OK… Well, It was far from my season best… But then again, I learnt again that my swimming is not where It needs to be yet.
This past weekend, RSA boys and a few internationals descended apon Port Elizabeth for the SA triathlon Championships/ ITU Premium African Cup.
With the likes of
“Fredric Belaubre” http://www.triathlon.org/athletes/profile/frederic_belaubre/
Franz Loekschke http://www.triathlon.org/athletes/profile/11095/franz_loeschke/
and Etienne Diemunch there was a strong field at hand.
I managed a strong performance at SA Sprint champs http://wp.me/pWVZ1-hx a month ago and was thus keen to have a good showing in P.E
A great taper week saw me fresh and ready to deliver pain on the fine day this past sunday. With a short flight with Anton Ruanova to P.E and a drive with the BSG Elite team to our accommodation at the Garden Court , all seemed rosy !
One slight issue was that my bicycle didn’t arrive due to our flight being loaded to the maximum, and this didn’t sit too well with me.
The past few years my bike hasnt pitched up to P.E and It is quite hard to focus when your not sure If you will need to go bike hunting the evening before the event.
With no swimming kit or bike, I put on my Puma’s and hit out a run with dubstep blasting my eardrums to pieces to get the negativity out a bit..
Luckily my bike arrived just before race briefing at 4pm and I had piece of mind the day before the event.
My mind was not really in a racing mood on race day, and I think this may have cost me dearly when our race was under way.
My KTM all ready and my mind as close to ready as I could get it, we set out down to the race venue at 11am after I had moved out of my accom. With my parents Leslie and Neville making the drive from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth I had the best support any athlete could have asked for 🙂
My pre race warm up and preparations went smoothly and I was soon on my way down to the 20.3degree “non wetsuit” water along with 23 other athletes.
The swim showed me that my open water skill is not up to scratch as I only managed to hang on to the front swimmers until the 2nd bouy, and I was really battling to find direction in the water.
From here on, I realized that my event was pretty much over, as NO front pack means a suffer fest on the bicycle. Managing to catch onto Christopher Felgate’s feet for the 2nd lap on the swim, I still managed to gain some open water experience in 🙂
Out on the bike I heard that I was 1min down to the front guys which were a bunch of around 6-8 guys. I then knew that I was going to need to ride like an animal not too loose too much time on the bike leg………I never knew I would end up doing a 40km TT “time trial”
ON my KTM bike I got into a good rhythm but noticed that I was staying away from the small pack behind containing Rudolf Naude , Chris and Hendrik De Villers .
Not falling back and cycling with the chase pack cost me the race, not really my poor swim on the day. I was feeling strong on the bike and I decided to go alone and hold my 40sec gap onto the run ahead of the other athletes in the chase pack.
On the bike I needed to take a jel, BUT I forgot that I can’t take a jel while sitting in the TT position due to my stomach having issues with Jels…
As I finished the bike and I dismounted , I realized that I was going to have cramps on the run as my stomach was in knots from the word go.
My 1st km on the run was done at around 4-5min/km and I was not happy with how things had turned out for me… With extreme stomach pains although my legs felt like they were capable of CANING out 3/min km’s I made the hard decision of putting out.
I have noticed a pattern at the start of my season…… Small field, GOOD front swimmers.. I miss the field in the swim . This then relates to having to work like an animal on the bike not to lose too much time, and then I use a jel due to the hard bike and get scramps due to the amount of sugar .
This is something I realize happens, and thus I look forward to a bigger field and improving my swim till I don’t lose that front pack in the swim.
I realise this post is quite in-depth , but I feel like knowing the problem is half the battle and the other part is fixing what is wrong..
Well done to friend, Franz , who won the event and to Fredric who claimed 2nd .. The most impressive result of the day will need to go to my BSG team-mate and soon to be training partner Wian Sullwald http://www.triathlon.org/athletes/profile/30579/wian_sullwald/ who claimed 3rd place in his 1st Olympic Distance event with the big guns !!
My next week and a bit will be spent working on my open water skills and will be spent in Pretoria. Following event will be just as tough but in paradise “Mauritius” .. The African Triathlon Championships will take place on the 31st March and this will be a very important event for me. I shall not be using jels EVER again, and will instead be using energy bars, as I find my body can digest them better..
A shot out goes to all the supporters and my ma and pa for coming to watch/shout for us this past sunday, it makes the race that bit more enjoyable 🙂
Till African champs….. Richard shall be smashing himself !!
Peace out **