30th Annual Alice Springs Masters Games: Individual Sprint Triathlon

Pre-Race

7 Days before todays triathlon I competed in the Ironman World Championship. For the week leading up to the IMWC, I gained nearly 4kgs of water weight including 2 days of carbo-loading consisting primarily of highly refined carbohydrates. During the race I consumed a few thousand calories of Coke, RedBull, and Gels. After the race, the unhealthy food began with pizza, pork, ice cream, and beer. The next day at the awards banquet, 3 more beers, meat, and chicken. Then it was a 3:30AM wakeup to hitch a flight back to Australia where I drank more than a bottle of champagne in the United Lounge, 3 wines in-flight, and more unhealthy food like pastries. After arriving in Alice, I woke up at 4:45AM the next day for the Duathlon where I put out my highest power output in any local race. Up at 4:45AM again the next day as I was volunteering for the ASMG 10K run, a full day of work, and then bed around 10pm. I started to feel the nigglings of a cold before going to bed and the next morning woke up to the runs; not a surprise, my body just underwent the most grueling one day endurance event in the world, was stretched to its max in one of the hardest Ironman races in the world, and then I continued to demand more of it with lack of sleep, traveling half way around the world, and early rises. But the ASMG were here and I had the following goals: Win Gold & the overall competition and push as hard as I could for the entire race.

Race Day

4:45am wake up for the 3rd day in a row. 2 pieces of white toast with butter, half a banana, and ARO w/ 200mg of caffeine. 30minutes before the race I had a pack of 200calorie Clif Shot Bloks. (I didn’t need this for an hour race and new glycogen stores were already maxed but just wanted some additional energy).

We drove the bikes 10min over to the ASALC. (Town Council allowed me to maintain my race entry). Rack the bike and keep it simple: towel on ground, running shoes with elastic laces (no socks), visor on ground, and bike shoes on bike although I forgot rubber bands to keep them level. I had water in my XLAB torpedo and Garmin was on, ready to go. Rudy Wing57 on seat and sunnies on rear hydration system.

There were 3 waves and Fiona and I were in the 2nd. The 750m swim (up from 600m from the previous masters games) was held inside the 25m indoor pool since the pool was 20C and the morning was quite cold. My vote was for outdoor pool but believed that it worked out for the best inside.

Swim 750m: 11:44 (2nd position)

The 1st wave hadn’t finished before we started. Fiona and I swam in lane 7 with another swimmer from the prior wave. I told her to swim in a circle until the athlete left the pool but after 50 meters, Fiona and I nearly hit head-on.  The athlete finished and then we had the lane for 2 and stuck to one side. I wore my Australian Sleeved Tri-suit that I wore in Kona and was quite anaerobic for the first 200meters but tried to relax, remain calm, with long strokes. I hit 250m in 3:47. The next 250m in 3:59, and then the final 250m in 3:58. Out of the water in 11:44 and happy to be beating my wifey. Pace: 1:34/100m w/ 10strokes/length. Penny Ried was in front for sure; she is an outstanding swimmer and coach.

Out the side door, run to T1. HR on 150bpm nearly at threshold. 1:13 in and out.

Bike 20KM: 29:45 at 24.9mph (40.1kph). 149HR, 301NP, 84%IF, 90RPM

Feet on pedals and turn at the end of carpark. Down speed street and slip feet into shoes. Gap Rd turn, hammertime. Those first 5mintues while much lower than FTP of 357 were on 313watts. I passed Penny as I came onto the Stuart Highway. Then, down the stuart to Tom Brown and out towards the airport. I was feeling good but HR was very high on 150-152. (LTHR was 152, so I knew I was working really hard). I tried to bring down the HR but relaxing while trying to maintain the power. The turnaround ended up being on the Stuart Highway vs the side road which I was happy about. On the way back I counted Fiona two minutes back and in 2nd position now behind me with Penny in 3rd.

The headwind slowed me down now to around 38kph as I had averaged nearly 44kph on the way out. As I entered the Gap, a rider from the prior wave was nearly already there. I couldn’t bridge in time and had to sit up, out of the draft since this was a no-pass zone. I lost a ton of speed there and my HR declined over 1min12s from 149 to 123. Out of the gap I made the pass hitting 719 watts and holding 354watts for 1min power.

asmg-tri

Down Gap Rd I was doing my best to maintain a high power/speed and with feet on top of shoes dismounted with a sub 30min at over 40kph.

Run 5KM: 21:08

A 47second T2 and out onto the run I go for the out and back course. I really wanted to work hard but didn’t know what I could do. I held an avg HR of 150, increasing it from 153 to 159 over the last 2 minutes thanks to the motivation of Debbie Page and her music she brought down specifically to cheer us on. Thanks Deb!!!

There were adequate water stops (3) and great volunteers on course. I just did my best to keep my cadence high which was still only 171. But was happy with my mile splits of 6:51, 7:00, 6:53.

Conclusion

I reached my goals by working as hard as I could and winning the event outright in 1:04:37 which is my fastest ever official Sprint Triathlon and a PB! I was faster in the pool and bike than the ASMG’14 but didn’t improve over that time of 1:02:05 because that was a 600m swim. So adding 2:21 for the extra swimming distance and a longer T1 distance, I believe I could have broken 1:02.

Thank you to Deanne Ward and Jason Dawson who were the Sports Coordinators for both this and the duathlon. Having Race Directed many times in the past, I understand how much time and effort goes into this so thank you for putting on the race and allowing me to measure myself. Additional thanks to the other volunteers out on course and everyone that supported to make the event safe and successful.

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2 responses to “30th Annual Alice Springs Masters Games: Individual Sprint Triathlon

  1. Awesome wrap up mate. You describe it so well that I literally feel like I’m in the pool on the bike and with you on the run!! Enjoy the VERY well deserved rest now!! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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