Athlete Profile – Abdul

Nickname: Raf, Abs, Maddox, Dooley, Chocolate legs

How long have you been in tri?: My first event was an enticer in the Armadale Triathlon in 2013 where I stopped half way through the swim so I could catch my breath. I think the trisuit I’d never worn before was a little tight. My result

How did you get into tri?: I’ve always loved running, mainly sprinting. Started riding after signing up for the the inaugural Perth Ride to Conquer Cancer after my dad passed away. Never been a fan of swimming, as I was afraid of the deep end in school, but always wanted to improve. So I figured why not put all three together.

How many bikes do you have?: 3. One I bought, another I won a month later and my little brothers old one.

Something we wouldn’t already know about you?: I was a referee for a season in the WSBL, Womens State Basketball League.

What do you want to achieve this season?: Experience a few club events, especially the regional ones, and see what’s involved so I can hopefully help out with running a club event in the future.

Athlete Profile – Brian S


(c)FinisherPix.com

Nickname: Brizey

How long have you been in tri?: 4-5 years

How did you get into tri?: A dare in a spa party!

How many bikes do you have?:  2 – one road one TT

Something we wouldn’t already know about you?: I’m a spraypainter by trade now working in operations management for a paint distribution company.

What do you want to achieve this season?: sub 6 hrs at Busso 70.3 – it’s not fast but it’s a 33 minute potential PB; and complete 5 Dams ride for shits n giggles.

Conquering Karri Valley Triathlon

Floora shares her race experience conquering the beautiful yet challenging KVT.

I had been warned about Karri Valley leading up to race day (thanks team, I think?). “Great prep for Busso!”, “oooh it’s a pretty big race!”, “better take it easy, big race this weekend”. Good. No need to freak out then…

The big day had arrived. The day started with a sleep in, with race briefing not till 9:10. That’s how I like it!!! Mosey down to registration and transition at 8:30. Rack the bike anywhere, suss out transition entry and exit points, and get insider knowledge from Slim to soothe the worries.

Swim

The sporadic rain led me to get into my wetsuit early to keep warm, waddling back to the lake for the start. It was an hour between briefing and start. Anticipation was rising, the rain kept threatening, but the 147 competitors were ready. Finally it was our wave start! Quickie warm-up in the lake meant I knew what temperature to expect when diving in. Luckily it was surprisingly mild. Swimming in fresh water is definitely a different experience. And I LOVE IT! no salt drying out your mouth, calm waters guaranteed with no swell, currents or waves. I quickly found some feet and kept up with the pack for the first 800 m. After this I was in a nice rhythm and finished with 0:30:47 on the clock.

It was a long run to transition, down the driveway onto lawn. I had made the decision to leave old shoes on the way to avoid foot injuries. In hindsight I think this may have been a waste of time. As long as you run carefully and watch your step it should be fine. The organisers of the event cleared the majority of foot-injuring sticks and stones.

Ride

On the bike in my team suit. Hurray! Finally my support crew (parents, husband) could identify me from the crowd! Up the first 5km hills I was grateful that I knew what to expect on the course. First its up, then its down. Just keep pedalling. I was quick to find my cadence and fell into a comfortable form.

Channybearup Road opened up into fields. No more protection from trees. On the way out I knew there must be wind because even up hills I was over 30km/hr. As soon as I made the turn it hit me “hey, there it is!”. Blustering side and headwind all the way back to Vasse Highway. I was pleasantly surprised by the camaraderie out there. Lots of friendly people including the volunteers and marshals. First lap down in one hour. And I still felt good!

There was some slowing on the second lap, particularly in the head wind and my mind was already starting to fret about the impending run. By this time I had passed people and they were already nowhere in sight. This added to a feeling of exhilaration that I was ACTUALLY doing this and doing it well. Thank you training rides and interval training! Nutrition also worked a charm. One date ball every 15 minutes and a drink of coconut water with pinch of Himalayan rock salt. Water every 10 minutes. I came in at 2:10:26 super chuffed with myself and still smiling.

Run

Running. *sigh*. Running. The best thing about this leg is the camaraderie gets even better and you are closer to spectators who shout encouragement. Lacking the wolf pack, it was even more important for me to have my family there (and the cameras that come with them!). It made me keep my form (when in sight but in the bush this form sometimes fell apart), and gave me that extra push to keep up the 6km/min.

On the run you see familiar faces around every turn and encouraging yells and high fives started at lap 2. Yes, the run had some minor hills, but they were all short enough to look forward to going down. Being protected in the forest under shade made for pleasant conditions. On lap 3/3 I had a breakthrough, focussing on a slow exhalation ensured deep breaths and avoided the shallow panting. This made lap 3 infinitely easier. Must remember this in training! Finally, after nearly 4 hours of slogging it, I sprinted through the finish.

