Race 1 of 3 – 27/07/2014
The 1st Triathlon race of the year was finally upon me and to add to the angst, it was a draft legal sprint race (1km swim, 30km bike and 10km run). That always means there is no room for error from the moment the gun goes, so mentally I was prepping for an hour and a bit of maximum heart rate. Nontheless, I was eager to see if the winter-training thus far benefited me in any way, and if all the tri kit and wetsuits still fit!
We arrived at the Durban beachfront Suncoast Casino to great weather and fairly calm seas, so the scene was set for some fast action. First off was the junior guys racing a short mini triathlon, then the athletes for the sprint triathlon lined up (600m swim, 20km bike and 5km swim) and finally it was time for the Challenge Triathlon to commence. The swim was a very straight forward 1 km swim with about 200m to the 1st bouy, followed by a left turn and 600 meters towards bouy nr. 2 and then a left turn again (200m) to lead us to the beachfront. The surf was quite big going in and I was totalled a few times before finally finding my rhythm. That caused me to miss the lead group of 4 guys steaming out in front, but eventually we settled into a nice group and completed the swim without much issues.
We ran into T2 as the second group, just as the lead group set off on on the bike leg. Unfortunately for us slower swimmers, the lead group included strong bikers like Donovan van Gelder and Brad Venter, which meant that in this drafting format the chances of us ever catching them wasn’t great. Nontheless, we formed a fairly nice group of about 5 to 6 guys and started the 6 lap bike ride around the Moses Mabhida cycle track. For many a Durban cyclist/triathlete this specific route is well known as regular weekly bike rides find their way around this track. The 31,8km bike leg went very quick and before long it was time to start thinking about T2 and my favourite leg – the RUN. Unfortunately, only I rocked up for the run, with my legs deciding to stay on the bike. I managed to run a 38:17 10km (actual distance 10,20km) which was disappointing as I regularly posted few sub 36min 10km’s recently. With everything done and dusted, I finished in 6th position overall. Considering who the 5 guys ahead of me were, all with whom I regularly interact and train, I was content.
All in all Tinman Tri was a great experience – it is truly a triathlon for all levels of athletes and definitely a welcoming platform for any newbies due to its format, as well as the profile of the course – which by the way is flat, flat and a bit more flat.
Speedwork now commences for me, with the focus shifting to 5150 BELA BELA in August. From then on racing will be in full swing for the rest of the year!
Happy racing to everyone!
Follow me @frankANDHIStank while I race as EnduroHub ambassador.