Again just like last year the weather was good on race day. I checked my bike, put on the wetsuit and I was ready to rock and roll.
The start was delayed by 15 minutes and I think it was caused by athletes still trying to get on site. This year was 2 wave starts and being the oldie I am I was in the second wave. After a long slow walk down to the lake we watched as the first wave went off. This year I decided to start at the back again but not out on the side. It didn't quite happen like that as I was in the water early and got pushed up towards the front. Ho hum no backing out now. I splashed water all over my face as Friday's swim had given me ice cream face and it was quite shocking to the system. The commentator shouted that the race would start in 5 mins and there was an uproar from the lake so they started the race in 60 seconds. The swim was good I didn't get punched but I did receive a few knocks to start. One swimmer did however swim over me so I chased him down grabbed his feet and pulled him right outta my way. I knew boxing training over the winter would benefit me. This year I was so much more confident in the water, I found my own space and with no asthma attack I was well on my way. The swim felt really good and it was actually better swimming clockwise. When I reached the bank I checked my watch....... 40 minutes... oh boy that felt good 9 minutes off last years time. I had that time in my head before I started and was chuffed. I felt good and even ran up the hill into transition. I saw Barry and he came over to help me... geez that man had my wetsuit off before my arse hit the floor!!! Super speedy transition time. I was in the middle of the pack unlike last year and was good to get out with lots athletes.
The bike was really good I felt strong. Normally after the 2 nasty hills it always seems like a real drag and continually climbing but I got to the second lap and wondered where the hills had gone. As I came down the hill to take a sharp right there was people slowing you down. There was an ambulance just past the corner and the guy they were attending looked in a bad way, blood every where. I heard chaos behind me and the guy who came behind me obviously didn't take notice of warning and all I heard was JESUS CHRIST and then heard the biggest whack ever. The guy cycled straight into the ambulance and it sounded awful. It was all pretty shocking and I just got my head down and carried on. I knew that the cut off time would be 1pm so with an eye on the time I dug in on those hills. I felt really strong out on the bike, I remember last year I felt so drained.
I entered T2 at about 12.30 ish and thought I did the bike in 4 hours but the time was 3.54.34. so much better that last years 4.20. Transition was again speedy, those guys really know what they are doing. I might even marshal myself next year. I still felt pretty good, slight bloated from drinking a sports drink and in hindsight I should have stopped for a wee but I had race mode on and wasn't stopping. The first lap was slightly uncomfortable and I kept eyeing up gateways and when I ran down the big hill I thought my bladder would explode. Last year they had toilets on route but there was none this year. The second lap I walked a few times to take on fluids and walked the big hill on every lap to conserve energy. Time went quickly and before I knew it I was on the last lap. I wanted to walk a few times but I refused myself thinking this is the last lap I can do it. I saw my sister on route that was a nice surprise and Jo and Julian were there to willing us all on. The red carpet was there like red rag to a bull you have to sprint as soon as you see that redness. I crossed the line with 7.13 reading on the clock and saw my mum screaming my name. I wasn't expecting her at the finish that was lovely to hug her straight after. Once I got into the tent Dean told me I got a sub 7 as we had to take off the 15 minutes seeing we started in the second wave. I mean I was pleased with 7.13 but was delighted that I did actually get that sub 7 I wanted. I took 61 minutes off last years time. What a result.
What a difference a year makes. Really enjoyed this race so much more than last year. I took it on and I smashed it in the style I wanted to. Over the moon with my result and feel confident for my long distance triathlon in August.