Turn the clock on a year, and I’m back at Elwood for another go at the Active Feet Triathlon. Last year it was cloudy skies, howling wind and driving rain. This year a near perfect Melbourne bayside morning with a gentle breeze, clear skies and a calm sea………..thank goodness.
The early start didn’t change, and we left home at 5am. Parking was difficult and Denni and I had a decent walk to the venue. At least we were familiar with the process, so “number painting” first, then security at the bike compound, find your numbered spot and hook up the bike and set up all the gear in the tiny allocated space below….helmet, glasses, riding cleats, running shoes, towel, and drink bottle.
An excellent innovation this year was to start some of the “slower group” in earlier waves, so I was off in a group of around 40 who were 40+ years old 9 mins after the first wave rather than 30 mins after the start last year.
The swim leg was a battle of flailing seals, so bodies everywhere being pushed, shoved and kicked, made worse by catching some of the preceding wave before leaving the water. That’s my excuse for looking somewhat pooped.
The run back to the bike compound was several hundred metres just to add to the test.
The bike leg was fantastic, with lots of fellow competitors all over the course. Thanks to my excellent training under the careful guidance of OMNIcyclists, I made steady progress through the field to dismount at an average speed a sniff below 30km/hr. The pic of me returning to the compound is purely an optical illusion that I appear to be holding up the field
The run leg (jog leg for me), saw many of the younger participants in waves starting after mine surging past, but I did my best.
The finish was welcome and my overall time of 53.32 creditable. For the record, that placed me 404 out of 580 starters overall. Last year my timing device only worked for the swim leg, so I have no real comparison. The split times reveal a very competitive ride time, a surprising and satisfactory run time, and a reasonable swim split hampered by the mass of flailing seals, ie the traffic in the water.
Denise and I both had a good, if tiring morning, but shouted ourselves “brunch” of the breakfast feast “stack” and a mug of cap. At Nillumbik Cellars on our return home, vowing to do it all again next year.