Mandurah Interclubs 2018

Written by Zena Coffey on . Posted in Race report

Words by Bill Lakic

Mandurah Interclubs, what a fun race! The vibe as soon as I turned up was one of friendly welcome, a relaxed occasion where the different clubs could meet and celebrate our sport. So many friends, so many people I knew, all of whom responded to the word ‘mate’. Names really are so overrated.

The race briefing was excellent, the head honcho from the Mandurah Tri Club gave a warm welcome and a race overview and I did my level best to appear that I was listening. Then a chap from overseas, possibly on exchange from a Bulgarian triathlon club, started speaking and addressing the crowd in his own language. Most of us politely nodded, feigned genuine interest and even laughed when indicated with only a couple seconds of delay. I’ve always believed that taking sincere interest in other people works best when you fake it.

Anyways, so now I’m standing in the water, making minor adjustments to the local thermal profile of the Indian Ocean, and I look at all the people who are lining up in the first wave and realise how precious, dedicated and good hearted they are, and I pray for them, I give my strongest wishes, that when the gun goes that as they sprint out, at least one person will splatter face first and hopefully take down a dozen people with them so that when this happens to me, I won’t look like such a twit.

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An inspirational race briefing

But unfortunately, it didn’t happen to any of them, and my dainty entrance saved it from happening to me. Soon, however, in the swim I realised that something was wrong, very wrong. No one was bashing me, grabbing me, drowning me or locking me in a rear naked choke. In fact, everyone seemed polite and considerate, which for a triathlon swim made me contemplate whether I had been beamed into a parallel universe or something. I vaguely recall the Bulgarian chap mumbling something about turning at various coloured buoys, but my motto of ‘when in doubt follow the crowd and if you stuff up blame someone else’ worked perfectly.

The bike route was a two lap affair, and luckily a plethora of turns saved everyone from settling into a rhythm and getting bored. I of course was just getting over an illness so mainly cruised along rather than raced, and devoted quite some mental energy working out how long I could use that excuse for. The twisty windy stuff was actually good fun, and armed with a sack full of excuses that cushioned me from the fact that I was being repeatedly passed, I was really enjoying zooming around the Mandurah foreshore. Then some bloke on a road bike, who was young and obnoxiously fit and filming with a GoPro in one hand, zoomed past, wished me well and shot off to the horizon. Mmm, gotta work on that fitness stuff!

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Unlike Bill, this North Coaster goes fast

The run course was delish! Except for the oxygen debt, stitches and lungs hanging out of my mouth, it was lovely. The course vibe was sweet. Although everyone seemed intent, focused and in the zone, the general feeling was one of mateship, friendliness and a unity in sharing an experience. So many from so many clubs said hi or go North Coaster, stuff like that. Due to my aerobic shortcomings, I chose an economical response, a thumb raised about one centimetre in reply, it was all I could manage and seemed to do the job. Finish line! Party starts, so does the yackety yack. However, the tummy beckons to a more desirable place. The barby! This is the real reason why I do this race. So I walked up to the members only section of the North Coast barby, grab a roll and was assailed by a question that stunned me. ‘Would you like bacon and egg or vegetarian?’ The universe seemed to stop, my reeling mind processed, my reply shot out. ‘Do I look like a Goddamn Communist? Get me them bacon and egg, and I’ll only take that vegetarian stuff if it has meat inside!’  The boys postured back, crossed their arms and gave me that sly look with the slow head nod, I knew I’d gotten their respect. Ok, they then started laughing hysterically at me, but for that brief moment I knew I was the man! Nice burger too.

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Look everyone, I caught a Ninja!

The main feeling I took away from that race was how fun it was, how friendly all the clubs were and a renewed feeling of why I love this sport. I, and I dare say everyone who was there, congratulate the Mandurah Triathlon Club for organising and hosting a great event. See you there next year.

Peace! ✌️

All photos courtesy of Focused Ninja Photography

Kona – Race Report 2018

Written by Zena Coffey on . Posted in Race report

Words by Alan Hartley

Three days have passed since the big day, here’s my take on the events of the day and the day as a whole. Race morning in filled with nervous anticipation, anxiety, dread, hope, expectation and trepidation. When I’m asked how I feel the question is too difficult to answer as ones being is a confluence of so many varying and conflicting emotions.

