December 27 – The Lake Hayes Tri

Well if my ambition was to break 1 hour 30, I failed miserably. I was just a bit over 1.41 by my own stop watch (haven’t seen the official results yet) so that’s a bit disappointing.
But may I say there a few mitigating factors. It was not windy but it was really wet. The rain started just before the start of the swim – which was calm and the lake was very warm – but it just got heavier and heavier and the bike ride was, I thought, a bit dangerous in parts because of the surface flooding, especially towards the end of the ride.
Anyway I did about 20 mins for the swim, but was pretty slow – and wet – through the first transition, went pretty well on the bike for a while until my chain came off down the back of the course. I’d passed quite a few by that stage – mostly those on mountain bikes admittedly – but they all flew past me while I fixed the chain. Then I got them all a second time, and a few more too.
The run was OK, although I started going the wrong way for the first 100 metres or so, so that was waste of time and energy. Am I a novice or what ??
But I enjoyed the experience of the run along the shores of Lake Hayes even if there was a whole lot of mud towards the end.
This tri has been going since 1983 and puts itself about as the oldest in the country. The driving force behind it is Tom Pryde, an Invercargill lawyer who I knew at the Old Boys rugby club there 35 years ago. He’s a high quality age group triathlete himself and while he didn’t compete today, he was out there on the water marshalling during the swim and then doing the finish line announcing and the prize giving afterwards. Tom’s been organising this event, and another on Lake Hayes at Easter for 27 years. That’s over 50 races. Remarkable.
Nikki Samuels was the women’s winner. She had quite a day. She rode from Wanaka over the Crown Range to Lake Hayes and was going to ride home again after the race, but she did an hour’s training run instead because of the weather. I guess that’s why she’s world championship standard.
Anyway for me, back to a training programme for the rest of the week here. Let’s hope it stops raining because right now it’s persisting down and has been for over 12 hours.
Thanks also to John Knight of Outside Sports in Queenstown for the use of his bike for the ride today. It went really well, apart from the little chain mishap.

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