It was a busy weekend for the MEC athletes around the country with the summer season in full swing.
Kicking things off early on Saturday morning John Winterburn chalked up yet another open water swim competing the in the Cerburus swim at Half Moon Bay in Melbourne. Backed up with his long ride John is putting together his Ultraman preparation nicely and handling the training well.
Samantha Janssen was a woman on a mission driving from Melbourne to Huskisson for the sprint distance world championship qualifier. Shaking off the travel Sam put together a great race in a big field of 100 in her age group. 8th place sees Sam collect more valuable points ahead of the final qualifier and Australian Championships at the Gold Coast next weekend.
Sarah Hardy is also on the hunt for world championship point and this week turned the Run the Bridge event in Hobart into a brick session doing a turbo session before lining up and taking 3rd place in her age group over the 10k course. Plenty of racing coming up for Sarah over the coming weeks.
There was a good contingent in the Geelong 70.3 and as was about due, conditions were near perfect. Bridie Meade her second half distance appearance and this time under guidance of a coach. Collecting pb's across swim, bike and run Bridie knocked off 19min from her overall personal best. Still with plenty of room to improve it is up and up for this young lady.
A late entry to get some more race experience Angelo Bonacci tied together a race that in his terms was good but not great. A solid all round day though with 30min swim 2hr30min bike and 1hr 40 run shows that even on an ok day he is moving well. Some resetting now for Ang before he takes on the year ahead.
Travis Hill was another late sign on only getting the nod from his coach on Friday morning before the event. A swim improvement of 4mins since his last 70.3 in Geelong was a great start however Trav fell short on mechanical luck on the bike and wasn't able to finish the race. Trav will look to Challenge Melbourne where he can link a better day together.
Sam Elliot was not to sure about his form coming into Geelong after enjoying a well earned break over the festive season. Sam did however have a great year of training under is belt in 2017 and that showed as he moved well through the day to finish in a personal best time and first time under 5hrs as well as picking up a World Championship Qualification to his homeland of South Africa in September. Sam has learnt the value of racing smart to get some great result. Good things to come later in 2018 from him.
Peter Howes put together a strong swim/bike in Geelong however fell short on the hydration side of things on the bike a paid for it on the run. Credit to him for gutting it out and some valuable race lessons learned.
David Lloyd was another that had a busy January but showed that consistent training pays dividends with a personal best time over the 70.3 distance. David has a big race schedule ahead for 2018 so it is pleasing to see some early year improvements before we wind into more training.
Peter Smith stumbled through the last few weeks with illness however after racing Busselton IM last year there was still plenty of life in the body to have a great day in Geelong. Having not raced a half distance for around 18months Pete confirmed to himself that the hard work is paying off with an 18min improvement since his last 70.3 and just falling short of the 5hr mark with 5hr01min. No doubt some fuel for the fire come Challenge Melbourne.
Martin Sprong whipped around on Sunday and with much more confidence in his ability and only his 2nd half distance event. A 31min swim followed by a 2hr 24min bike and 1hr 34min run gave him a 2min pb finishing in 4hr 35min. Martin is a very intuitive racer we could already see the cogs turning looking for further improvements. Great race Martin.
Naomi Wood and Adrian Polidano joined forces in the mixed team event as a good training hit out. An impressive 2hr 38min bike split from Naomi was the highlight and both had a good hit out.
Shout out to Sharon Robsinson for getting through the day after a testing last 6 months where she lost her coach Ryan Burke. Sharon has been joining us for our swim session and the crew was right behind her to see her home. Well done Shaz
Last but certainly not least we had Chris White make his fist 70.3 appearance in 2.5 years. Carrying some (a lot) of fitness from his 17 marathons he completed in 2017, Chris was out for a good training hit out completing his full swim session Friday and ride Saturday as he prepares for Ultraman Australia. Chris put together a great race knocking off 2mins from his personal best time set on the flat fast Sunshine Coast. 4hr 42min was good enough to take 5th place in his age group and confirm he is well on track for Ultraman in May this year.