Swim start will snap you out of any malaise or lethargy lingering in your body. At the cannon, 1600 adrenaline filled hyper competitive world class age groupers surge forward and attempt to find clear water or fast feet. Good luck with that! I was immediately mobbed and mauled for the first 50-100m. What a difference a year makes! Last year I was barely touched……

I stayed surprisingly calm and settled into a good rhythm. I thought my swimming had improved but my swim time of 1:17 was 7 min slower than last year. One of the best feeling swims with an unsatisfactory result. 33rd out of the water.

The bike felt strong, consistent and to plan all day. 6 bottles of nutrition and 3 water bottles from aid stations supplemented with 12 salt tablets. Coming off The halfway point in Hawi a rare event! No wind! No trade winds have been present for the past month and race day was no different, not a zephyr of a breeze was felt as I negative split the bike leg. However many others took advantage of the benign conditions to also push the limits on the bike. My 5:24 time had moved me into 15th and I felt great heading out on the run.

I felt confident that my goal of being able to run a marathon would come to fruition. Although there was no wind the temperatures were still in the 30’s with 80-85% humidity. I’d consumed all I was capable of putting into my body. Water, electrolytes, Blok chews and gels. For 10km I was running to goal pace of 5:15/km. I walked Palani as planned and continued to run along the Queen K towards the Energy Lab. At this point I’d run into 11th place and I was now running between aid stations and walking quickly through them. Once in the Energy Lab my energy evaporated and I came to an abrupt slow down and had to walk jog. With 12 km to go it was a battle to continue to move forward. Everyone around me was suffering as no one at this point of the race is feeling good.

I battled back to Palani and spent the last drops of effort to finish as strong as possible. I finished! 11hrs 10min. 32 min. faster than last year but 14th place which was also replicated last years position.

After finally receiving my finishers towel I proceeded to feel very light headed and passed out. 2 1L bags of saline and I was feeling better 2 hrs later! I’d lost 8lbs or 3.6kg and was dehydrated……not as bad as some.

My takeaway from the race. I made no real errors on the day. I don’t believe my body is suited to hot and humid conditions. I know that I lose 2200mg of sodium (salt) per hr at these temps. I had 3900mg in my electrolyte drinks. I supplemented this with 12 salt tablets which is another 3420mg. So 7320mg on the bike alone. Combining the swim and bike I’ve now lost about 14000mg so a deficit of around 7000mg starting the run.

This is the riddle I’ll have to solve to do better in these conditions. Thank you, thank you, thank you for everyone’s support and encouragement these past few weeks. I did all I could do and feel in my heart that I did my dad proud.

Kona is a beast even on a benign day. No everyone has a physical makeup to conquer the challenge but all things considered I did all I could do. Thanks Debra Kirkham, Mike Bosch, Mark Washington, Mike Gee, Rob Pouw. Just a few of you that added value and assistance to my journey.

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A week in the life of a Triathlon Technical Official…

Written by Zena Coffey on . Posted in Race report

Race report: Sue Scott

A week in the life of a Triathlon Technical Official at the Grand Final of the ITU World Triathlon Championships, Gold Coast.

I arrived in anticipation on the Gold Coast Sunday afternoon, prepared for a busy and challenging week. The week started on Monday 10th September for the Level 1 ITU course held at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre where the Commonwealth Games Swimming Events had been held, just a couple of months before. The course was attended by 18 other officials and was led by Jacqui Kenny (QLD) and Frank Stapleton (a familiar face). It was great having this course in the lead up to the GF, as what we were experiencing was a course in action. The second day, we as a group Technical Officials, attended the AG race briefing delivered by Jacqui to the Team Managers of the 46 participating nations. The Senior Technical Team were also in attendance to address and answer any questions. The ITU course finished at 1 pm. Most of us, then booked into the provided accommodation, ideally located right next door to the race site.

