Gatorade Race 3 – National Sprint Distance Triathlon Championships

Profile: National Sprint Distance Triathlon Championships

Distance: 750/20/5

Time: 1hr 8min 04sec

Age Group Place: 10th

Weather: Ideal

Swim: 12min 55sec (+ 1min 23sec transition)

It’s funny how water that looks calm from shore turns out to be quite rough when you’re out there. I didn’t have a great swim, not helped at all by the fact that my goggles kept on fogging up. Fogging goggles isn’t a massive issue, until you turn the can and are swimming into the sun. I couldn’t see anything! After swimming off course for a while, I decided to ease up and let the guy who was behind me swim through. I then just jumped on his feet. Certainly didn’t help the speed of my swim, but probably better than throwing my goggles away.

Ride: 32min 00 sec (+1min 27sec transition)

The ride went well. There wasn’t much wind and the road surface on Beach Road is fantastic. A guy wearing the Egyptian national uniform passed me 2k into the bike, but I didn’t let him go. He (Nour) and I traded places for most of the ride. At about the 16k mark, I threw up in my mouth… excellent, I was clearly working at my desired capacity! With 1k to go on the bike, I put my foot down and managed to drop Nour into transition. My Garmin told me that I averaged 39.7k/hr on the bike, happy with that. When I looked at the results, I was pleased to see that I only dropped 1 minute or so to the pros on the bike… I’ve been losing 3 minutes here all season. This was, hands down, my best ride all season.

Run: 20min 17sec

Despite the effort on the bike, I felt good on the run. I was expecting Nour to catch me, as he was riding pretty well. I passed plenty of people, and managed to maintain a good rhythm. The time was a bit disappointing after the time I managed to run in Canberra. I am about 98% sure that the run was long though. Either that, or I just felt much faster than I actually ran! I didn’t see Nour again until after the race; he was a nice guy. He’s going to race in the Qld Champs, I hope he does well.


So, that is it. I have enough series points to make the Australian Sprint Distance triathlon team. In fact, I am the current points leader. I haven’t decided if I will actually go and race at the World Championships in Chicago in September. It’s been a good season. I have had good swims, a good ride, and a good run… Unfortunately, I haven’t managed to actually put them all together on the same day! Such is life. The goal was to make the team, so

Goal Accomplished.

Capital Summerfest Triathlon

Capital Summerfest Triathlon

Profile: ACT Sprint Distance Triathlon Championships

Distance: 750/20/5

Time: 1hr 3min 47sec

Age Group Place: 1st – Maximum points!

Weather: Ideal

Swim: 11min 39sec

After a great swim in SA, I was looking forward to the swim in Lake Burley Griffin. The water was very dark, the moment your hand hit the water, it disappeared. Unfortunately I never quite got going on the swim, my legs just didn’t fire. I felt a bit constricted in the wetsuit, which was weird – never felt that before. They let us swim in wetsuits, but the water was pretty warm. Must have been a Queensland thermometer! Unfortunately the guy who was first out dropped me around the first buoy, I tried to lift to stay on his feet, but had nothing – was a little worried at this stage! Settled into a rhythm though, and didn’t get overtaken by the masses. Was first out of the water in my age group, but third in my wave. Got to put some effort into the swim over the next couple of weeks.

Ride: 31min 52 sec (+46sec transition)

The roads in Canberra triathlons are famously good. The course was very fast, with most of the roads in very good condition. I passed a guy on the first lap, who passed me back, but then I dropped him. It was a little cool on the first lap, but by the second lap it had warmed up a bit. The wind swirled  lightly, it wasn’t exactly clear where it was helping and where it was hindering. At the end of the first lap, the open leader passed me as he headed into transition. He was hammering!

On the second lap, I hit a bump coming onto a bridge, which forced my handlebars to point down a bit… Better tighten the screws more next time! That could have been a disaster. There was an accident on the bike leg in which someone got hurt – I’ll bet that is where it happened. You couldn’t escape the bump, and it was a pretty nasty one. A guy passed me coming into transition, but I wasn’t too concerned at that point. Feeling ok, probably still not working hard enough on the bike. I really need to make up another 2 minutes here, to be averaging 40km/h+.

