The non drafting format of Noosa excites me as it changes the dynamics of normal ITU racing and brings together some of the best long and short course athletes to dual it out over what is almost 'middle ground'.
I'm not known for my grace in early morning wake ups or starts, but as far as 4am wake ups go, I was actually more spritely and alert than usual for a race start of this hour.
Starting off with a beach start, diving into the crystal clear waters of Noosa main beach, I had a clean run in, and quickly found myself on the feet of Ellie Salthouse. Happy with this position as Ellie is a good swimmer, and knowing I would struggle to match the pace of the 2 or 3 lead girls I settled in on her feet for pretty much the entire 1 lap swim. Once out on the bike I knew I had work to do, to start reeling myself back up to the leaders. So it was a pretty easy race plan at that point. Ride hard! haha. Unsure what the time gap was to the lead girls, myself and Ellie got out on the bike together to start chipping away. I could see a few girls up the road and knew I was riding time into them revolution by revolution, until they were caught just before the base of hill. Leading up the 'Noosa Hill' climb I realized I had dropped the girls behind before catching Ash and Gillian on the climb who were sitting in 2nd and 3rd. But I didn't want to ease up as I was feeling good, there was still Natalie leading solo out front, and wanted to keep the gap I had earnt on the hill, By the time I reached the first turn around I could asses it was only myself and Ash keeping the pace, and Natalie still to catch up the road.
After riding hard back towards town, I realized now, it had most likely come down to a foot race for line honours. As I would be racing one of the fastest girls with two feet on terra firma, the run would be fast. I backed off on the last stretch of the bike, and dismounted resembling a baby deer's first footsteps, after forgetting momentarily I was not actually dismounting my road bike,! I lead out of the run for the first couple of km's before Ash put her foot down in a little surge, and pulled ahead, where ultimately she would stay until the finish line. I ran myself into 2nd with Natalie coming in behind in 3rd.
Noosa Tri is such an amazing event, with 12,500 competitors. To have the opportunity to race such a huge event at home, in such a beautiful location, with some of the best triathletes in the world on the start line is incredible. To add to that I had a good, hard, but very fun race and battle out there. I'll definitely be back :)
Last stop of the season will be 70.3 Asia Pacific Champs in Western Sydney in 2 weeks.
Thanks to WITSUP and KORUPT for the images :)