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Wednesday 12th September started promptly at 7.30 am with a meeting of all the other 70+ Technical Officials, and receiving our uniform and radios. We soon broke into our designated groups. I was an Assistant Swim Official along with my two colleagues Andy (NSW) and Tee (Malaysia). Chief Swim Official was Michael Haarsma with Technical Delegate Ross Capill (NZ). There were swim course familiarisations and in the afternoon the Open Aquathlon where I took to the water on the back of a Jet ski. 

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Thursday 13th September, the same pattern continued with swim familiarisations and in the afternoon the Sprint distance Age groups raced where everything went to plan until one individual in the 2nd last wave decided to cut the course but remedied their fault and went back to swim around the 1st buoy. Thursday night was spent with some fellow Technical Officials at the GC Conference Centre with the Australian Age groupers and Australian Team who weren’t racing in the coming days and VIP’s of Triathlon Australia for the Champion’s Dinner compered by Brooke Hanson and her father. A lovely speech was made by one of the Emma’s, the first Emma = Emma Carney and her Triathlon journey. Thanks to TriWA and fellow Technical Officials, I was nominated and was the recipient of the Rob George Award. Thanks also to those that I have met interstate as well as to Triathlon Australia for continued support and professional development of the Technical program.

Friday 14th September-Sunday 16th September 2018 were jam packed with swim familiarisations, warm ups, taking of water temperatures and then races where I was designated Boat 2. Being a swim official on a boat, one needs to continually observe behaviour of athletes in the water at the same time as recording any irregularities as when the penalty is called, one needs to provide evidence of this and the calling needs to be done promptly as the penalty needs to be served in T1. Unfortunately a southerly wind really blew up on the Sunday afternoon for the Men’s Elite race, making for challenging conditions for the athletes as well as the Technical Officials on the boats. We thankfully had volunteer Technical Officials to assist with the recordings with the Women’s and Men’s Elite races along with the helicopter above. Sunday late afternoon, all was done and dusted and a week’s hard work, (for some after a year of preparation) ended with the Technical Official’s debriefing and then a group photo on the stage. What an event, what a week and I would do it all over again if given a chance! Being a Technical Official is always being part of a team and what a team it was. The backing of the STT on the calls I did make, were second to none. Every Technical Official in their own role allocation contributed to the absolute success of the Gold Coast Grand Final 2018.

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If you have any interest or wonder what it takes to become a Triathlon Technical Official, don’t hesitate to contact your local State office or go to the Triathlon Australia Website. Here in WA on the 20th October 2018 a Level 1 TO course is being run. Please get in contact with the TriWA office.

Ride The Wave

Written by Zena Coffey on . Posted in Race report

Words By Jan Eccles

The slogan for the ITU 2018 World Triathlon Grand Final Gold Coast was “Ride the Wave” – and ride the wave we did.  The 2017/2018 had been a good season for me, starting in the WIT course, competing in 10 events, training in a club environment, meeting new friends, people with like minded interests. Joking about qualifying for the “worlds”, I hadn’t even heard of this event let alone have it on my radar.  A joke became reality, I had qualified, had nothing to lose, so why not put an application in, I had qualified for sprint and standard so why not apply for both!!  If I was going there for one race, why not do two?  Afterwards I found out not many people do that!. The event was to be in Queensland, and I have family there, so tick that box because I got to go to see my relies at the same time.  So on this wave I went, the training was hard, in the back of my mind were the words that coaches inspired me with “just get the job done, focus, focus, focus, one discipline at a time, enjoy the atmosphere take it all in”. Holy crap I was so nervous, what the hell was I doing, all of the big guns had come to play. All the Nations were here, USA, Canada, Mexico, Great Britain, France, New Zealand, Columbia, Japan, Republic of South Africa, Ireland, Brazil, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Italy, Russia.

