What a busy couple of months it has been! Since Christmas in New Zealand I’ve been keeping myself out of trouble with:
- A triathlon training camp in Jindabyne;
- A debut half-ironman triathlon in Geelong;
- A beachy weekend at the Central Coast;
- A team tri at Huskisson;
- A getaway to Kangaroo Valley;
- A visit to Wollongong; and last but certainly not least….
- An inflatable boat race!
It’s now been a little over a year since I arrived in Australia. Far longer than I originally planned on staying. I’ve now started to do things for the second time around – namely number (4) activity on my list: the Huskisson or ‘Husky’ triathlon festival.
What I’ve found most strange reflecting back this time around is actually how comfortable I felt last year. I was shocked when I realised that I’d only known the Coogee tri-club for a few weeks when we went down in Feb 2015.
As you can tell from how I’ve chosen to spend the last 2 months, triathlon and the club have become a big part of my life out here. I love being able to go for a swim in the ocean before work (except when there are jellyfish!) or joining the hoards of cyclist for a time-trial around Centennial Park in the morning – as is the intention tomorrow, unless I stay up too late writing this!
I fear that if I write about all of the 7 highlights above in detail we’ll be here all night, so this will be a photo heavy blog, with descriptive highlights :
- 226 Multisport tri-training camp in Jindabyne
4 days of back to back training sessions with 226 multisport in stunning mountain scenery. Highlight was my longest run ever (22km) to the summit of Mount Kosciusko – the highest point in Australia.
2. Debut half-ironman in Geelong
Highlights include: finishing!!! Actually enjoying it. Getting to stay with my Aussie adopted family the Lanes in Werribee again. Amazing support along the route from Coogee tri club and Ben as chief photographer who popped up everywhere.
Lowlights include: stage fright whilst swimming meaning I spent 37 minutes trying and failing to pee!
I found the race a totally different experience to all Olympic tri’s I’ve done before (Olympic is swim 1.5km, bike 40km, run 10km…a half-ironman or “70.3” is swim 1.9km, bike 90km, run 21km). Olympic I have always been going at 95% for 2.5 hours, meaning I finish totally drained. Instead this was 5.5 hours at what felt like 70-80%, for fear of not finishing perhaps I took it a little too easy, but I was thrilled to finish my first one feeling strong and happy.
3. Beachy weekend in the Central Coast
A gorgeous day celebrating a friend Chris’ birthday up on the central coast. Avoca and Terrigal beaches were still on my ‘places to visit’ list and they didn’t disappoint with cycling, swimming, sunbathing and BBQs.
4. Team triathlon at Husky
Highlights: 11 Coogee teams, us coming 2nd overall in mixed teams, cycling 16 minutes quicker than last year, volunteering on the Saturday and cheering everyone on; a crazy little bird keeping us company!
Husky long course triathlon festival is one of the biggest in the country with 6000 athletes. The last two years I’ve cycled as part of a ‘relay team’ whereby one person swims 2km, the next cycles 83km and the third runs 20km.
5. Kangaroo Valley
Highlights: after the weekend racing in Husky we spent Monday exploring nearby Kangaroo Valley; Fitzroy Falls, Cambewarra lookout and a stunning peaceful AirBnB at Wombat Hill Cottage.
6. A visit to Wollongong
Despite driving through it numerous times I’d never stopped off in Wollongong and was pleasantly surprised. The north beach wasn’t a bad spot for a conference and I managed a beach run and swim before breakfast 🙂 I’ll be back there this coming Sunday for the Wollongong Olympic Triathlon.
And last but certainly not least….yesterday’s activity:
7. Manly Inflatable Boat Race in aid of Tour de Cure cancer charity
Highlights: battling with giant flamingos, swans, Loch Ness monsters and more on the course around Shelly Beach.
The race was such fun, and all of the entry fees went to Tour De Cure, a fantastic charity fighting cancer.
So, that’s a wrap, I’m sure I’ve missed things, but that’s the main highlights of the last couple of months of Aussie life.
And what’s next? After Wollongong tri this weekend I have no more tris on the radar, but signed up tonight for the SMH half-marathon, so my aim is to focus on and improve running over ‘winter’ here.
We’re off to Vietnam next month and New Zealand in April 🙂 until then I’ll be enjoying Sydney