Sunday, 21 April 2013

Julia Creek Dirt N Dust Triathlon - 1st

I’ve been racing at Julia Creek for 5 years now. I really feel like this event is something very different to what most expect from a triathlon in Australia. This is where I first raced again triathlon royalty Brad Bevan (aka The Croc) and was well and truly taken to school out on the course fishing 2nd to the man when I was just 17 years old. This year I was back and keen for win number 3 at the Julia Creek Dirt N Dust Triathlon.

I left Brisbane on Thursday with coach Steve Moss and fellow training partner Emma Jackson. After flying into Mt Isa we met up the Mt Isa Rats Triathlon squad and presented their juniors with their club shirts before heading out to the lake to hold a tri clinic with their adult squad. It was great to do a do a swim and run session with the club and hear about their own personal goals for the Dirt N Dust event and also for the rest of this season. 
After spending the night in Mt Isa we did a final tri clinic focusing on transitions before heading out to Julia Creek for the event the next day.

Due to a lack of rain the creek that the race is held in was really quite low. There was a lot of talk in the weeks leading up to the race if there would even be a swim. I was the test subject as after chatting with the TQ officials the swim leg was finally given the go ahead.

Race Day:
The race started early on Saturday morning with Emma and myself racking our bikes and heading to the swim start area by the 9:30am start time. I managed to get a great start and despite grabbing onto a few catfish while swimming emerged ready to start the cycle leg. The wind had really picked up and for the first 10 minutes or so I really struggled to average more than 34kph. The dry heat and the wind made for well and truly the toughest conditions I have ever faced at the event. It was a matter of putting you head down and having the ability to really hurt yourself in order to maintain your speed. Last year my average speed on the bike was 43kph even with a head/cross wind however this year I only managed 37.6kph. The evidence of how hard I rode was reflected in the read out of my Specialized Quark Power-meter, which showed an average of 400watts for the 25km ride.
Despite the riding hard I was keen to get off the bike and hit the run hard. The run consists of 3 laps up and down the main street of Julia Creek for a total of 5kms. Despite being protected by the buildings in town the head wind was still present and with the hot conditions it made for a tough run. 
I really pushed hard and finished off a tough day coming across the line 1st to take my 3rd consecutive Julia Creek Dirt N Dust Triathlon title. Even after riding so hard I managed a 16:31 for the final 5km run which is a great sign that I am getting stronger running off a hard bike ride.
It was also great to see Emma Jackson win her 2nd title in a row at the event and have the support of my coach Stephen Moss as well.

It’s a quick turnaround now as I’m now heading to St Anthony’s in Florida, USA for this coming weekends race. With 90 Professionals racing the racing is going to be hard and fast. 


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