Jan

Myself and hubby arrived late on the Tuesday night, my daughters, grand daughter and Nat Fletcher from WIT group came in on Wednesday – my support group.  Wednesday morning I rode off to sort my bike, the gears were not quite ticking over properly, after the dismantle, flight and reassemble. There were so many classy bikes and riders out and about on the GC roads that morning. Ok flat, flat, flat, one little “technical” side blip, (Resolute on the NCTC coastal morning ride would of made this look tame), that done I felt sooo much better. Bike check, registration, swim familiarity, bike racked, nerves calmer – so I thought. Sprint race day, Thursday middle of the day, cried at the gear drop tent, what the hell was I doing, thank goodness for Nat who was there to support me through that. The swim was declared wet suits allowed.  The gun went off the swim start was on, we were off, OMG the watch said 16 minutes on exit, I could do this, the ride happened the run leg was in front of me and all that training had paid off, I was about to cross that finish line, amazing.

Sue

There was a Celebration of Champions Dinner on Thursday night. What an honour for Sue Scott from our club, to be a recipient of the Rob George Award to honour the technical Officials program contribution to the sport. How fitting as Sue Scott had encouraged me to apply for the worlds and had mentored me from the WIT course earlier in the season. Congratulations Sue.

So with one race down and one to go, I was more relaxed, started to enjoy the event. Noting that I should try and connect with other fellow NCTC participants Stephen Holmes, Rachael Dodds, Sally Pilbeam. WOW on looking up Stephen Holmes’s sprint results he had come 3rd in his age group category males 35-39 (he had represented GBR), his gun time was 1:01:29. An unbelievable time, the overall winner had clocked 57:05, that’s just 3:30 mins short of that!

Sally

On the Saturday conditions remained ideal, and Nat and myself went off to take in the paratriathlon events, just inspirational stuff, and we were cheering Sally Pilbeam, watching her take out second position in the PTS4 Women’s event in a time of 1:14:43!

The weather was beautiful around the 25 degrees mark, there was some talk that Sunday was going to be windy. But those forecasters must have got it wrong. The bike was racked again, I did notice my bike was looking a tad under done next to all those disc wheels. Some serious $$$$$ there in that transition. At 9pm that night pre-event bikes racked, a message comes in via event feed “Important Update! Standard Distance Athletes: due to forecast high winds tomorrow, disc wheels will not be permitted. All athletes with disc wheels will need to bring an alternative tomorrow morning”. The facebook feed was a buzz, not happy campers at all. Then this happened – “to accommodate athletes who were not able to source replacement rear wheels, an additional wave has been created to allow you to borrow a rear wheel or bike from team mates racing in an earlier wave. This new wave will start at 8.44am………”.  The program started at 6.15am.

RACE DAY

The weather was fine, no wind at this stage. My swim start was 8:30am. It was a deep water start.  The countdown was on, the gun went, I started but it wasn’t the swim I had visualised. The 1500m was in a straight line down the broadwater inlet, on an incoming tide, that was the good part, we were swimming with the tide, and it was wetsuits permitted. Suddenly I couldn’t breathe. Panic set in, just keep moving forward were the words of swim coach Janine, which were going through my head, breast stroke was working, so after a confusing swim of breaststroke, free style and I don’t know what, another two wave starts coming over the top of me, I finally pulled up out of the water, to a 34 minute swim leg. I tell you this so you will continue to move forward and never give up!  The wind did come up and we were punching into it on the ride, return circuit 10-20kms, and 30-40kms bike leg, with it increasing. The bike circuit over and the wind was still there for the run, but not as troublesome. I beat the cut off times and stayed out of that sag wagon, I rode the wave to cross the finish line.

The feeling was amazing, the support I received from my family, friends and club was what made it possible.

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Congratulations to Rachael Dodds who also had a fantastic time participating in the standard distance at the finish line gun 2:13:20, just 9 minutes outside of the winning time of 2:04:06.  NCTC can be proud of its members who participated in the 2018 Worlds.

Not Going The Distance

Written by Zena Coffey on . Posted in Race report

Words by Steve Holmes

Sprint Finish

One year ago I was staring down the barrel of a fully ruptured ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and medial meniscus tear, through hard work, determination and treatment with Justin (Crest Health) and Kieran (Global Physio Consulting) I got myself into shape to qualify for the World Champs that took place last week on the Gold Coast.

