Well, I have just returned from a couple days up in beautiful Port Douglas in tropical North Queensland, and the race was once again one of the most fun, most relaxed and definitely the toughest race I have ever done! This is the 2nd time I have raced the Port D long course Tri – what the hell was I thinking going up there for round 2?? Well Guy Beasley, you certainly know how to run a race that dishes out the pain to everyone, regardless of fitness or experience.
I was pretty limited for time, so I arrived late on Thursday night to one of the lovely Latitude 16 apartments in Port D. Friday was spent doing some light exercise and trying to get used to this intense heat. I thought that I might be able to deal with the hot weather, coming from a hot summer in Boulder only 2 weeks ago – man, I was wrong. The race began at 11am on Saturday morning, with myself, Michael Murphy, Torsten Abel from Germany and Anthony Rule all given a 40 min handicap. The 2 lap, 2km swim course was going to be tough, as I have only been swim training for about 10 days prior to the event, due to my collarbone injury in America keeping me out of the water for 4 weeks. Out of the water and onto the bike, I was around 2mins down on the 2 boys, Murphy and Abel, and started the ride in the hottest part of the day. Things were going well, The Giant Trinity was helping to keep things moving, although the heat just started to really bite. I tried to keep drinking my Science in Sport Electrolyte drink and Gels, but by the end of the bike ride after 80kms I had lost some more time and I was suffering bad in the heat.
As soon as the run began, things went from bad to worse. My legs were cramping really badly, which has never ever happened before, and over the next 6-8kms my stomach decided to eject all the gels I had eaten while riding. These first few km’s were a disaster, and I shuffled like an old man with a broken hip while the cramps kept biting me. Eventually, I had some coke and begin to jog, then run, as I always like to try and finish the race and get something out of it. By this time the sun had eased up, and I found some legs and ran the last 12kms really strongly, even better then expected, which is a positive sign that my training and fitness is still great. I just really got defeated by the heat, and that was it! In the end I finished 3rd place, which was a real bonus as I had such a battle out there. Congrats to Torsten Abel from Germany – he looked strong and could be a real hitter in Hawaii next month!
Anyway, I had a great time in Port D, Guy and his crew looked after me like they have always done. I have recovered really well, and training this week has again been great. I’m very motivated for the 2nd half of this year, due to being sidelined with the shoulder injury recently. This weekend I am racing both the Protour event on Saturday, and the Olympic Distance tri on Sunday at the Forster Triathlon and Multisport Festival.