Finisher

A funny thing happens to me at every race finish line. Tears. Low on blood sugar, low on energy, the brain has been in a stupor for several hours with the majority constantly telling me to stop and lay down, while a small stubborn little nugget of it refuses to give in and pushes the body to its maximum. The tears come and there’s a panicky feeling of hyperventilating and not getting enough oxygen. I force my focus back on my breathe despite wanting nothing more but to lay down. Deep breaths. Eat something, ANYTHING, and then bask in glory (and champagne and chocolate and all things yummy).

Lessons learned

As my biggest event to date, I learned a few important lessons:

  1. Arrive early the day before so you can do a familiarisation ride. It gave me a chance to feel the conditions, see the grade of the road (for only a small part of course), and the ‘lay of the land’. After climbing 5km straight outside Karri Valley resort I started to set my goals for the bike leg.
  2. Want peace and quiet? Don’t stay at the resort, or near a start line of any event.
  3. If you find yourself without a wolf pack, bring family and friends.
  4. Control your breathing – avoid panic attacks that come with panting, and breathe deeply.
  5. If you see me cry at the finish line, its normal.

Absolutely psyched about Busso, more challenges and things to learn.

 

Big weekend of racing

The wolves were all over the state this weekend, from Bunbury to Mullaloo, racing, supporting and enjoying the tail end of the season.

Mullaloo Tri

XTR’s Mullaloo triathlon was another fantastic event on the club race series with a choice of junior, sprint, olympic, duathlon and enticer events. Ten athletes made the trip north to gain some valuable club points to help secure the wolves in second place. Conditions on the day were fair. Although there were some gusty winds, the ocean was relatively calm but the bike leg had some challenging headwinds heading north.

Snelly had a great race and said of the conditions, “It was tricky, but also made it a bit of fun with some of the downhills hitting 50 plus km/h.”

Bunbury City Classic

The wolves also had a good showing down south for the Bunbury City Classic and the State standard distance championship. Sadly another swim was cancelled, this time due to a freak swell which TWA and safety officials determined to be too dangerous to continue. Jenny was one of the few enticers to have gotten in to the water but it was rough going and a number of people had to be rescued. Certainly, it created a lot of debate amongst some seasoned open water swimmers who thought athletes should be given the right to choose. However many agreed it was a good call to prioritise safety in such conditions.Congratulations to everyone who raced and especially to Emma Moon who took out a prize for her age group.

Weetbix Kids Try

Big congratulations to newly-minted junior triathlete, Ally, on her maiden race. The smiles say it all!

Freo Corporate Tri

Freo was a small event with about half the field from Kolbe Catholic College and Scotch College. The corporate teams also made up a large number of competitors. The swim was at Bathers Beach in nicer conditions tan last year’s rain and choppy swell.  The water was calm and very little swell. A long run to T1 made sense as the swim was only 400m for the sprint distance. The bike course started with a look around a roundabout before joining the main course and consisted of 6×3km laps. Tight twisty course down one end and a flat, fast section to the far turnaround. The run course across the train line was a 2 lap flat out and back with a slight headwind heading out which meant an easier run back to the start/finish. Congrats Floora and her corporate partner who won a gold in the duos.

Athlete Profile – James M

Nickname: None really but my sister calls me Wamesey….

How long have you been in tri?: On and off since I was 16. I had a three year career break whilst I studied/drank at University.

How did you get into tri?:
I’ve always enjoyed long distance running and was part of a club in England. A few members would do the local tri’s so I joined them in the first of the season. We all finished close to each other and had a great time so I entered the rest for that season and continued from there.

How many bikes do you have?:
Just one in Australia – Cannondale Supersix. Plus one in England – Giant TCR Advanced. I love both but I get a lot of bike envy so one day I’ll get a TT bike!

Something we wouldn’t already know about you?:
I spent four months working at a cattle station on the Nullabor, I learnt to ride a motor bike and muster cattle. Before that, I was petrified of cows.

What do you want to achieve this season?:
My goal was to go sub-5 hours at Bunbury Sufferfest which I achieved. I want to race a couple more times this year but I have no real goals in mind.

Sunsmart Women’s Tri

Gallery

Always a fantastic event, the 2018 Sunsmart Women’s Tri was a windy but enjoyable day out.

Anna did the mini which has lit a fire under her after missing a podium place in her age group. She will be working extra hard in the pool over coming months.

Jenny did her first sprint. She said of the event, “Great course, cross wind on the ride was a bit challenging, but it was also a blessing having the wind on the run course.” She is already planning her next race.

The blokes were down there supporting with unofficial club photographer Alex capturing the event and Coach Rob helping as a TO.

Shoalwater Classic seals second place for the wolf pack

Gallery

The Rockingham Tri Club Shoalwater Classic was a battle for club points. PHTC was third on the clubs ladder and a good turnout at Shoalwater ensured we jumped up to second place.

