Watching the boys race from the tenth floor balcony with A lister views of the swim course highlighted early how rough the swim would be the next day. A one lap swim into a massive current (again curtisy of all the water running out from the river into the ocean) saw a very slow and tedious lap out to the far buoys, and a jet set fast return. This was much the same for the girls the next day, but we also had a gale force wind to tackle on the way out.
In general Mooloolaba is always a special race for so many reasons. 1. It's usually the opening World Cup of the season, and always a challenge on "unraced" bodies and a good slap in the face to how hard racing can be. 2. It's probably the hardest WC course out there, hillls hills and then to finish...just a few more hills, add to that a 200m soft sand run to transition, a surf swim, humidity through the roof, and some cooker temps to go with, really are a testiment to ones fitness so early on in the season. 3. The surf swim and a beach start and body surf, always adds the extra element of fun, or inversely add the wrath of not catching a wave, into the equation, mixes things up a little., and 4. Its such a bloody great weekend of races chilled vibes and great party, sweet beach, definately one of the better races out there!
After some pretty vigorous stretching and self massage after landing from the plane (I never seem to pull up great from travel), kinda inconvienient living in Perth and nowhere near, well anything really. I finally felt semi human the day of the race, though a bit sore to be honest, but that was a choice i weighed up to try and put the body back into its best shape with what I had to work with. Beautiful day, cooler than normal for Moobs, but a howling wind. Anyhow loving the beach starts and the surf to manouver, and the knowledge it would be a choppy swim, makes me a little more comfortable with the swim than normal I guess. Plus I had to awesome mates of mine travel up form home to cheer, which also puts you in good spirits, regardless that the field was stacked.
Swim start...Not a bad start, and found myself in a good position around the first buoy for once, prob about 15 or so. Great was loving that until the carnage began. So so so rough, and pushed under by two seperat people on each shoulder, twice, then pulled back and under again, a squeal and yelping from some chick behind me let me know I certainly wasn't the only one getting drowned out there. Angry and annoyed I finally got moving again, but already had lost many a position, from the drowning. Disappoiinting as I rarely get a good start as I did and really wanted to use it to my advantage, but really once you get caught up in the mess and stop moving forward, to no fault of anyone, its hard to get 60 girls around a can at the same time and not expect to beb kicked and punched, sometimes it's just luck of the draw, and I drew bad today. Anyhow still in touch and moving ok, the scrap fight continued until about 800m, before it thinned out. Coming into shore and still not terribly off the pace of the main group, I just fell off some rolling waves that they got, and lost a few body lengths just prior to exiting the water. Nonetheless, I ran hard up the sand and was back on to the back end of the group into transition.
Bike starts not being my favourite, Im often a bit slow off the mark after so often killing myself in the water, I was just chasing onto the group with a Slovenian girl, maybe ten meters off, lungs burning and looking forward to backing off the pedals for a few strokes, when BAM, pedals jammed up, unable to turn my cranks. I looked down and saw my chain had fallen off jammed between fork and casette, and not wanting to budge. You are freaking kidding me! This vital time is make or break for my race, and frantically trying to get it back on the casette and back to the chase before the group got away, I got it on once more accelerated, only for it to do the same thing again! Noooo! ( Though you can replace noooo with much worse French that was coming out of my mouth at this stage) as the Slovenian girl Iwas riding with was on the group and they were getting away. I tried once more to rectify this problem with the same result, chain off jamming my pedals, killing my fork grating metal on metal. Staying out of this gear I had one last shot to make this group before the turn around and I faced then riding the head wind solo, I hammered to get on and was closing, but couldnt quite get there before the turn, then as real fatigue set in and the head wind showed me no remorse, I watched them ride away from me. Sooo disappointed, after essentially being a few seconds away from sitting in. Anyhow I had to lock myself out of these gears for the rest of the ride and rode with a pack behind, which was pretty useless to be hones, most being weak riders, and not wanting to pull turns, I found myself just getting frustrated, and realising, I was going to have to just work hard by myself, for myself to get a good training session, and race fitness to use for Sydney in a few weeks time.
A smoothe transition apart from having to pick up my bike that fell over on me (clearley I had pissed off the Felt F3 today and he had it in for me) I was out on the run and actually felt like I was moving ok, but did not have my usual kick on the run. Though battling a stitch for the first few km, I finally got into some rythm but did not have my best run legs, or heart I must say knowing just how far off the leaders we hit the run today, I ran hard but certainly far from my best, despite some very supportive cheers form some people who know who they are out on course, I walked away from the race with head sagging, and frustration that needed venting. Character building race we will say :)
On a positive note though, my roomy and fellow Aussie Erin Densham had a stellar day out, and a superb run on a very hard course to blitz it in for the win, Nicola Spirig from Switzerland 2nd, and my other good friend kiwi Andrea Hewitt took third.
Aussies Emma Moffat finished 9th, Flis Abram had a freak DNS doing a query tear morning of the race, bad luck, Snowy too, being sick.
Aussie boys did well with Sticksy getting 2nd behing Laurent Vidal of France, and fellow frenchy David Hauss 3rd, and Brendon Sexton coming in 5th behind Mola of Spain.
Now 2 weeks to Sydney, and some work to be done