Sunday, 9 February 2014

The inaugural Scody Challenge Melbourne

Challenge Melbourne

Andy and I made our way over to Melbourne on the Friday morning arriving Midday.
It was a much more relaxed feeling leading into this race is it was not an ‘A’ race for me, just a chance to get back into it and most importantly have some FUN!
After a quick engagement dress shop in the city, we caught up with Karl Hardy and Heidi – Schnell for afternoon drinks and dinner. We were shown over the course, given some local tips and shown around the area which was great!

Saturday was the usual registration, pre bike/run before setting up the bikes and packing the bags ready for the Check in on race morning.

The GKEndurance crew that made the trip over from Perth all rocked up into transition with our new GKE trucker caps on and set up in the dark!! As usual time flies and we found ourselves heading to the swim start for a brief warm up and then on the start line!

The swim course took place at Brighton Beach just south of the Green Point Reserve.  It was a mass start for the females so I went hard at the start and found myself in a little pack of 6 girls at the first buoy. I felt like I was swimming well and sticking with these few leading girls before looking up and having to be re-directed back on course by the life guards! – Lesson learnt!

Swim – 31.30

It was quite a run to transition as we headed up the ramp towards the Transition Area in the Green Point car park. I was on the toes of one girl in my age as I ran past her to mount my bike and take off!
T1- 3.35
The 90km out-and-back bike course starts by heading south for the first of three laps on the bike course. We headed southbound past Sandringham and Black Rock before turning at Centreway and returning to transition. The course was beautiful. Awesome conditions and it felt fast! or was the just my Schnell wheels??!! Schnell = Fast!

Karl had told us it is a tail wind out, head wind back so I wanted to take advantage of the tail wind! Heading back there was not much of a head wind at all. As I completed my first lap, roughly 2 km’s down the road I had just got into a rhythm and then a FLAT! My first puncture in a race. I pulled off to the side and changed this pretty quick! I was proud of myself. I didn’t panic and it was great experience for me as I have always worried about this in a race. Andy has taught me well! I stopped two times after just to check on my tyre as I wasn’t too sure if I had done it right as it didn’t take me too long.

Back on my bike I rode hard for the remaining 55km not knowing where I was now sitting in my age. I was ‘hunting’ any girl down thinking surely some had passed me during my flat.

Bike – 2.31.50

After my final transition I was onto the 21.1km run, continuing along the beach pathway towards Sandringham the run course consisted of three, 7 km laps. A shower straight away and aide station with sponges and ice was great and I kept reasonably cool from the start.
T2 – 1.49
My cheer squad mum and dad were there and they were great!! I felt good, quick and reasonably fresh. Again, I ran hard as I did not know where I was in the field. To my surprise we ran the first 2km or so on the path before heading onto a dirt track that was windy, uphill, downhill, steps, a steep decline and then a long uphill run before returning back onto the path along the coast again and onto the next lap! It surprised me but I had great fun on this congested but exciting course. I also felt like a local! Awesome supporters, loads of cheering and some from some boys who Andy knew but I did not! It was awesome. I loved it. I pushed hard for the remaining 3km on the run and finished strongly with mum and dad waiting for me at the finish line! Always my favorite part.

Run – 1.31.17

I had just enough time to get back on course and watch Andy finish, then the rest of the GKE crew, Kate and Ruth.

By then it was really starting to heat up. We stayed for presentations as Dad had gone to check the results and to my surprise I had finished 1st! It was great to get up on a ‘podium’ with a finishing time of 4.41.00, placing 1st in my age group, 4th amateur female and 11th female overall. Also being an inaugural event I am proud to have set the course record for my age and hope this can remain for a few of years!

In addition to this, Challenge Melbourne was the first race I proudly wore my new sponsor Gerflor.

I am pleased and proud to have Gerflor on my team in my quest for Ironman victory at the Ironman World Championships.

The inaugural Scody Challenge Melbourne event had 1250 finishers. It certainly did present some extra challenges with the forecasted extreme temperatures but thankfully the morning was cooler than expected and it did not reach maximum temperatures until later that day.
This was a great day and a perfect race to get ‘back into it’ after a few weeks off after Western Australia Ironman, early December last year.

The Ironman World Championships is just over 8 months away, but I will enjoy some smaller training volumes for the next few months before participating in the Great Wall of China Marathon in May before increasing my training volume for the Ironman in October!

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