Sunday rolled around pretty quick, I woke hoping that I had done enough the afternoon before to minimise the hurt from the race previous. I gotta say, the body didn't feel all that bad, there was some tiredness in general but there wasn't anyone spot that was sore or any little niggles, so I figured there was some hope that I might be able to finish the race. This was my first long course race since Gold Coast half Ironman, October of last year, it was going to be interesting to say the least.
The swim start was fairly sedate compared to the other starts that I'm used to in the shorter formats, not that I was complaining. The group stayed together until the first buoy then it slowly broke apart - which was weird as there was no surges of any kind, one minute I was sitting on someones feet and then the next thing open water. In my group there was 3 of us and we set a fairly comfortable pace which was nice (during this pace setting we swam side by side, breathing in unison at time and you would think with all that ocean out there that you could get some space while you were swimming. Not, we kept on hitting each other the whole way round) we didn't loose to much time to guys in front and I came out of the water feeling fairly fresh ready for the ride.
The ride started off bad, coming out of transition I lost a water bottle, I stopped to pick it up, put it back in the water bottle cage and it fell it out again, needless to say it stayed there. The beauty of racing open is there is no one on the roads while you are riding, which meant the 2 other guys that I was riding with could work together and try and chase the guys down. We worked like a well oiled machine, as if we had been Team Time Trialing together for awhile (Phil pay no attention to that last statement). Unfortunately the bad luck didn't stop for me, I lost a second bottle - the one with my nutrition in it, which leads me to a digress for a bit, don't put your eggs in one basket, always have a backup plan. I lost my nutrition with still 60km to go on the bike and no gels to see me through, I can hear people say "they supplied some there" but they only supply electrolytes which as I will tell you is not going to get you through 82km's on the bike and then 20km's of running. I came off the bike gingerly and feeling drained, empty and not knowing if I was going to be able to finish the run.
The legs very wobbly at the start of the run and the quads were starting to cramp. I had to find a pace that would allow me to run, without walking, to finish the race. Happily I found that pace and away we went. Using the aid stations fully, I was grabbing coke and electrolyte every time and when they finally brought on the lollies I was grabbing all 3 every time. I can safely say that my stomach wasn't liking me at the end of the race but my legs didn't stop moving and I was able to get through the race without walking (although at times I sure my running would have looked liked a walk to the spectators). The beauty of the run at Huski is that it is 2 two laps and there are that many aid stations that you can break the run up into sections which takes your mind off the overall distance.
I finished the race in a time of 4hr 9min and placing 12th, a little ways off the pace but happy knowing that I finished without walking and I had a weekend of training that will hopefully see me in good sted for Nationals in 2 weeks at Mooloolaba.
I would like to thank the guys and gals at Elite Energy (www.eliteenergy.com.au) for putting on this event. It was another success and hopefully it will grow to be one of the premier races on the calender. I would also like to say thank you to the Huksi locals for turning out and supporting the whole weekend, without your support this weekend wouldn't be possible.