The night before the race was wild and windy but mother nature turned on a beautiful morning. Everyone had a great race and a dedicated crew of supporters from the wolf pack rode the blustery freeway to support the crew.

The Prez got back in the saddle and Nikky and Leanne took the plunge and did their first Olympic distance race.

Athlete profile – Floora

Name: Floora

How long have you been in tri?:  2.5 years

How did you get into tri?: It’s hard to say…it started with cycling. I then did the cycling leg of a Busso half ironman and got hooked on the atmosphere I think. Before you could say “swim bike run” I was signed up to the Sunsmart triathlon series in early 2016.

How many bikes do you have?:  3 – my Colnago Acr road bike, a Merida 96 3000D mountain bike, and my old faithful Malvern Star Oppy.

Something we wouldn’t already know about you?: English (Aussie) is not my first language, I speak Dutch in my family home. I have lived in Africa and Columbia.

What do you want to achieve this season?: Survive Karri Valley long distance and do the Busso half in under 6 hrs.

Santa is a Triathlete

I really think Santa Claus is a triathlete. He shows all the signs, to my way of thinking:

  • He is a bit obsessive compulsive – he’s making a list, he’s checking it twice
  • He gives instructions to the kids at the Aid Station about his intended nutrition plan – look at those regular small intakes of biscuits and milk when he is running around on Christmas Eve
  • He favours a two piece race suits because the one piece shows off his belly too much

But in all seriousness, triathletes can perhaps learn something from his race preparation.

Santa is well prepared.
He knows his A race and focusses on getting everything prepared well in advance. No nasty surprises when it comes time for action!

Santa is part of a club
He involves other people in his race prep (the elves) but ultimately he knows he is completely responsible for the result.

Santa keeps it simple
He knows we live in an “information overload” world, but he only listens to reliable sources of information, so that he can either class each kid as “naughty” or “nice”. There is beauty in simplicity, and so if it is good enough for the big fella, then perhaps we triathletes can simplify our outcomes to focus on only 2, or at the most 3 goals (Santa Claus says 2 goals, Warren Buffet says 3 goals but both are very successful gentlemen).

Come race day we are then able to have a clear mind for what we DO want (those 2 or 3 very clear goals) and drop everything that has a DONT want attached to it. Those goals work nicely if we have numbers (time, pace, power) associated with them.

With thorough preparation, clear and specific goals brings a freedom from anxiety and clutter in our minds, so that we can allow ourselves to perform to the best of our ability (and in so doing, most likely enjoy our race day).

Merry Christmas, and thanks to Santa for the mentorship in being a triathlete.

Contributed by Ian Hainsworth – club secretary, Ironman veteran and all-round nice guy.

Ian H on his fifth Busselton Ironman


Ian and Shane (pretending it’s all fun and games)

Busselton 2015 was the last race I had completed, and for those of us who can’t forget, it was a nausea inducing swim with lots of athletes pulled from the water (followed by a ride and run that were sabotaged by the nausea the swim caused!).

I left home for Busso 2017 early (3.30am) on Thursday morning so I could get to Busselton in time for the first practice swim. Just like other athletes, I did small chunks of training over the next 48 hours, just enough to remind my body that it may well be enjoying the reduced workload now, but there was pain to come in a couple of days!

Sunday morning, and I made sure I got to transition early. Tyres, gear, bidons, nutrition all checked and in position. I headed back home, to have a cup of coffee with my wife and get changed, so she could drop me off as close to transition as possible (my legs had enough work to do that day, walking a couple of km to transition wasn’t in my plans for a quick race day).

As I walked down the street, I would like to think I looked relaxed, confident and race ready (…I didn’t). A lady walking next to me laughed and told me you wont be needing that, will you? (pointing at my wetsuit, I think). I laughed with her and assured her that I was pretty attached to that wetsuit and no way was I getting out of the damn thing until I got back into T1 from the swim. She then laughed again and told me there was a shark sighting and the swim had been cancelled.

Great, no swim? How the hell am I supposed to figure out just where my swim had progressed to without swimming? Like every other athlete, I meandered aimlessly around like Browns’ cows until we were told to get on the beach and we would run to transition and begin the bike leg.

I then committed the sin of sitting on the beach (in full sun) until an hour later when I managed to start the race. I was pretty pissed off (probably mostly at the shark I guess) but unfortunately also over-heated. I usually manage to take about 10km into the bike to warm up, before I can feel my hands and feet after a longer swim. No problems today in getting warm!

However, my attitude was really the problem. I am a bit of a slow thinker, and despite having an hour to re-adjust my expectations, I hadn’t used my time wisely. So I really meandered along for the first 60km, wanting to pretty much give up and go home. That also meant I wasn’t paying attention to water going in (or more importantly over the top of me to cool off) and nutrition plan was a bit uncertain too as I hadn’t had the swim to burn off some calories.