Sadly the last week and a half were tough as I fell ill and was on antibiotics. We also suffered a close family bereavement, which was hard to deal with but we made it to the Gold Coast.

(Pic – Sprint Finish)

So why all that effort for a sprint race triathlon? 

Simple answer, well answers – I have an extremely supportive wife, four children and run a business so time is always of an essence, plus I love the fast paced racing. I’ve completed short distance racing up to the half but time wise, the short stuff wins at the moment. 

To me a sprint race is all or nothing, no room for error, especially when it is draft legal racing. You have to go out hard and then hang on in there. The sprint is where I started back in late 2010/early 2011, I got into the buzz of triathlon and like many suddenly found myself going longer, going further and leaving the short racing for standard distance to long distance triathlon. Why is this the case?? I’m not sure.

So back to the sprint I went, mainly for reasons above but from a work/life balance for us it worked, two hour long rides over 4/5!! Many would be laughing two hour long ride!! My long runs stretched to 12-15km, again so manageable and swimming would be no more than an hour per session, one of which was with Janine at Craigie – I’d highly recommend the squad swim, good fun, knowledgeable coach and you can just get in and get it done.

So to the race, draft legal – it is so exciting and fun. Sadly here in WA you have to have a license and then race open but personally there is no point to this as by the time I got out the water the group would be well away and working together. So my second draft legal race was to be at the ITU World Champs – the all important swim had to be done so let’s fast forward to the race day;

RACE DAY

Thursday morning, my race was at 12:50, I woke up just after 5. I tried to stay as calm as I could but that wasn’t really happening, I was a bag of nerves. I wasn’t sure why I was so nervous, I had no expectations of a finishing position. To be honest I just didn’t want to look out of place.

I watched the earlier waves going off, it looked like a mad race to the first buoy of the swim. We were marshalled up to a holding pen and after 10 to 15 minutes we were ushered down to the start line. There was lots of hustling and pushing and we hadn’t even started. The siren went and we were away. Because of my height, or lack of I started in knee depth water and just started sprinting as hard as I could trying to get some clear water in front. This wasn’t happening and there were arms and legs everywhere!! After around 50-100m I had a huge hand grab the back of my wettie, arm over my back and pulling me down under the water and finishing off with a clump to the back of my head!! I thought to myself stay relaxed, it’s going to be hard just do the best you can. I got round the first buoy and thankfully found some water to swim in away from trouble.

Swim Exit

I got out the water not knowing where I was other than on my own and got onto the bike as quick as I could, I started pedalling watching behind me and waited for them to catch me up. I started working with two Aussies and a Mexican in our group and we took turns all the way around the course until around 3/4 km’s to go when a large group caught us. I have never had such a frantic dismount getting off the bike and running into transition. There must have been about 10 or so of us all trying to get to the front. It was exhilarating.

I got the bike back and started running, out of transition a large group of us left at the same time, a big Aussie just absolutely took off and still not sure what position I was in, it was head down and run!! Screams of go Stephen, come on Stephen and cow bells sounding was just what I needed.

The run was two laps, on the way back on my first lap, Louise (an old uni friend racing the standard for GP) told me I was 60m off the podium, I couldn’t believe it. I turned and headed out for the second lap into the headwind and thought ‘wow I must be top ten’. The second lap was hard, I caught eye of one of the Aussie’s in front of me from the bike that we cycled with and in the home straight just absolutely went for it, pipping him on the line. I was ecstatic, top 10 I thought. I was so happy, I was hi-fiving George, cuddling Emma and the kids. Emma screamed to me – you came third, you came third!! I couldn’t believe it. I thought no way, let’s just wait for the results to be finalised. I checked, double checked and asked officials – 3rd it was!!!

We waited around for the medal ceremony and it was fantastic, an incredible, surreal experience that was beyond our wildest dreams!! We just could not believe it. Without the support of Emma and the kids, none of this would have been possible. I am so made up. 

