34 degrees celsius and an 11:45 am start time meant that it would truly be a day where surviving the elements was as important as swimming, biking and running.
After a chaotic warmup, I toed the line and ran head first into the choppy surf. The first 200 meters of the swim was hectic. I put my head down and hoped I'd come out ahead on the other side. I found myself sitting in third for the first lap of the swim and although I fell back to 8th by the end of the second lap, I had a smooth transition and was comfortably in the front pack on the bike. I rode with the group of 9 for the 40k bike and did the best I could to hydrate and expend the least amount of energy possible. I came into T2 6th wheel but had the fastest transition and found myself out on the run in the lead. My coach had warned me before the race that I needed to build the run because of the heat, so I was trying to heed his advice, but unfortunately did a poor job at that. About 1.5k into the run I got a terrible side stitch and spent the rest of the 40k running until the cramp forced me to walk and then repeating the pattern.
Obviously, the finish placing was not as high as I would had hoped for, but there is a lot for me to be proud of, as I can already see massive improvements in many of the areas we have been working hard on.
Now, it is back to work as the Mooloolaba World Cup is just around the corner on March 29th.