Thursday, April 16, 2009

Mar28 - Mooloolaba Triathlon 2009

Approaching its seventeenth year the Mooloolaba Triathlon Festival is an annual three-day celebration of multi-sport events, hospitality, entertainment and lifestyle products, all supporting Australia`s second largest triathlon event.
The numerous swimming, running and cycling activities encourage local participation, providing competition options for people of all skill and ability levels. Furthermore, the festival attracts interstate competitors, bringing the nations best athletes together in a fun and vibrant atmosphere, to swim, bike, run and party.

With my expired driving license, I was unable to rent a car for this big trip but thankfully a colleague was racing as well, so “tumpang”. Phew! It was a 2 hr journey up to the Sunshine Coast, closer than Noosa though. Directions was easy to follow with easy road signages. I didn’t know that there was a Underwater World up north. I’ve always thought it was only at Gold Coast.

Australian beaches are always beautiful. With no rubbish in sight, compared to “others” ;p Dedicated safety zones are marked with lifeguards keeping a closed eye. I can’t say I’ve ever went into the sea before (other than racing). I’ve always found the water too cold while the sand was too hot.

Since it’s a tourist attraction, shops & restaurants was not to be missed. This is also one of the best spots for family outing with caravan designated parking spots for the “outback” experience.

I was kinda ‘kiasu’ about my accommodation. I had a bad experience the last time I raced in Noosa (another tourist attraction). Last minute booking of accommodation during peak season will cause heart-attack. Plus majority of these apartments/resorts demand a minimum of 2 night stays. So once the date of the race was announced, last year, I quickly booked a room closest to the starting line at a reasonable price. Newport apartment was only 5minutes walk away with 2single & 1double bed & kitchenette for $195.

I shared the room with 2 ladies (whom I’ve never met before) but from another triathlon club. Aussies trust each other. They cooked up a carbo dinner of pasta with tuna, avocados, tomatoes & cheese. Yummmyyy…I even asked for seconds. Okawari!!

Registration & bike check-in was textbook. I was glad that it was a river swim rather than the sea. It’s difficult trying to swim when each time u turn your head to breathe, the waves hit u. The weather was crazy. It rained for 10 minutes, then sunny, then cold wind.

The expo organisation was pretty unique. Rather than having it in a tent, it was located at the side along the road that we were gonna raced on. My sliver was dripping with the number of stuff that I had in my wislist, but there was a lock over my wallet to prevent me from spending. Triathlon is an expensive sport. U just wanna keep upgrading.

Triumph sponsored, Emma Snowsil, also Beijing Olympic winner (sorry wrong spelling above) graced us with her presence for an autograph session. I wasn’t that hyper about it coz I’ve already taken a picture with her at Noosa.

I was ecstatic that my name was printed on the bib. Plus it was a great motivation as the supporters would cheer out for you. I was like “huh? Wat? Who calling me?” :p

Swim (1.5km)
Changed from the sea to the river. Woohoo!!! The surfs were huge. And I sucked at sea swim. It was a comfy swim but I think it's time to evaluate where I should park myself in the crowd. I always stayed the back coz I didn't want anyone to swim over me. But also had to suffer from the slower ones in front. I had to actually breaststroke in the start.

Transition Area
Big parking lot with men divided into age group while women only 2 categories : <25yrs>25years. But the biggest complain was that I had to run 800m from the Swim Out. It really hurt running barefoot on tar road at the same time trying not to land on ur heel. I was cringing. My 1st time wearing my new triathlon skirt (works as my race belt as well).

Cycling (40km)
Rolling hills until we hit the highway. Loooovee the flat surface. Just spinning away. Rain pelted against my face. I felt like i was zooming until the u-turn. After making that turn, I spoke too soon. Headwind for nearly 20km. Had to put in extra effort to push myself. I did my feet-out-of-shoes transition that I practiced, but lost my grip of the bike (after getting off it), the bike fell. I accidentally kicked the bike, barefoot. Received a bruised on my toe.

Run (10km)
Starting of the run was uphill. Then dooowwwnnn...then flat, then u-turn. Then upppp..then u-turn. Wonderful isn't it. They had to give the u-turn on top of the hill. I maintain pace the whole way. Never felt soo high over gel. Really a boast of energy. On my last lap back, after hitting the hill, I sprinted towards the finish line.

My target was sub3. This was my 3rd OD Tri. When I crossed the finished line, my watched said 3hrs 1min. U've seriously gotta be kidding me!!! I put the blame to the distance between the swim & transition area. But then, I wanted it to be at the river. *Sniff sniff* Oh well, more training & better luck next time.

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