Podium

2018 70.3 World Champs Port Elizabeth

Written by Zena Coffey on . Posted in Race report

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Words by James Knipe

It’s the windiest place on earth, the swim will be a nightmare…  The roads are so rough, it’ll be a tough, slow ride… The verges are covered in thorns, you’ll spend your day fixing punctures…

Boy-oh-boy how wrong they were.  Port Elizabeth put on a show for the many North Coasters who travelled to the stunning city of Port Elizabeth in South Africa’s Easter Cape Province – talk about perfect race weather?  It surely couldn’t have been much better?

The training was all done, and the team consisting of Lisa Hitchcock, Barry Silverlock, Stuart King, Brodie Hunter, Alan Hartley, Gary Hardman, George Funk, Brendon Clark, Mike Bosch, Scott Bedforth and James Knipe packed their bikes and headed off to Boschie’s home city.  How fortunate we were to have such a great host while we were there; Boschie just couldn’t do enough for us and made the whole week extra special.

The first few days there were spent getting acclimatized to the course, and the fears increased with the wind, as we progressed towards what seems like a white-knuckle ride trying to hold onto the bike in the strong PE winds.  “It’s always like this here” we were assured by the locals.

But as the week leading to race day progressed, the winds suddenly began to ease and our nerves settled.  The true beauty of PE started to show itself, and the excitement built to overload. Boschie had shown us the bike course, we’d swam in the stunning shores of PE, and ran most of the run course.  We all felt good.

The excitement around PE was building as competitors flooded into the city.  Ironman put on a stunning opening ceremony with local performances, and speeches which were thankfully kept brief…although the local mayor took this to the extreme…”Thanks for coming!…Bye!”.

Saturday arrived with clear blue skies and not a breath of wind, and temperatures in the low teens rising to low twenties through the day – perfect race conditions.  Lisa was up first, and boy-oh-boy did she set a target for the men following. Such a strong and consistent performance, a real credit to herself. In-between our warm-up brick session, the guys got a chance to cheer her on during the run, but regardless of the she seemed to have it all under control on the stunning yet challenging PE course.  Lisa, what a champ.

Saturday night arrives, and it’s the final get-together before the big dance for the guys.  Extra incentive was provided by Lisa turning up with her medal and finishing gear, which really got the adrenaline going early.  She was also a little more red than the previous day thanks to the sunshine! Relaxed and sporting a smile worthy of her performance.  It was off to bed early for the guys…and another drink for Lisa?

We’d convinced ourselves that the ladies had got lucky, surely they had the best of the weather?  But opening the curtains on Sunday was were greeted with calm waters, not a breath of wind, comfortable temperatures and overcast skies…I think the guys won in terms of race weather.  The scene was set for a hard days work.

Down to transition and the nerves were building.  Bike? Check. Tyre pressures? Check. Transition bag OK?  Check? Remembered not to wear thongs to the start line? Check…for almost all of us.  

Into the chute we’d go, spread out over almost 2 hours to get the age groups off.  Swimmers were, like the ladies, sent 15 seconds apart in groups of 10. 5…4…3…2…1 and we’re off into the water.  Cool but not cold. Flat and fast. Great marker buoys…this was good. And like Lisa before, we all swam strong and exited the water happy.

A long run through T1 and onto the bikes.  An initial climb about 8 km long got us away from the shoreline and out into the countryside.  And what a stunning countryside this is. The adrenaline settles and its on to another 25 km of rolling roads to take us out to the dreaded Maitlands, a series of two climbs, one of which is crossed both ways, which are sure to sap our energy.  But thanks to Boschie, we knew the score…keep it cool here and smash it home. We’re blessed in Perth with a stunning coastline, but this course certainly gives Perth a run for it’s money. It was hard to concentrate with such a view!

Pushing hard and PE suddenly arrives around the corner with only about 4 km to go to T2.  Chuck the bike to the bike handlers and grab our kit bags, and before we know it, it’s onto the 21 km run along the streets of coastal PE.  The crowd was incredible, and as promised the local Braai’s were in full flow (it’s a kind of BBQ). The smells from the Braais offered us more encouragement to finish strong and do our club proud…wow, it really got the taste buds going!  Crossing the finish line was a hugely proud moment for us all, and every North Coaster finished what was a tough course. We were all proud and happy, and it was time for a beer.

