In November Aloha’s were lucky enough to travel to Lake Crackenback in The Snowy Mountains of New South Wales, Australia, to compete in the World Cross Triathlon Championships.
Our team of four (myself Tony Evans, Virginie Bernard, Belinda Hadden and the Boss Renata Bucher) made the eight hour road trip from Geelong a week before race day and enjoyed the extra time to acclimatize to the altitude and practice on the course. It was my first World Champs and a huge honour to represent my country and the Aloha Racing team. We all attended the Opening Ceremony on Thursday night which included a parade of Nations and the reading of the Athletes Oath – this great honour was given to our own Renata.
By race day we were jumping out of our skins…. ready.
The age group women raced first on Friday afternoon and Virginie inspired us all by winning Bronze in very hot conditions in 35-39 age group.
The age group men raced in perfect conditions on Saturday morning. My age group 45-49 is one of the biggest and we were wave 4 at 8.06am. Everything felt great from the gun. I found clear water and was comfortable around both 750m laps of the lake and swam a respectable 23 minutes before completing two laps of the 15km mountain bike course. The course is not particularly technical but you are on the pedals the whole time. No chance of recovery with slippery downhills and tight single track punctuated with a couple of short and sharp climbs. I managed to stick with some stronger riders a couple of times and finished the bike leg in a reasonable position and feeling like there was a little bit left in the tank for the run. The run was brutal! Three laps totalling 10km – consisting of some subtle uphills, a river run, doubled over through a tunnel, numerous rocky obstacles and rough terrain. I ran consistently for 3 x 22 minute laps and was happy to finish in 3hrs 7min for 16th place.
Come Saturday afternoon and it was time for the Elites.
We had Lizzie pushing hard for 5th and Belinda and Renata crossing the line, hand in hand, for 10th and 11th.
I feel so lucky to have been able to train and race and learn so much from these amazing ladies.