I may have mentioned I am a bit of a slow thinker. After 60km I was realising that it was pretty hot out there, and I was getting a headache and my pace was not what it was supposed to be. Couldn’t be the wind (there wasn’t any) and certainly wasn’t the bike’s fault.

So, I took in some more nutrition (more on that later…!) and pushed the pedals with a bit more intention. That seemed to work nicely and pace picked up. But ……….. so did the heat.

My nutrition bars were chocolate/peanut flavour. Not my choice, that was all they had left in the required brand (amazing how few brands are made that work for a Coelic like me). It is pretty obvious to you already that having chocolate covered bars in your back pocket when it is REALLY hot is going to be messy. It became obvious to me as well, at about that time, and I think I looked a bit like Augustus Gloop (Charlie and Chocolate Factory). It also became obvious to me just how few places there are that you can wipe chocolate covered hands when you are out on a bike course……….. (Hint: DON’T wipe them on your shorts if your club favours really light coloured kit……).

By time I came past turnaround for first lap I was determined to negative split the bike, figuring that I had mucked around so much on the first lap there was no way I could fail to do better. I had noticed that the athletes heading back out of town on the second lap had this strained look on their face and weren’t really enjoying themselves. I found out why.

I was pretty damn hot at that stage, and with another 15km or so to go to an aid station I couldn’t just pour water all over myself. So, I had to grit my teeth and settle for pedalling like Grandma Duck and keep conservative pace until I got the next aid station and then grabbed as many water bottles as I could, shoving them down my top and into bottle holders.

I felt a bit better after using 4 bidons of water over myself over about a 5km distance, and woke up enough to notice there was quite a few athletes just sitting on side of road. No obvious mechanical, and whilst some of these athletes probably DID have irretrievable mechanical issues with their bike, I suspect some also just completely overheated and their bodies demanded an end to the torment.

I rode past an athlete who had been knocked unconscious off her bike and was surrounded by 7 other riders (I was told later she had been knocked off by a kangaroo jumping out of bush – not sure whether to believe that story but I guess there is no proof to the contrary).

I then realised I was feeling worse and my head was getting worse and generally feeling a bit average. Those chocolate bars weren’t getting any easier to eat either, and after the first 6 gels have gone down, I definitely DON’T look forward to swallowing more gels.

So, I had to humbly accept my fate and push at a quite average effort back to town. I was hoping that the athlete tracker on website had crashed (it usually does) and nobody would know about my ride ( I was told later that my mother-in-law kept asking “Is Ian still out on the bike? Why is he taking so long?”. This didn’t make me feel any better).

I got off the bike and went into the tent to change. Nobody feels sensational after 180km on a bike, but I usually look forward to the run. I wasn’t convinced however I could run (turns out that was prophetic). I hobbled out with my best athletic run (looking a bit like Quasimodo) and saw a friendly face at the fence. Craig told me “It is really hot here”. Yeah, thanks mate, you should try it out in the farmlands of Busselton. He also told me that a breeze was due to come in an hour, which made me feel HEAPS better (also turns out he was lying and the breeze never came).

The run on IM can be a very humbling experience. It is often slow, always painful and involves various changes in mindset (“thank God I am running now” through to the thoughts of “this doesn’t seem quite right” through to “I am pretty sure that they have moved that aid station and it is a lot further than it was last lap”).

I don’t want to bore you with the details, but the run was humbling. I haven’t ever suffered cramps on a run before, so it was a new experience to have first my left calf decide it had enough of the insult (at 15km mark) and then right calf at about 20km mark.

Seeing my wife and daughter each lap was brilliant. They are wonderful people and incredibly supportive of my efforts. Seeing the wolf pack in their tent was also massively positive and they were very kind to me and told me I was running well (I wasn’t, and if you don’t believe me have a look at the race photos).

It was also inspirational to see Shane catch up to me on the run (he had suffered cramps out on the bike) and give it it his absolute all in a brilliant IM debut race. Travis offered me a beer, which I accepted (before reflecting 5km later that beer contains gluten so that wasn’t smart for a Coeliac. I may have mentioned before that I am a bit of a slow thinker…….)

As usual, finishing an IM race is brilliant. Truly brilliant. All those hours of the demons in your head (telling you to stop the pain by just laying down for a while) have been condensed into a few moments of pure victory – the mind has triumphed over the body.

Walking back to the car I was regaled by the stories of a gentleman who had also raced (but far more swiftly than I did) and how he found conditions really difficult and had to stop a few times on the bike to get some ice to cool down – I felt sorry for him until he told me he finished in 8 hrs 50 mins.

Ironman is a great leveller. It brings out the best of human spirit, the capacity to suffer and yet endure. The ability to have self doubt, and yet encourage and support others around you to succeed in their quest at the same time as you perhaps face failure in your own.