Rockingham Sprint Triathlon

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Caitlin and Catherine pre-race
Race 2 of the Sunsmart Series, the City of Rockingham triathlon, was a winning day for all who participated and supported. The F4L Triathlon Coaching Team athletes competing included me (Caitlin Stanley), Clancy Quick, Catherine Daly, Kendall Walker, Helen Jones, Martin Cope, James Berry, Eleta Ronson, David Corcoran, Sharnie Gater, Carlya Bell and Ashley Slocum. The weather was warm, the sky clear blue and the water a warm 24 degrees. The course, a fairly flat and well laid out one, was a pleasure to complete. The 750m swim was a non-wetsuit swim due to the temperature of the water (this made Martin grumpy!), although it felt a bit chilly to start with. The ocean was calm and clear, perfect for a swim. My wave went off at 8:00am and as soon as the horn sounded it was every triathlete for themselves as we raced to the first buoy. Once past the buoy, the lead group broke away and I found a sustainable rhythm, completing my swim in 15 minutes. As I was just off the back of the main group the pace they set gave me a clear goal for the swim. “Catch them!” Although I didn’t succeed the great pace set gave me a strong start to the race. Then through transition (T1: 41sec) - thank goodness for all the practice sessions Coach Paul had us doing!
Martin on his Bianchi
Martin on his Bianchi
On the bike I focused on setting an equally good pace. The weather was slowly warming up but remained just cool enough for the rest of the race. Most of the course was straight with a few corners near the end of the first turn around point. The course was a 10km loop meaning 2 laps were needed to complete the required distance. As I set off on my first lap, my focus was on technique while keeping up my speed. This was my first race on tri bars (thank you Julie), which was quite exciting. Throughout the 20km stretch, I saw a number of fellow F4L team mates such as Catherine, Martin and Helen. Coming back towards transition there was a slight head wind requiring a little more legwork. Toward the end of my second lap someone travelling a touch too close saw me wobble and take a fall. Not a great thing to have happen but once the chain was back on I recovered my focus. Now, I look at the event as a learning curve, something everyone will go through when racing and if not falling off your bike then it might be some other unexpected event. All ended well and I was able to complete this leg in 36mins 55sec.
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Helen in full flight on the run!
Out of T2 (34sec) and onto the final leg. I enjoyed the layout of the run course; with transition in the middle of the leg it was a matter of running out in one direction and back in from the opposite one. It made it a little more interesting. I always find the run the hardest leg and this course layout helped me to split the 5kms into smaller sections. I just focused on completing one-section at a time, making it more bearable. The heat of the day was up by now but it wasn’t the worst I’ve run in and I was able to complete it in 25mins 14 sec. Once into a rhythm I started focusing on technique. Again, seeing fellow athletes out on the course, working hard and calling out words of encouragement was an inspiration. I must say that my favourite part, as always, was running down the finish shoot.
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Catherine on the podium
Overall, I had a fantastic race cutting my overall time down by 7 minutes. Congratulations to Clancy on her first race with F4L and also to one of our State Team athletes: Catherine Daly coming in a fantastic second in her category. Overall, everyone had a great day with and personal bests all around. Massive thanks to all the F4L athletes who came down to support the team and also all the other supporters who turned out to cheer us all on. Well done everyone and thanks to the coach for keeping us all on track. See you at the next race - Caitlin  
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