It was my first Back2Back event after planning to race it for the last two years and having other commitments get in the way.
This was my second Triathlon this year after competing in the QTS (Queensland Triathlon series) Robina event in January. My last off road Tri was back in October when I suffered a snapped chain while leading the open division on the 15km MTB Leg and finally finishing 4th.
The Twin waters, Sunshine Coast event was a 500m Lake swim, 15km MTB and 6km beach run. Day one was 11am Saturday and Day two started at 8:30am Sunday and was the same course repeated for a cumulative time over the two events.
Day one was a little warm but nice conditions. My start was hopeless and shows you always need to be switched on. I fell in a hole as I ran in and was immediately swamped by swimmers. I cut hard right and got some clear water before moving into 2nd about 30 seconds behind National Cross Triathlon Champion Daniel Neilson, up from Sydney in preparation for his title defense later in February.
Dan was quickly away in Transition opting for the ‘Shoes on Pedals’ option and gaining some time. I rode in ‘no mans’ land 30 seconds ahead of the chasing pack of Nick Moore, George Tamblyn and Kane Oakley and 60 seconds down on Neilson.
Transition to run and Neilson was gone and about 1km into the 6km beach run I was passed by fast moving Nick Moore and soon after Tamblyn, looking good.
About 3.5km into the run former pro triathlete and Cyclist Kane Oakley 37, In what I believe was his first off road tri, cruised passed looking strong. I was feeling the run and my legs were heavy.
Tamblyn went on to finish 2nd to Neilson only 12 seconds down with Nick Moore in 3rd a further 18 seconds behind setting up a show down for Sunday.
Kane Oakley was 4th with myself in 5th in 1hr 15.52 with 5min between 1st and 5th.
Day two and I was feeling remarkably good with no leg soreness at all!
I opted for a faster one piece Tri suit and lighter shoes for the run.
I was much closer to Neilson in the swim with a better start and a nice wash ride. Dan still lifted the pace with a surge at half way to break me off his wash which in turn gave him a handy lead out of transition.
I soon found some nice rhythm on my Giant Anthem Advanced 1, the course in very tight and twisty and the 27.5 inch wheels worked well. I soon found myself on the back wheel of Neilson. With my poor run from on day one I wanted to gain as much lead over the chase group as possible before the end of the 15km bike.
Dan and I arrived in TA together again with Dan doing a classic Triathlon ‘feet out while riding’ Transition, he gained a handy 100m out on to the run leg.
I was off and running and pleasantly surprised that my speed was good and the lighter shoes freeing up my legs. It was some 4.5km into the run, well after the last turning point for home along the beach, that I was finally passed by Nick Moore for 2nd. Close behind was Kane Oakley only 70m back. I dug deep and focused on Nicks back and ran for home holding off Kane by a mere 9 seconds after 1hr15.08 of racing. I was 3rd only 45 seconds down On Moore and 2:30min behind National Champion Dan Neilson.
George Tambyn had an unfortunate flat tyre and was a further 3min down. Significantly for me was the fact I had raced 50 seconds faster on Day two than on Day one, with much harder beach run conditions on the second day, with the high tide and waves making the average time 2-3min slower for the Sunday race.
Final results for the open long course were
Dan Neison 2:23:27
Nick Moore 2:25:33
George Tamblyn 2:29:01
Kane Oakley 2:29:02
Guy Andrews 2:31:00
Connie Sylvestri 2:39:59
Nina Wright 2:47:54
Jenny Wood 3:05:06
Link to results