We drove down on Thursday night, stayed in Palmy, then had a leisurely drive down to Wellington on Friday. There was some concern the Japanese Earthquake might cause the race to be cancelled, but when we got down there at 5:45, it appeared to be all on.
The swim course was a rectangle in Chaffers Marina, which is a part of the Harbour you don't normally get to swim in. It was a deep water start. I ran into a mate from Wellington, who usually swims a bit faster than me, and I decided to hang with him and try to get a draft.
The first leg I went well, found some good feet, and got a draft. However, I wasn't working all that hard, and should have worked harder to find faster feet. Unfortunately, from there on, the people I'd been drafting got increasingly slower. I chose to draft off them, rather than pass an go a little faster, to save energy, but again, if I'd found better feet in the first instance, I think I could have gone a couple of minutes faster.
The run to transition was quite long, but I was reasonably quick. Swim plus T1 was 28:16 - not too bad, given what I previously would have done, but I do need to get faster.
I was looking forward to this (if only because I got to bust out my recently purchased Zipp 404, which I got stupidly cheap on Trademe). It's an almost entirely flat out and back. I turned out we had a southerly, which was great - no massive tailwinds, but no stupid headwinds either.
I worked hard to pass people on the way out, and hold a good power. At around 15km I found a friend, and I paced off him (legally) until about half way, when another dude passed us (and my friend fell over - yes, fell over - at the turnaround.
I paced off my new friend for almost the rest of the bike. This did save me about 10 to 15 watts, so was worth it. At times I felt like I should have worked harder, but my aim for the race was to have a good run, so I held back a bit.
The run into T2 was quite long, but I had a quick change over, and headed off. Bike plus T2 was 1:09:46 - not too bad, could have gone a bit faster, but certainly didn't smash myself. Average watts 204, norm power 210 - again, should really be higher, but oh well.
My main aim for the race was to run sub-40. I've been running well recently. I did 18:04 in my most recent 5k, on a difficult course, and my hard bricks have been going well. I've been doing some hill repeats, and I tend to respond well to interval training.
The run is two dead flat out and back loops. I took off very quickly (too quickly- about 3:35 mins/km), so slowed down a bit, and tried to keep my average pace a bit below 4:00 mins/km. About 1.5 k in, I got a nasty stitch in my upper right chest. This decided to come and go mostly come) for the rest of the race.
I got to the turnaround, and about a k back, had to stop, and dry retch for about a minute (probably a bit under). I felt a bit better, and pressed on, noticing I was still on track for sub-40 (despite feeling like arse).
I got to the turnaround, and tried to keep pushing. I had a couple of people to catch, and I caught one just after the final turn before home. I pushed hard for the last 2.5 k's to make sure I had a good time.
The run to the finishing chute was long, but I was going to be comfortably sub-40, so strolled the last 50 or so metres.
Final time was 39:13. I was stoked to go sub-40 (I haven't done that ever, because I haven't run a stand alone 10k for quite some time), particularly given I felt terrible, and stopped for about a minute. Equally, I was a bit annoyed I didn't have the chance to go as fast as I could have - but I can't really complain.
Total time 2:17:15.
I finished 70th overall, out of about 172 who finished (plenty didn't), and 18th in my age group (I would have been top 10 in almost every other age group, just not mine...).
Swim was 125th fastest, bike 72nd and run 49th =. So a pretty good reflection of my strengths.
I have the club organised sprint race in Huntly next weekend, then Xterra, which I'm really looking forward to.