TreX Port Stephens with Tom Fisher
Port Stephens, 21 September 2019
Race morning was pretty windy, and the swell was up. This meant a tough swim. I would have to focus on my entries and exits where critical time could be made up through timing the waves. After a short jog and some dynamic stretches, I suited up and made my way down to the swim start. The starting music began and they started to call us one by one to the line. This is one of my favourite parts of racing; it really gets the adrenalin going and the mind focused on the race.
The gun went off and I made a pretty good start out through the breakers. I was struggling to hold the lead pack so I dropped back and drafted someone knowing I needed to save myself for what was going to be a tough 1km swim.
After taking in a few mouthfuls of saltwater and getting knocked around a bit by the swell I finally finished the swim. I managed to catch another competitor in the long 300m run to T1 where after a quick assessment of transition I knew I was sitting in 5th. The bike course proved to be pretty quick as it was mainly fire trail and gravel roads. This was a bit of a disappointment to me as I enjoy the technical single track which can give me an advantage over my other competitors. The legs felt a bit tired after the tough swim but I focused on maintaining my cadence and powering over the hills, allowed me to maintain my position of 5th
After a pretty quick T2, I was onto my run leg. The legs were feeling quite fatigued by this stage and it was really starting to warm up. I decided to back it off a tad and focus on getting comfortable, as I knew there was a lot of tough sand running ahead. Finally, after 3km of steep undulating sand running I came across the first drink station. After another 3km of draining sand running and rock hopping came to the final 2km on the beach which was tough due to the high tide forcing me to either run in the shallow water or the soft sand. Running through the water seemed to end up being the easiest option!
I finally crossed the line in 5th place; I was a tad dehydrated as I’d not anticipated it to be quite so warm
Overall, I am pretty happy with my result of 5th, as I went into it to see where I sat being the first time racing open elites. Of course, I would have preferred a faster swim, obviously I need to get out in the ocean a bit more, try some training in rough swells. Overall it was great fun, and definitely one of the hardest courses I’ve raced. The road trip was fun too! See you at Bendigo in November.