A massive thank you from the NCTC crew to Mike Bosch for his colossal amounts of support both in the lead-up to the event, and also in PE…he’s a star and not just for his performance in the race!

 

World Championships: A Silver Lining From Dead Last For Rahul

Written by Moya Jones on . Posted in News, Race report

The elite mens race on the 12th of July 2018 at the International Triathlon Union World Aquathlon Championships on the island of Fyn in Denmark was the hardest Aquathlon race 16 year old Rahul Jegatheva, of North Coast Triathlon Club has ever competed in as he fought his way to a silver medal for Australia from dead last in the Elite Junior category due to a 15 second time penalty for a registration mishap the day before the race.

Was devastating on the 11th of July to learn that he would have to start 15 seconds after the entire elite field, and we decided to keep the news under wraps, as it would have been especially difficult to take for his mom anxiously waiting in Perth. A call was made to her as soon as the race began to let her know so she was the first to learn of the penalty.

It was very hard for Rahul to see the field take off ahead of him and losing the ability to draft and swim in the pack with the lead swimmers, as he would have been among the top 3 swimmers in the entire field irrespective of age. Once he started he described a feeling of desperation that he would never be able to bridge the gap and pushed himself beyond what he should have to reduce the deficit.

Pushing his way through the larger bodies of the elite athletes, he hauled himself from last to 6th among the elite juniors by the end of the swim. The swim had always been his strongest weapon, never having been headed by anyone in his age group in his life in the swim leg of the aquathlon, but now he had to depend on the 5km run to haul himself into the medals having over exerted in the swim.

Heading out of transition was a steep incline, and he felt his legs start to cramp after kicking too hard in the swim. He had to run right on the edge of cramp unable to push as strongly as we normally would, while trying to catch the athletes from Denmark, the USA, the Czech Republic and the Ukraine ahead of him.

Turning on what afterburners he could afford, Rahul moved into the bronze medal position at the 2.5km mark of the run with Simon Koblizek of the Czech Republic and Valdemar Solok of Denmark ahead of him.

In a grandstand finish Rahul outran Koblizek to grab the silver medal by 4 seconds, but that penalty was too much for him to overhaul the Danish champion.

“I am very happy to have represented Australia, winning the silver medal. Was a great atmosphere and a wonderful experience racing these elite athletes. I am truly grateful to my coaches Grant Landers of UWA Triathlon Club and Eoin Carroll of the Perth City Swim Club, and of course the North Coast Tri Club where I have had to run handicap races before, never thinking that it would be something I would have to repeat at a world event. I do want to give thanks to the City of Stirling for assistance with local travel and Clive Palmer for his assistance with flight costs to Denmark”

Article written by JJ Jegatheva

 

World Champion – Rahul Jegatheva

Written by Moya Jones on . Posted in News, Race report

Congratulations to Rahul Jegatheva who can now add World Champion to his many accomplishments.

Rahul Podium

At the medal presentation, with Rahul lifting the boxing kangaroo aloft, it signalled mission accomplished.


Report provided by JJ Jegatheva

Waving the Australian flag as he crossed the finish line at Lake Okanagan, in Penticton, British Colombia, and hoisting aloft the boxing kangaroo on the winners platform on Friday the 25th of August 2017 will be one of the most cherished moments for 15 year old NCTC member, Rahul Jegatheva in years to come as it marked the point he took the mantle of World Champion at the International Triathlon Union Age Group World Championships in the Aquathlon, which is a 1km swim followed by a 5km run.

Of the 239 men of all ages that stepped on onto Lake Okanagan Beach at 7.20am, Rahul was the youngest, with many towering over him, in the end he proved that he simply had the bigger heart. He had been hoping for at best a top 20 overall finish, and a top 3 in the age group, but he almost beat the entire field in winning the 19 and under world title.

 

FULL RACE DAY REPORT – 25th August 2017

Very early start to the day, as we woke up at 4am. With a race start time of 7.20am, not much room for error with a need to have proper nutrition, get mentally prepared, get to the race venue at least 90 minutes before the event start and to get warmups done both on land and in the water.

