“City of Perth: Cyclones & Bloody Heat”
Sunday was an epic day to put simply, it meant so much and so little at the same time. This would be my first Olympic Distance race since August when I had a stupendous swim, solid bike and a great run, today’s race was slightly different in several ways. My conflicts began pretty early on when I could tell the Tylenol sleeping pill was still holding its effects on me and I felt as if I were in some dream world while warming up with my mates. All the heavy hitters were in attendance, Macka, Jimmy, Sean O’Neil, Ryan Baugh, Jason Nuttman, Brynt, and a relay team of Matt Illingworth and Cody, so I knew that the race would be up to the caliber as it was at the Western Australia sprint championships. Now the funny thing is that I had no clue that this was the Western Australian Olympic distance championships until I received a text message from Ryan Baugh after the race.
The good news for me was that I actually won my first age group award while in Australia shockingly to me, especially after I got hammered at the sprint championships. As it lay out at the finish I was 3rd in my AG, missed 2nd by a mere 1 second and was off of 1st place by 1minute exactly. This is a huge confidence boost for me, because I can firmly say that if my T1 and T2 difficulties would have been avoided, I would be neck and neck with 1st in my AG. Now I include my recap of the overall race experience as well as the many conflicts I faced in transition from the officials.
Starting off at 8am were the elites, wait, its 8:06am and they are still talking to all of us about the race course changes and etc. The longer we get behind, the hotter it is going to get as it is going to be a scorcher at 38-39 degrees (100-101 for you Americans). The course has about 10% of shade otherwise it is completely exposed to the sun and its brutal effects on the body. Finally in the water around 8:15am, about the time I am supposed to start, and then I make my way to the start buoys. People begin to sneak in front of me just before the gun goes off and its chaos. Kicking, pushing, bodies on bodies and as usual, I resort to just falling behind instead of fighting my way through. Falling behind a couple guys for the 1st half of the race, I am thinking to myself, “you aren’t even swimming hard, this may qualify as going through the motions at BEST”. I could tell that I needed some body glide in a bad way as the salt combined with the rubbing of my tri top ended badly. Finishing up the swim at the very end I have one person from the wave behind me blow past me, the last thing I wanted to see.
Out of the water, running to T1, I have my gear ready to rock, and hopefully rock out my best bike portion yet. This week I put in over 400k on the bike, as I have recently moved to the other side of town and ride to work everyday. My legs were not super fresh, especially Friday and Saturday but I just had to get over it. While I nearly doubled my highest bike mileage ever, this also gave me more confidence with the time on the bike. Back to the race; I have the fastest T1 ever it seems and I am essentially out of transition when I hear people yelling at me. Official -“You need your bib number, your race belt”, Me – “no I don’t, that’s for the run, why is my body marked with numbers all over me then?”. Official – “its required, go back and get it or you are DQ’ed!”, Me- “this is Bulls**t, WTF, this is crazy” (imagine a very livid picture of me after a horrendous swim) . So I run back, with no bike to look for, but simply a navy blue towel, “oh that’s the wrong row, wait where was my bike mounted, uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh”, I finally find my transition area pop my # on and head out to my resting bike.
If any race officials are reading this, I wanted to issue an apology for the explicative language that I used. Alright onto my bike; about 1k into the ride, I hear “come on Lamperski”, it’s Jason Nuttman, whom earlier said he would pass me on the bike and I said NO WAY. He proved me wrong quickly as did Ryan Baugh who passed just seconds after Jason. I regroup and decide to commit to their rapid pace, we are going 46+ on some portions and I am able to hang with them for 2 of the 5 laps, then kaboom, I somehow lost them in the crowd, out of sight. Nuttman was on a mission to spank everyone while Ryan held on as long as he could. Despite everything, I believe this was my best bike section in a triathlon, I finished strong and was ready to catch some people on the run.
|Nuttman in Action, attempting and succeeding in Buring me.|
Heading into T2, I am running around the other bikes and the same official screams at me, “you need to stop and buckle your helmet again, it’s a safety issue!”. I am inside the damn transition area, jogging with my bike in hand at a not so rapid pace, after my best running dismount EVER. Of course I stop and have to buckle my strap again, before she lets me move. After a quick shoe change thankfully I am running out of T2 and needless to say I am still irritated slightly. Unfortunately the explicit language intensified at this point while I am running out of transition basically bagging the whole Australia Triathlon rules system to any and all who could hear me.
Onto the run, by now its about 36 and the sun is nearly unbearable, Cody yells out to me “everyone is dying on the run”, so quickly I decide to back my pace off and keep it at 3:30’s because after ½ way everyone will die and I should be able to maintain. Passing at the turn arounds, I see Ryan and Jason a nice bit in front of me, could I catch one of them? I kept the pace consistent all the way through and even used Cody once his relay caught up to me in order to catch Nuttman and give him a “good job” pat on the butt. Ryan outdistanced me a bit and I was unable to catch him, but there is always NEXT time Ryan! At every stop I tossed a cup of water on my head and neck to keep my core temp down and it was fairly effective. Once we entered the last straight away, I had a guy in my sights, which I know I could blow away as he kept looking over his shoulder, but for some reason at that point of pain and immense heat exhaustion, I decided to let him go. That in fact was Mr. 2nd place in my AG! After crossing I get dizzy and luckily get escorted to a nice shaded seat where I can relax with an ice pack.
All in the entire race was great; it certainly left me with some notes for my memory bank going forward. It was motivating to feel a butt whooping out there with no clue as to my finish placing. The heat was just crazy intense and reminded me of the 2009 Duathlon national championships, its indescribable, as I thought about those people who run 26.2 miles like this is Kona, sounds INSANE. I had to rush off to work after the race and BARELY made it in as I was pumping up the hills with all I had not to fall off of my bike. After several calls and text, it made my exhaustion feel much better once I found out I placed in the Western Australia championships and infact won a 6-pack of beer, that I could not collect and they even pronounced my name correctly at the awards. Going forward I will be training with the PAUL MACKAY INSTITUTE OF SPORT, (he was 2nd in the elite race) which sounds like it will be very pressing with all of the training in preparation for the Busselton Half Ironman in May. After sending my weeks status on training, my new coach quickly pointed out how I tapered amazingly for this race with doubling my cycling mileage, increasing my swim distance and managing an insane treadmill 5k 4 days out, when most people were tapering. Crazy how motivation works huh, what motivates you?
Shout out to Janna Angell for a great race even through the heat, keep it up girl!!!
PS: sorry I have no real pics available of the race due to that fact I wrote this from work the day of the race. If I get ahold to some I will post, hopefully they will show how miserably hot it was.