km. By finishing 2nd I have automatically qualified for the 2015 Duathlon World Championships.
I also competed in the Moana ITU Junior surf race. I had a positive start to this race as my swim was surprisingly quick with the aid of my wetsuit. I was only a few seconds or so behind the leader going into transition and on the bike a group of 3 formed. The pace wasn’t overly quick so I knew it would come down to the run. After an initial sprint out of transition with Ethan Woolford I got into a rhythm and comfortably took out the race.
On the 1st of November I gained a new 5km track PB of 15:35. It was a windy day at Santos and there was only a field of two runners. I ended up running solo for the duration of the race and was extremely pleased with my time.
I also raced at the Franklin Island Triathlon at Victor Harbor. My swim leg which is usual my weakness was quite strong on the day putting me in contention with the top 5 on the bike. I had a solid ride but couldn’t keep up with the likes of Matty White and Shane Johnson. It was a tough and hot 5k in the streets of Encounter Bay. I was able to catch Sam Tebeck putting me in 3rd but after a disqualification I was promoted to 2nd.
I recently bought a new road bike to replace my reliable Avanti. Thanks to Claud and the team at Mega Bike for setting me up with a Felt AR3. It is a great aero road bike which is perfect for the draft legal racing that I do.
My Runaway Bay review will be coming soon!
State Duathlon Championship & City Bay Blog
Looking back on the last couple of weeks I can happily say I’m pleased with my racing performances. On the 14th of September I attended the Barossa State Duathlon Championship and was racing in the short course event. This race was very important for me because if I won my age group I would qualify for the age group Duathlon World Championships in Adelaide 2015.
There were clear skies and no wind on the country roads. The race began and I was feeling light on my feet and somewhat relaxed. After the first 400m Grant Melzer had made a 20m gap on me and I was a slightly surprised by his move as in previous races I had ran away from him from the start. I intended to close down the gap but this was made difficult as we approached the sea of long course runners as I found it hard to keep my eye on Grant. After the first lap of 2.5km I was happy with my pace but the gap was still around 20m. Thanks to some clear roads on the second lap I closed down half the gap but I wasn’t too worried about being first into transition as I was confident in my cycling ability.
Soon after hoping on my bike I caught Grant and kept on pushing as I knew Sam Tebeck, a strong cyclist, would be catching me over the 20 km. I averaged around 39 kmph over the 20km but as I had anticipated Sam had made up a lot of ground. Going out onto the final run I was still in first place and was confident that I would be able to run home strong. As I had hoped I crossed the line first in my age group qualifying me for the World Championships but also first overall which was an added bonus. Overall I’m really pleased that the hard work in training is paying off in my racing performance. It was great to see the new and amazing ATC kits out on the course! I really enjoyed racing in mine!
The weekend after the Barossa Duathlon I competed in the Sunday Mail City-Bay 12km. It was my first time running in the 12km race as last year I only did the 6km. I fortunately had an elite start thanks to my running coach Adam Didyk and was on the front line at the start. My goal was to run sub 40 minutes and I planned to run with a few of my fellow Team Tempo runners as we were going to pace each other. The first few kilometres went to plan and we were all on our target time. Then at around the 3km mark the lead girls Eloise Wellings, Madeline Heiner and Nikki Chapple started to make a surge past our group. We immediately tagged on as we knew they were going to easily run sub 40 minutes.
At the 6km mark the pack had become significantly smaller with only 5 runners left, the two lead girls, my two team tempo team mates and I. I was really hurting at the 6km mark but I knew I had to stay with the lead girls as long as I could. I kept talking to myself in my head, just saying things like “keep relaxed” and “just stay with them for one more kilometre!”. Between the 6-7 km mark my team tempo team mates fell off the pace and there was just a pack of three. Finally at the 8 km mark I also fell off the pace and was on my lonesome on Anzac Highway with around 4km still to go. At that point my mental toughness pushed me through to the end as I needed to keep a fast pace all on my own. My triathlon background helped me here also as slogging it out by myself is usually the situation in most races for me. I crossed the line on Jetty Road in 39:39 and in 15th place. I had achieved my goal and was ecstatic. It was great to then go to the ATC tent for some post run refreshments!
My first National Duathlon race of the 2014 season has come and gone. The race was held at the International Regatta Centre in Penrith, NSW. The distance I had to compete over was a 5km run, a 20km ride and a 2.5km run to finish.
It was a chilly 10 degree morning but thankfully the sun was out. It was a mass start with all Under 35 men leaving together. I was a bit hesitant at the start and after a few hundred metres a pack of 5 runners were starting to break up the field. Immediately I tacked on to the back but I could feel the pace was too quick and I began to work with two other competitors to keep a steady tempo and limit the gap between us and the leaders.
I went into transition in 6th and went out onto the flat ride around the lake. I lost one place and gained a place over the course of the ride. I found it difficult to keep an eye on the guys in front as large numbers of other athletes filled the bike course. Overall I was pleased with how the race was panning out when heading out onto the final run.
On the 2.5km run 5th was at least 30 seconds ahead if not more and after a kilometre I could tell the gap hadn’t changed much. My hopes of catching him were looking slim. I then heard breathing and footsteps coming behind at a steady rate and knew 7th was catching. As he went passed I tried to sit on him but he was just too quick and I ended up finishing 7th in the Under 35 males.
The race was also a qualifying race for the Australian 2015 Duathlon World Championship Age Group team. As a result of winning my age group, 15-19, I gained 25 points towards age group selection. Although my main goal is to qualify for the Junior Men category and to do this I need to place in the top 3 at the Adelaide Duathlon in October.
Overall it was a productive race and I learnt a lot about competing against interstater’s in the Duathlon format.
I thought I would start off my blog with a bit of an introduction:
- I’m 17 years old
- I attend Marryatville High School
- I’ve been doing Triathlons since I was 13 but have only committed to proper training for one year
- Before Triathlon I played soccer for a local club Metro Stars
- My strength is the run leg as I come from a cross country background
- My Triathlon coach is Mike Spurling
- Last summer I raced around the country in the Australian Junior Scody Series which consisted of four races, Runaway Bay, Penrith, Brighton and Devonport
My Duathlon season has begun! I completed the second race of the ATC Duathlon series at Victoria Park, winning the short course and improving on my time from the first race by around 50 seconds. It was the first time I used my new Felt DA4 time trial bike from Megabike and it was amazing how much it improved my cycle leg. The race was a good hit out before the first national qualifying race in Sydney for the Duathlon World Championships held in Adelaide in 2015. One of my goals this season is to gain Australian selection for the Junior Men category for this event.
I’d like to say a big thank you to the Adelaide Triathlon Club for giving me this great opportunity as the first male recipient of the Junior Scholarship. I’m very grateful for being chosen and it just goes to show how much ATC appreciate their junior athletes. I hope to make everyone involved with the club proud when competing locally and interstate in the upcoming Triathlon season.
Lookout for some more posts in the coming weeks!