The swim start was split into two waves – the first at 7:15am and the second at 7:20am. The swim was at Ellingham Lake, and consisted of a single clockwise loop. Fortunately the water temperature wasn’t too cold, at 17 degrees. The swim quickly separated into two packs, and I found myself at the front of the second pack, losing touch with the early leaders. Upon exiting the water in approximately 21 minutes, I had already given up close to 5 minutes on first group.
Once on the bike, I was determined to make up lost ground, and overtook 5 people within the first few miles. As the bike leg progressed, I continued to make good progress. Feeling confident, I reeled more athletes in. I had the third fastest bike leg of the day, in 2h30m19s, and upon exiting transition, realised I was in 4th place.
Starting the run I kept telling myself to relax, as it’s easy to get carried away at the beginning. I soon passed an athlete, and found myself in 3rd place, in contention for a good overall placing. Despite the numerous hills on the run course, I paced myself well, and felt comfortable for the first 45 minutes. At that point, I could see the athlete in 2nd place, roughly 45 seconds ahead of me. For the next 15 minutes, the time gap between us didn’t diminish, and I started thinking that I might not catch him. With 1.5 miles to go, I could see both athletes ahead of me, and knew that if I was going to get the result I wanted, I’d have to be willing to hurt for it. I put in one final effort, and they started to get closer. With 1 mile to go, I passed both athletes, and didn’t look back until I had 50m to the finishing chute.
I’d finished the run in 1hr14m36s, the second fastest run of the day, and finished the race in 4h07m52s. Upon crossing the line, I was elated with the result. Coming into the race, I thought a top 5 finish would be a great, and hadn’t placed too much pressure on myself. With this being my first ever win, it was a special day, and an experience I’ll remember forever.
With the win came victory in the 18-24 age-group category, and my first place prize, a limited edition framed photo from a local artist, engraved ‘One Last Tri - Winner 2009’.