After last years fog and super cold race, the blue skies and warm sun we woke to race day this year were very welcome. Pre race breakfast was my staple of oats, sultanas, chia seeds and banana with soy milk, washed down with 3 beetroot shots, and a Sweet Bones double shot soy latte to make sure I was firing on all cylinders.
Before the race it was great to see so many people at Black Mountain for the event, this is the third year I have raced here, and its awesome seeing a record crowd validating the efforts that Prachar and the Sri Chinmoy team put in to holding this event. After setting up transition I headed into the botanic gardens to warm up. I find I take a while to warm up, especially for shorter high intensity races like this, so I did a bit of a graduated warm up working on leg speed and proprioception that lasted about 15 minutes.
When the race started there were a dozen or so runners who surged ahead up the first hill into the botanic garden. By the end of the 3 km undulating bitumen run I was sitting fourth overall, just behind newcomer to triathlon Dylan Cooper, and just ahead of duathlon veteran, and 2015 winner Dave Osmond. I had a smooth and fast transition and was onto the bike with Dylan. The bike course is undulating fire roads, with some fast off camber corners to test handling in a different way to what single track does. The 23 km bike takes a short loop of little black mountain followed by a longer loop of the main mountain and Aranda.
I red lined straight away on the bike trying to hold Dylan’s wheel, and together we passed the one solo and one team rider ahead of us after about 5 km. From there Dylan pulled away and for me things slowed down, as I could not maintain the intensity that I had at the start of the bike. I just focused on my technique and tried to ride the most efficient lines through the rest of the bike course.
My second transition lacked my usual precision and the legs were heavy going out on the second run. Up the first single-track climb I found my rhythm but didn’t have the power I was hoping for due to my enthusiasm on the bike. The undulating fire roads were great, but hitting the ‘Breakfast Hill’ climb I was relegated to walking due to lactic.
I finished the run with good form for an overall time of 1:43:43, about 4 minutes behind Dylan, and 2 minutes in front of Dave. Was a fantastic race experience, with a good lesson in pacing.
Already looking forward to next year’s event, hopefully we score the same weather as this year!