Daniel Canala – Update 6
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.