Team Race Reports (Murry Bridge)May 26, 2022
The best start to the morning with really great conditions, with some normal race nerves I did my best to change some though processors to create a positive vision to focus on during the race, everyone had a great swim, we still need to focus on transition there is no time for a tea break during this time, socks, suncream, having a drink or even a gel? NO its a waste of time and unnecessary even for a 70.3 if you need socks your not training without socks conditioning your feet for these longer runs, in high sigh every one really dug deep and gave it there all I don’t think anyone could off done any better considering the conditions, well-done team now back to business for the local races before Christmas.
My focus for the past three weeks has been prepping for the Murray Bridge 70.3. Longer rides and runs had challenged my body, but I felt prepared enough. Had a positive mindset. Ready to go.
The weather forecast for Sunday was not favourable… hot and windy!… But will be, will be. I stayed in Murray Bridge the night before to ensure sufficient sleep.
On waking, I made my green smoothie, packed the car and headed to the course. After registering and setting up the tent with Aaron, we found out there were no Open Females registered! There was an opportunity to race for cash! So, after a nudge from Aaron, I re-registered as an Open competitor. (Let’s do this!)
Once numbers were written on my arm, the bike was racked, gear setup with stickers attached to helmet and bike, it was time for a quick warm-up with Aaron and Lyn. The water looked good to race – it was flat, overcast and not hot. It was going to be a great day.
Being an Open competitor (1 of only 5 females and 6 males), it meant I had the sweet luxury of swimming off in the first wave. Woohoo. Clean water and the chance to sit on faster swimmers’ hips. Yay!
The swim was great. I took off at pace, chasing down the guys. I sat on Aaron’s feet for a bit until I felt we could go harder, so I took over and chased the quicker guys down. Two laps of the course and I almost caught one of the guys.
Transition out of the water was clunky, with a slippery mud bank and a trot across the road with jelly legs. I had trouble finding my zipper cord (again), so the head-start I got on Aaron from beating him in on the swim was quickly swallowed up. I slipped on my socks and headed off for the bike leg. (After painful blisters and bleeding sore feet at the end of last year’s Murrayman, I was not going to go sockless this time!)
The ride was a 5-lap T-shaped loop starting with a hill-climb at the start of each lap! Clicking through the gears on the first lap, I got ready to settle into a rhythm when I missed a turn (! OH no! No marshals at the corner!) doing an extra block. (grr!) Both Aaron and I made this error, but we both quickly got back on track and headed out to the first turnaround.
The roads were not perfect, quite rough, with spoon drains and gravel. Some stretches of road were okay to ride, with the wind behind you – with others not so good, with the wind sideways or into a headwind. On lap 2 and 3 I could see two of the other female Open competitors dragging me in! (70.3s are a cyclists race LOL) At Lap 3 I was caught by the first female. As the laps clicked I took in my hydration and nutrition as planned – a bottle of Infinit, a bottle of salted water, some Nutella sandwich and some salty crackers. (Due to my small bike size I can only carry 2 smaller bidons, so I was concerned due to the heat that I may not have enough hydration, so I made sure I stretched it out to the last bike lap.)
I loved the fly back into the transition area, doing another good leg-through dismount. Here I put on my shoes and grabbed my Infinit nutrition for the 4-lap run course – and so it began … 4 seasons in one day!!
As the 21.1k run progressed, we went from windy and overcast, to dark clouds, thunder, lightning, a shower of heavy rain, followed by humidity, topped off with extreme heat.
Lap 1 sucked. It was tough to get a rhythm on the undulating, multi-surface run course. From footpath to pavers, to pot-holed carpark, to grass, to gravel train-track, and back – then mud, more grass, goat-track and return. It was tough going. I aimed to start out slow as instructed by Aaron and to ensure I kept up my hydration I walked through each drink station, taking in water to balance my sickly sweet Infinit. My pace was a little too fast on the outset, so to keep the heart rate in check, on Lap 2 I spaced out the walking to the longer grassy areas that were hard to navigate and concentrated on running on the paths and hard surfaces.
“I know it hurts! Just Get It Done!” was the command from Aaron as we crossed paths. This was my mantra for the remainder of the race. Yes, it hurt. Yes, it sucked. My goal of ‘not walking this race’ was scrapped very early on. I just had to get it done. As the rain hit, the heat and humidity hit even harder. With about 8kms to go, I was in “just get it done” mode. It was then I decided to run/walk/run to the end. (Run for two cones, walk for one, and repeat.) I grabbed ice whenever it was offered, either putting some in my mouth or putting in my suit. The volunteers were offering sprays of water, ice, ice water, and lots of encouragement along the way. I passed many who were doing it tough. I took in water or electrolytes at every aid station to ensure I did not crash out – and on the final lap, took a cup of coke. OMG, it tasted so good. Once back on the footpath I pushed what little I had left to the finish chute! I did it. My second 70.3 under the toughest conditions I have ever experienced. The final time of 6hrs 31mins (Only 30mins slower than Murrayman!! OMG not a bad effort).
Well done to Lyn and Aaron too – we were a team depleted by the end of it. xx
The Murraybridge Sufferfest lived up to its name. It had everything, a hilly course, 40c, very windy, thunderstorm on the bike and again on the run, high humidity, and then intense heat when the clouds moved on.
The swim was great. No salt! I managed to draft for 3/4 of the course and came out feeling good. Then, the shortest transition run ever! OK I’ve got this.
The bike started well, despite the hills, and thankfully there was a bit of cloud cover. But I wasn’t enjoying the hills or the spoon drains that I hit too fast on the first lap, note to self, slow down for these. It was a grind, mentally taxing, but I kept pushing through the heat, wind and then rain and wind again, With 5km to go, I started to cramp in both legs going up hills, I’ve never had this before, and had to walk a few times and reduce speed. Would I ever finish? Finally off the bike.
I took time in Transition to recollect myself and apply sunscreen. I considered finishing then but would give the run a go. It was so hot, then the clouds came with thunder and lightning and a sudden downpour. It was a relief to be cooled and helped keep my walk/shuffle going. Now it was very humid.
At the halfway mark, I fought with myself to keep going. There were still quite a few on course and we were all slowing and walking. I too had to slow right down. Everyone was encouraging each other and that helped a lot. Ice was my best friend.
The final lap began and I decided to just walk it. I was so hot and tired. However, with 5km to go, I suddenly had severe cramps in both calves and couldn’t move due to intense pain. I knew my race was over. Special thanks to the Lollipop traffic man who came to my aid and drove me to the ambos. Big thanks to them too. Many thanks to Aaron for helping collect my gear and Amanda for taking care of me afterwards.
Big lessons learned today but I gave it all I had.
I haven’t swum since March so entering in this event was really only for the experience. My swim was 500m which surprisingly went fairly well, I wasn’t last, but at the back of the field where I knew I would be. I took my time and didn’t rush. The transition was good. Had thought I’d try riding and running without socks but changed my mind. The ride was comfortable until the first turnaround. I changed to a harder gear to power out of the turn and to pass someone in front of me. I choose a too harder gear, turned into a headwind and slight rise. It slowed me a little. I still had some water near the end so I finished that off, maybe too much all at once. I found this out when I started my run. I felt bloated and uncomfortable, maybe I had drunk some water during my swim also. Apart from this, I enjoyed the run, stopping only at the drink station to tip water over my head. It was a fun day. Did have to leave after my event so sorry I didn’t get a chance to catch up with anyone afterwards.