It’s been a month since I competed in another bucket list race, the Noosa Triathlon. This race happened in early November. If you don’t know where Noosa is, write it down as its one of the places you need to visit before you die. I heard that and that’s why I decided to go there and then I was lucky enough to get in with an international entry, and I just really wanted to do it!
Before I get to the race: I need to say that Noosa is my favorite place to be. It’s like being in a bubble but a bubble I don’t want to burst. It’s located on the sunshine coast of Australia with a beautiful climate and stunning beaches but more importantly beautiful people. Just go there and experience it.
The race itself was part of a huge event which took place over several days. It included time trials, some swims and some charity races and some fun legend of triathlon races. Did you know that this race is officially the biggest Olympic distance race in the world?
Race day – hot day
So Sunday was the day where I got up at 4am. It was only my 3rd OD ever and I felt like it’s going to be a loooong day in the office. 3:20 was my idea of a predicted finishing time.
My start wave was scheduled for 8:20a.m. In Europe that time would be perfect but in Noosa it meant that I would be running around lunch time. To give you a translation: late 20 or 30s Celsius. The weather forecast was not too good and I was expecting rain. Well, never trust the forecast as it turned out to be the hottest day ever.
Swim like Dory – just keep swimming….
I was worried, I would lie if I said I felt confident. A non-wetsuit race with a swim skin which I had not put on for the last two years. At 8:20a.m. sharp the sound of a horn indicated that it was go time. Water temperature was great. It felt like I was swimming forever. I was trying to find some feet I could use to draft but that attempt was 100% without success. I guess about 300m into the race while swimming a long stretch parallel to the beach I suddenly felt a burn on my elbow. I ignored it but all of a sudden I felt it somewhere else and then I saw those little jelly fish. I was not happy but what to do. As Dory likes to say. „Just keep swimming”. I felt it would have been at least 45minutes but the official time was around 32minutes swim time.
Out of the water running over to the transition. It’s a bit of a run but lots of spectators cheering made it easy. I need to work on my transition time. No comment on that time.
Bike – OMG how good can a ride feel?
I knew the course as I kinda rode it days before. It’s more or less flattish with a little 3km climb, Called Garmin Hill, it’s a nice hill, not a mountain but this does not mean it’s an easy course. My ride was great, out of the transition on the bike it felt good. I was still carful and did not go crazy with overtaking as I was worried with the narrow road. Those countless roundabouts and speedbumps at the begin of the course were not really my cup of tea. My scariest moment was for sure the moment where a lady who passed me lost here complete water system right in front of my wheel. Nothing happened and so I was looking forward to Garmin Hill. Being too careful at the beginning I then just felt amazing and took off like a flash. The Hill I took way, waaaaaay too easy. At the top I carefully tried to go back into the big ring and the unexpected happened: chain off and stuck. Off the bike, pulled chain out and back on and off I was again. About 7km left until the turning point. Safe to say, that I overtook most of the guys who overtook me on the hill. Noosa has one steep decent where I hit the 80km/h mark on the way back. Somehow I managed a decent bike ride and 1:15h later I was back in Noosa and started the unavoidable…..
10km run in the heat
On my way out of T2 I heard my coach Justin and just thought – you can’t walk now so so better run. 10km run which I split into aid-station to aid-station. Not one second I felt good. I suffered all the way. Water kept me alive. Water, water and more water. Over my head, in my mouth in my shirt. I just needed to be cooled down. I knew the course well and I was soooo relieved when getting to the roundabout where I could have turned right to go home to the Grangers and have cold water and a cuddle with the dogs, or turn and finish the last 5km. Of course I turned and finally crossed the finish with 3:01 in the books. Never thought I would come close to 3hrs, let alone a sub 3. After crossing the line I sat in the river to cool down and just felt amazing. I am glad I was not told before that there were sharks in it:-)
As it was my last day in Australia I spend a quiet but perfect evening with my friends but what I have heard this place is amazing with afterrace parties. Lots of drinks and fun are out there thats for sure.
I would like to thank everyone who made this place sooo special to me. Belinda and Justin with their doggies as well as Trum with family gave me just the warmest welcome to their homes. Thanks so much.
I JUST LOVE THIS PLACE and RACE!
Like my Austrian fellow Arnie likes to say I’ll be back!