Race 3 of the Sunsmart Series saw the F4L Triathlon Coaching Team travelled to the iconic town of Busselton for the State Championship Olympic Distance race and Enticer. The team of F4L athletes competing included myself (Ashley Slocum) Paul Jones (coach), Catherine Daly, Caitlin Stanley, Clancy Quick, Stuart Kostera, Martin Cope, Kendall Walker, Svetlana Elliott, Sharnie Gatner, Carlya Bell, Pierina Otness and Rob Blascetta. The weather was the total opposite from Rockingham 2 weeks before with cool temperatures, drizzling rain and a 25-30 knot south westerly wind... bit like Scotland really! The 1.5 km Marina swim was optional wetsuit with most people zipped up at least 30 minutes prior to start time. My wave started at 8.10am and included 20-29 and 45-54 age groups which made for a very large group of guys. The horn sounded and it was everyone for themselves. It only took 400m before I was swimming through the slow swimmers from the group in front and with large groups the elbows and punches continued for the whole swim. The water was a bit rough due to the wind so concentrating on drafting helped me feel pretty good going into T1. Swim 26; 37 sec. T1. Do not stand there and look at your kit Ash. Wettie off and go 1;38sec The bike course was along the coast with a short leg off too the side, two 20km laps in total. I got down onto the Tri bars straight away and made full use of the wind. With the use of a gel shot and hydration, I got into a rhythm straight away. The slight drizzle continued and with quite a few puddles on the wet road the 360 degree corners needed patience as I went round. I turned the corner into the wind and I knew I was in for a tough ride, the wind was relentless. ‘Character Building’ I told myself. I flicked up a couple of gears and got as stream lined as possible. A lot of people were struggling into the wind and I picked up a lot of positions which helped the pain. It seemed that I had just started my second lap on the bike and I was already turning back into that wind, oh well only 10km to go. As I came into transition the marshals for some reason had taken all the numbered flags down at the end of the rows. (maybe they had blown away) I was at that point very glad a had taken several reference points on where my bike rack was. Bike 1;13;35sec T2. Socks or no socks, I was not sure due to the rain. I went to put them on and they were wet, so no socks it was. Good decision. 1;39sec Onto the run, this is my favourite leg. I do like my trail shoes as well. The F4L support crew were in full voice just out of transition and after I went past I looked at my watch, 3.57pace, I was not going to hold that for very long. The run leg was 2 laps of 5km with a large foot bridge and 30 knot cross breeze. When I get fatigued my left foot turns out so I concentrated on my technique while attempting to catch the person in front of me. All the F4L'ers on course were flying along Kendall, Sharne, Svetlana, Stuart and I could see Martin in the distance but was way to fast for me to catch. The run went by really quick with a combination of path and road and the last 1km was fantastic with the breeze at my back. Run 44;40sec. This event was a turning point for me in my world of triathlon. The conditions were tough and still managed a PB of 10minutes 28 seconds on this course from last year. Total time 2:28:39sec Congratulation goes to Catherine Daly for 1st place 16-19 Enticer in a very competitive group. Carlya Bell first Olympic Distance triathlon, Caitlin Stanley who I think is now sponsored by Tanita, Orca and also Mizuno and Martin Cope for a cracking race. Look forward now to the inaugural triathlon at Elizabeth Quay (downtown Perth) in 3 weeks. Ashley Slocum.
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