Tour de Brisbane
The inaugural Tour de Brisbane cycling race was a cracker of a course over 110km and 1400m of elevation including an early climb up the legendary Mt Coot-tha. I highly recommend this event for anyone thinking about Gran Fondo racing. A unique opportunity to race on a scenic Brisbane course on fully closed roads! It had a bit of everything – climbing, rolling hills, sweet descents, and super-fast sections on hot mix on the motorway. And tunnels – who knew that the temperature would change so much underground? It was like riding in a very warm windy vortex.
We had three riders start – all in the same category of Masters Women’s 5 (50-54) – Mandy Doolan, Maree Binder and myself. Mandy did the ride not last minute, but not far off it. She was in Brisbane visiting family and thought she would give it a crack. Amazing ride from her to finish 4th in the category and qualify for the World Championships in the process. Maree did the ride to experience road racing and as part of her build to Cairns 70.3. Unfortunately the climb was too early in the race for her to form a reasonable group to ride with. She ended up doing a lot of the race solo, but in the process produced personal best power numbers over all distances – fabulous training for Cairns.
This is a half Ironman event on a fast course (by all reports). Donna Dowling lined up for only her second outing over this distance, the last one being back in 2016. After a frosty swim DD followed her race plan on the bike well to set herself up for a great run. And this is where she really stuck it to her coach (i.e. – me). The pre-race discussions around pacing were ambitious, but Donna clearly knew what she was capable of and nailed the run. Pretty much evenly split and as fast as Donna has even run a half, let alone off the bike. And of course this resulted in a super time improvement overall with a 5.45 and 11th in category.
Brad Dowling and Joann Lukins raced together in a team with Brad doing the bike and Joann doing the run. It was a great opportunity for Brad to test the work he had been doing on the bike on a fast and flat course where he could ride to a power target. We did a lot of work in the month before in training playing around with power and cadence to work out his strategy for racing/pacing (that will be a separate blog post). We talked the day before and settled on an average power range. Brad came in bang on target, whipping out a super-fast 2.25 bike split, paced almost to perfection. Jo revelled in the cool conditions to run a half marathon PB of 1.44.
Julia Creek Dirt and Dust Triathlon
This event lived up to its name with Annika Frossling representing us in amongst the mud, flies, wind and heat. In her words – ‘some ask me why I come out here to race. Swim in a muddy creek, ride 23k in crazy headwind, run in the middle of the day in the hot sun and having flies crawling all over your face. I do it because I love to push myself to the limits, racing with likewise athletes, the atmosphere, the horse races, bull riding and much more.
The swim was great. It was actually plenty of water in the creek. The ride did not start really well as my shoes were so full of mud so I could not clip in to my pedals. I stopped and tried to get it out but I gave up. Over 25k headwinds and a slight uphill gave my quads a really good workout. The slowest ride I ever done but it was the same for all of us. The run was good. Very hot but plenty of cold water along the road. Happy with my race. Ended up with a win again’.
Mount Mee Trail Run
Carmel Linning is training for her main goal of the year, the UTA50 trail run in Katoomba. She ventured south for the weekend to take in a race that is part of the Glasshouse trail run series – Mount Mee. The half marathon course provided plenty of elevation (1560m) and some amazing pictures. A strong run from Carmel that was fabulous training in the scheme of her overall goal.