The water temperature in Lake Okanagan where the swim portion of the event was to be held had been fluctuating across the 22 degree mark, which was the determining temperature as to wether this would be a wetsuit swim or a non-wetsuit swim. If it was a wetsuit swim, this would only have been his second wetsuit swim ever, and the first where he would have to remove the wetsuit and continue to race after that, as the first time was a straight Open Water race at Bussleton. The determination would only be made at 6.20am, with race referees confirming the water temperature. We were hoping it would not be a wetsuit swim. There is a belief that wetsuits are ‘the great equalizer’ as it assists some whose swim techniques are somewhat suspect and assists in streamlining better, so while it does assist everyone, the degree by which it helps differs from person to person. Always tricky removing the wetsuit after the swim, and trying not to lose too much time in that process as well. 6.20 rolled around. 21.5 degrees. It was a wetsuit swim. Rahul didnt have his oils that aided the removal of the wetsuit. More worries in the back of my mind.

Of the 239 men that stepped on onto Lake Okanagan Beach at 7.20am, Rahul was the youngest, with many towering over him. In my mind I was thinking ‘He looks like the youngest and littlest, but I hope he also has the biggest heart’. I told him before the race that he perhaps could target a top 20 overall finish, and maybe a top 3 in age group.

Off they went. and with wetsuits, with the naked eye, everyone looks the same. From a distance I can normally pick out Rahul’s stroke in Open Water races, but wetsuits do something to a swimmers natural stroke. The swim leg was a semicircle shaped one from one side of a little peninsula looking outcropping to the other, so the finish line of the swim could not be seen from the start, so I raced over to a rocky outcrop on the finish side, still at least 100m away from the nearest swimmers. With binoculars I picked him out. He was 3rd in the water. The moment I recognized him and that he was in a good position was an absolutely thrilling one. I then rushed back to the run portion of the race, to see the athletes emerging from the transition area to the run course.

Out he came, and he was in 2nd place overall in the race and in the gold medal position for the 19 & U age group. 19 year old Michael Fabes of the UK was only 20 seconds behind him. I was urging him to push himself to the limit, as this was only half the job. A big contingent of Aussies there on the day were cheering him on.

The run course was 2 laps of a 2.5km course. As he finished the first lap, he had dropped to 3rd overall (both the athletes in from of him were in the 20-24 year age category), but what was worrying was that there was a grimace on his face. He later told me that after the first 1.5km, when he was in 2nd overall with a realistic chance of taking the outright win, he felt a twinge in his leg muscles, and that cramping was coming on. He pushed too hard out of the water he said, and this could derail everything. He slowed trying to protect his legs through the finish. Of course at the time I had no idea that this was going on with him. When I saw the grimace and the stride lose its normal rhythm, my thoughts were hoping the illnesses he had been carrying over the past 2 weeks which forced him to miss a couple of swim and run training sessions were not overtaking him at the worst possible time.

Rahul Racing

I then watched looking out for Fabes to see if he had bridged the 20 second gap, but no, Fabes had faded out of the top 3. If Rahul kept going the final 2.5km the same way he had the first 2.5km, he would be world champion.

I moved to the finishing line in anticipation, watching the clock ticking over the finish line knowing roughly when to expect to see him come through.

What a thrilling sight it was for me to see Rahul bursting into view waving the Australian flag in his hands. This was the first time in his life that he has shown emotion of any sort BEFORE he crossed the finish line. He normally shows very little emotion AFTER a race, even in those he has done well in. Anyway, it was pure joy to watch. 17 year old Michael Clough of New Zealand took silver one minute and 3 second back with 19 year old Aidan Pierce of the UK a further 18 seconds adrift.

This was a journey that began about 2 and a half years ago after a surprising performance at the state cross country championships for which he had done no training. He’s been assisted by the amazing support provided by his coaches to the somewhat unusual training focus he has had to take with Perth City Swimming Club coaches initially Ian Mills and now Eoin Carroll providing the framework and space he needed to work with UWA’s Grant Landers & Mike Bosch of North Coast Tri Club, and also to participate in the North Coast Aquathlon Series over the past 2 years.