Run: 18min 46sec (+43 sec transition)

Felt pretty good on the run. It was flat around the lake. I was channeling Dave Scott, after finishing reading Iron War on Saturday. Michael Bradburn said it would be worth at least 1 minute, and given this time is about 2 minutes faster than I’ve run 5k off the bike this season, I’ll give it 2 minutes. It is a good book. Just don’t read the Epilogue, that’s a downer! I passed the guy who had passed me at the end of the ride about 1k in. I was passed by a guy in the 40-44 age group just after the turnaround who went on to run 15min 42sec. Gee I wish I could run that fast! Solid effort. Happily, I was pretty consistent throughout the run, although Pauline said I looked terrible at the end. Good, mission accomplished. I ran without a watch, which I will do from now on. Pacing is for losers, I will just will myself to go harder until I grind myself into the ground… don’t want my watch telling me I can’t run that fast! haha…


As far as I can recall, that is the fastest sprint distance triathlon I have ever done. It was a very fast course and almost perfect conditions, granted. All in all, happy with the result.

The event was well run, the corporate-run triathlons in Queensland really could learn a thing or two from these community-run triathlons in terms of creating an atmosphere, etc. Lexi had her face painted and bounced on the bouncing castle. She was in heaven. Later, she took part in a 100m dash with other under-6’s. She was super-excited, but had no idea what was going on!

Was a great trip to Canberra. Did some sight seeing, enjoyed near perfect weather. Caught up with Suzie and Andrew. A great couple of days!

Franklin Island Triathlon

Profile: South Australian Sprint Distance Triathlon Championships

Distance: 750/20/5

Time: 1hr 9min 12sec

Age Group Place: 6th

Weather: Hot and sunny

This is the first race to offer points towards the national age group team.

Swim: 10min 56sec

Had a great swim, felt really good throughout. I was warned before the race started that there was a fellow who could really swim, so my goal was to just get on his feet and see if I could hang on. I had no idea who he actually was, but as it turned out it didn’t take long to figure that out! Got on his feet and settled in. The time would have put me in the first pack of the pros, happy with that. I am only really getting going with my swimming too, so that is going to get better.

Out in 2nd place feeling good. Ran past the big fella to be first into transition.

Ride/transition: 37min 23 sec

First onto the bike. Sweet. The ride was very hilly. So hilly. We also ate wind the whole way out. It became clear pretty quickly that I need to do more training on the bike. Not a surprise, but really got found out at this level. I think I was fourth back into transition, and pretty much spent. The sun was up and it was hot!

Run: 20min 56sec

I am going to run a sub-20min 5k off the bike this season, but not today. I was wrecked after the ride. Just battled on. Got passed by two people. I must have made up a position in transition.

Overall, I think this was a missed opportunity. I ended up 1 min 30 seconds behind the winner. It was a very tight field, it is looking like Chicago is a desirable destination for the Worlds! I’ve got to up my training over the next 6 weeks to make a better account of myself in Canberra, particularly on the bike.

Until next time!

Bribie Tri

Bribie Tri

Profile: The Bribie Tri is a local race that has a good reputation. Was held the week before Noosa, which is likely to have affected participation. I last raced this race 19 years ago!

Distance: 750/20/5

Time: 1hr 5min 59sec

Age Group Place: 4th

Weather: Hot and sunny

Coming off the Cool Night Classic on the Thursday night before, I was a little tired on the morning. I left early, but not early enough – it took almost 90 minutes to get up there. I arrived about 30 minutes after the opening of transition. As it turns out, it doesn’t matter – it seems that these days all bike rack positions are determined by your race number. No more turning up first to get the best spot!

Swim: 10min 44sec

The swim started about 20 minutes late – maybe I took my gel too early! I was swimming in a wetsuit for the first time since 1995. As my age group (35-39) was one of the largest, it had its own wave. Curiously, they also put us towards the end. I don’t understand why they do that as my age group tends to also be one of the fastest. The swim was tide assisted, but not as much as I would have liked given my “light” swim preparation!

I started strong, leading through the first couple of hundred metres. After a while I began thinking that maybe they pulled everyone back. I eased up a bit and a guy went past, and immediately gapped me. Oops. Then another came through, I jumped on his feet and we reeled the first guy back in and passed him.

Out in 2nd place.

Ride: 34min 32 sec

After a reasonable (I think) transition, it was out onto the bike. I pulled the strap through my shoe, so couldn’t I close it properly. An annoyance, but didn’t affect performance. Ride was generally pretty weak, got passed by a couple of guys. Dammit.

Run: 20min 42sec

It seemed to take ages to get into a rhythm, probably 3km. On the last lap I noticed that Howsie was about 150 metres in front of me so  I set my sights on catching him. There was a bit of traffic on the run, which got in the way a couple of times. I think the run course was a bit long also, no one in my wave ran under 20 minutes, but last year the guy who won (also won this year) ran 16:52. I had the second fastest run, which I was happy with despite the time.

Until next time.

Cale Bennett.