Aaron Buchan

“Triumph and Challenges: My Memorable First Triathlon in Australia”

Embarking on my first triathlon in Australia since back was an experience filled with both relaxation and unexpected hurdles during the lead-up. Having dedicated the past 10 months to relaxed training, I was excited to tackle the Australia Day triathlon, an event I’d participated in for the past decade. While the course had shifted to a sprint distance under new organizers, it was a welcome change that aligned perfectly with my current training focus.

The day before the race brought its share of surprises, with a substantial 30mm of rain causing concern about the water conditions. Living by the lake, I was privy to the aftermath, halting my pre-race swim due to stormwater contamination. A disheartening walk to the southern end revealed murky, black water pouring into the lake, leaving me convinced that the swim would be cancelled.

Arriving on race morning, the absence of discussions about cancelling the swim left me perplexed. Despite my inquiries, it seemed the organizers were testing the water. I questioned the methodology, considering EPA stats advised against swimming for three days post-rain. Nevertheless, I was determined to swim, even though I am not a fan of duathlons. The warm-up swim left me tasting salt and dirt – an unpleasant experience, to say the least.

Undeterred, I positioned myself in the 5th wave among age group racers, ready to face the challenging water conditions. The rough, windy, and cold waters tested my resolve, but as the gun went off, I powered through. Navigating the chop with a strategic approach, I adapted my stroke, maintained a high cadence, and executed efficient turns around the buoys. Exiting the water in 12:30 minutes, a respectable time considering my reduced swim training frequency, set a positive tone for the race.

Transitioning to the bike, I faced another first – riding a road bike. With only three hours of weekly training, I completed the 20km leg in an impressive 31:30 minutes. Moving on to the run, I began conservatively at a 4-minute pace, aware that I needed to accelerate for a sub-20-minute 5km. However, lack of sleep two nights prior took its toll, resulting in a 20:30-minute run. Disappointed, I acknowledged that performance can vary, especially for an aging body like mine.

Closing with a 1:05-minute overall time (though my watch insisted it was 1:02), I left the event with a sense of accomplishment and a keen determination to improve. Excitement for the upcoming race on February 11th at Silver Sands Beach fuels my motivation – eager to overcome challenges and strive for a better performance.

thanks so much for reading please join me for the next race on the 11th Feb

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