There’s nothing like racing your local events. You have the home crowd there to support you, many familiar faces out on course and you get to watch dreams that have been brewing all season either be realised or be dashed.
The hardworking Sinclair, Mick and Hadley from Village Sports put this event on every year along with the Running and Ocean Swim Series and donate all the profits to local charities. Our community is so lucky to have these wonderful people here to provide us with these amazing opportunities.
I had had a nerve racking few days leading into the race as I had issues with my bike and trying to fit a variety of loaned race wheels onto my nine speed cog. Just as the wheels were sorted the gears wouldn’t work. I had ended up with two different wheels (one Marks and one Andrews) and no gears the day before the race, I was freaking out. Thankful the guys at JR Cycles sorted me out on the Saturday before the race and fixed up my gears and brakes while muttering that I seriously needed to think about getting new bike.
It’s rare that I make my way to a race on my own but I did enjoy the quite reflection in the car on the way in to Coffs Harbour for the BCU Coffs Triathlon. The previous day I had been lucky enough to do water safety for the Kids Triathlon events and was so inspired to see those little people out there having a go. One young girl particularly struck a cord with me. She was not the fittest of the kids there and came out of the water last, she walked stoping and starting as I chatted to her back to transition, she didn’t want to go on, didn’t think she could finish. She pedalled along on the bike and walked/ran the run and I saw her cross the finish line and was moved to tears when I saw the look on her face, she had done what she thought only minutes ago was impossible.
That’s what inspires me, seeing that we are all capable of doing anything, nothing is impossible!
The nerves kicked in about the time I entered transition, it was still dark and as I was racking my bike there was plenty of banter going on between the locals which ended in fits of laughter. Once checked in it was off for a few warm up laps and to check out the swim. The water looked perfect and was nice and warm. I had decided to race without a watch today, the theory being that I would listen to my body and not look at the clock.
Gathering on the beach awaiting to start with the other girls we barely had time to think before the gun was going and we were off for the swim. The water was so clean and warm and a real pleasure to swim in as we caught the back pack of the boys.
Exiting the swim in a good time I headed off on the bike, which heads up a nice sharp hill in the early stages of the race. Last year I had to walk up this hill and I was determined to get up there this year in the saddle. We had some light rain on the bike which made the roads a bit slippery and unfortunately a few people lost control and fell, including the young girl who was leading the women and was to badly injured to keep going. After making it up the hill again and managing to stay on the bike I figured I was in the top ten girls heading into the second lap and was really happy as I knew my favourite leg was yet to come!
Hitting the run out of transition my legs felt a bit stiff but I knew this would pass. I could see Joey and Jess up ahead and figured if I could keep equal distance between Joey and myself I would be going ok. The volunteers were yelling encouragement and Andrew and Clint were there yelling out instructions and support as we went past.
I saw Kate walking her bike in as I headed out for the second lap of the run and was devastated for her, she had been absolutely flying on the bike and would have made it into the top three females if not for the flat, stupid bikes!
Knowing Kate was out I figured I was in about 5th place. I figured that Melanie and Jen would have got around a 6min lead on me on the bike, it would be a tough gig to run them down. Melanie and I are in the same age group and often come in together in the Club races, she is an amazing rider and I was hoping that I could catch her and win our age group.
I was 100% focused on catching her on the second and final run lap. As we neared the first drink station I saw her and knew that I could get her – but could I catch Jen?
Jen was now in place to get 3rd female but I could not even see her up ahead, no chance of catching her, id have to settle for fourth (which lets be honest I had started the race hoping to finish in the top 10).
The final kilometre of the race takes you down the iconic Coffs Jetty and you are surrounded by the most amazing view, its a fantastic way to finish a race. I was extremely grateful to reach the finish line having won my age group and placed 4th female over all.
Once finished it was time to cheer everyone else on as they finished and commiserate with poor Kate who like a true champion handled her disappointment with pure grace.
The crew from Goondiwindi Triathlon Club had made the trip to the coast for the race, it was great to see them there and hopefully a long standing tradition will form of us heading out there for Hell of the West and them heading here for BCU Coffs Tri. One of the Club managers told me of all the races he has done in Australia the BCU Coffs Tri was by far the best, perfect swim, closed roads for the ride and a nice flat fast run around the harbour. So nice to hear that its not just us that love this place!
Awaiting the presentations Joey was reading out times to everyone. I did this race in 2:35:46 last year and I had hoped to get around in 2:28 this year. As Joey read out my time I though that he said 2:30 and I was slightly disappointed, Sian then told me, no I completed it in 2:20:33 I was ecstatic, totally blown away. She then added that I had the fastest female run split of the day completing the 10Km run in 40:28. Sian got her own shock when they called her out as winning her age group!
Jen claimed 3rd female over all and it was great to see a local and retro girl up on the podium. I watched her complete her first Ironman last year and I know she is one tough chick and this was a well deserved 3rd place for her.
The Retro Crew walked away with a swag of medals and the Gundy crew walked away with the bike that was up for grabs and a number of their own medals.
Cant wait to see this event grow next year and hope that others give themselves the chance to race the best triathlon in Australia!
For more information on the BCU Coffs Triathlon held in March each year which offers an Olympic distance and enticer event along with a variety of races for the kids head to the website.