The Trip Over:
We flew out late on Aug 14th, the last flight from Perth to Vienna, Austria.
Having arrived in Austria the next day I noticed my bike had been badly damaged (a new one is coming so Allan there could be a bike for you haha!!) I didn't no what to do or how to talk the language. Lucky I managed to find a bike shop in Prague where i could speak to them and ordered in some parts. For the first 6 days it was just swimming in a pool where no one follows lanes or direction, and running in the smallest gym with a treadmill that is only set to 13km/hr.
Finally a week later my bike was fixed and we were on the move to Zell am see Austria.
OMG!! what an amazing place to race and visit. I still had a little over 7 days left where I could train and acclimatise to the heat and the massive hills.
Race week was huge with people from all over the world coming to compete, the feeling was amazing and breathtaking. Four days out the nerves hit hard, being involved in something so massive was so daunting, it was a feeling like no other.
2 days out from the race, was amazing with check in open... The most free goodies one can wish for, the parade of the nations as always the Aussies were nothing but loud and in full spirit. Dinner and a briefing to finish off the day before a well earned rest day.
Hope you enjoy my story, it is a little long though. so grab a coffee!!!
With almost no sleep at night, I managed to pull my self out of bed around 8am, so late for a race!!! I walked down to the bike area where I set up the bad girl.
When I exited there was no marking or signs directing us to enter for the swim, so as if the event its self wasn't enough they added in some extra difficulties. I managed to find the entrance as my wave was in the water and the cannon to explode in 90 sec. I only just made it. I seem to have this habit creeping into my morning routine!
Swim: What a brutal swim a tight and congested swim from start to finished, there was no room with legs and arms flying everywhere. To the point where I saw one person stop and punch another swimmer in the back! Was this what the worlds best are like or does it really mean that much to them? ... Either way I was thinking that this is going to be one long, hot and challenging day. 29 minutes later the swim was finished.
Happy with my swim time I exited the water and ran into transition, grabbed my bag ran through transition, found my bike and sprinted to the exit. "Nothing worse then having to collect bags and change in a tent, so much quicker having everything ready on the bike!!"
Bike: starting out in a good frame of mind, with the massive hill not too far away knowing I had concurred it just a few days before. We left in a group of about 6 across bridges and rail lines we finally hit the highway. Freedom at last after nearly 40 minutes of annoyance. 22km into the ride the legs were feeling good and I was feeling strong, holding the fastest 22km in my life of just 28 minutes (mainly downhill haha). It was time to begin the massive climb 18kms at 14% of pure punishment, with all the Europeans coming flying past. Finally I was at the top of the hill, 1 hr later it was time to descend, a very technical one at that. With my bike broken just days before I was a little nervous so coasted down the 15% decent and watch several guys go flying past and several go flying into the bush. At the 70km mark I was beat I didn't have a lot left in the tank and wanted it all to be over, normally this hits well into the run!!! 5km up the road there was a town (Kaprun) with screaming fans, big crowds and loud music I was ready to go again. So I picked up the pace again overtaking a European, who told me that he was going to do me in for an illegal pass, he had my race number and looked rather serious, so I hit the breaks and followed him until a could find a wider road and easier place to pass. Man these people were giving me the sugar nuts!!! 2 hrs and 39 the pain was over or was it just beginning??
Run: leaving transition, my legs were heaving as the heat really hit. A cool 35 degrees. For the first 5kms there was no aid station and no way I could cool myself down, but though the town I ran following another who had a similar pace. Down town was a different feeling seeing all the flags, the people and all the different nationalities it was a real booster. Finally I hit the aid station running through and grabbing nothing but water and sponges, I set off to the next one!!! Next part of the run (5kms) was around the lake with nice shadows and amazing scenery. Around the turn I felt finished the heat was too much, I had massive cramps and was once again ready to pass out. Some how with all the people around there was no time for stopping only slowing and before I knew it I was back in town turning around up another hill and cobblestone streets - somehow the crowds made all the pain go away until they were in my rear view mirror... I managed to find some Aussies along the 2nd lap so that helped finish off the run, all of us finished within 1 minute of each other so it was a great feeling. Finally up the cobblestone streets we ran again although this time it was the finish line, there were massive crowds, music, streamers, flags you name it, it was there. Running past the president of Tri Australia, who handed me a flag which went down the finishing chute with pride. OH BOY what a day, but glad it was over and I could enjoy some of the best of what Europe had to offer. Finishing in 5 hrs and 7 minutes, the 7th Aussie in my age group!! (3 of us within a minute of each other) and the 11th across the line out side of a European country! Needless to say I was rather happy with the efforts. There is some serious work to be done so hopefully Taiwan 70.3 can show some stronger improvements again.
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