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Anna Francis - Shepparton Ironman 70.3 Race Report
CBD Cycles - 23/11/2012
Being my first race for the season, Shepparton Ironman 70.3 certainly helped me to get rid of a few cobwebs! My last race was Ironman Australia in May, and whilst I normally wouldn’t have an issue with such a big gap between triathlons, an injury kept me from racing in some of the Winter running events and I really felt it on Sunday!
I was forced to shift my focus for winter to swimming, cycling and strength development, so my goal for Shepparton was to swim and bike well, and to do what I could in the run. Even though my age group started in the same wave as the Pro’s, we just started a little bit too far back for me to catch up! Luckily, we also had 18-24 males in that same wave, so I was able to get onto some faster feet and hang on to some of the guys meaning I led my age group out of the water.
I found my rhythm quickly on the bike and I definitely feel like my work on the bike and in the gym have made a difference. Even though I have always been an advocate for higher cadence cycling, I found myself pushing a bigger gear quite comfortably. There were a couple of other female age group athletes who I passed in the first lap, but I was still unaware of where I was placed in the field. Once I came back into town for the turnaround, I heard my coach, Julie Tedde, scream out that I was the first age group athlete through and even though the wind was getting stronger, I knew I wanted to maintain, if not broaden the gap into the run.
I came into T2 knowing that coach Tedde was waiting for her team mate to arrive back from the bike, so I had thought about putting in a good effort in transition, but I still got ‘your T2 was woeful” at the end of the race! Lucky she didn’t see T1! I came out of transition feeling ok, and was holding a good pace, but in hindsight, perhaps a little fast as I slowed a little over the 21km. I suspected that would happen, and had to dig very deep to finish the final lap knowing I was being hunted! I’ve never been able to race a race like that before, so I am very happy with a good start to the season! Never have I been so sore from a 70.3 either!!
Aside from the racing, it was a great weekend away with the TRG crew, including my co-podium finishers, Elizabeth and Bernadette Dornom! Coach Julie Tedde never ceases to amaze with brilliant results across the board. Thank you also to Anthony at CBD Cycles, Jo Hall from Liv/giant, Danny O’Brien from PowerBar and Trent Harlow from Mizuno! I’m looking forward to a good, fun season of racing in the lead up to hometown IM Melbourne!