Every year this race just gets bigger and better! Hard to imagine because it is so awesome already! But yet again TWA and Tri Events lifted the bar in 2015.
I always look forward to Busso 70.3. I have raced this event fit, healthy, sick, injured and this year as part of my prep leading into Ironman Lanzarote in 2 weeks. And ever year it has thrown the usual curve balls but I have always been happy with the result.
This year was no exception!
I was asked a lot leading into the race about the stress/pressure of coming in as defending champ. But to be honest I was quite calm about it all. It was an exciting position to be in as it meant I had won the year before. But every year is different and I knew as always I would give it my best come race day.
Leading up to race day Guy and I were lucky to spend a day and night in Margaret River to take a deep breath and relax because I knew once we arrived in Busselton it was going to be very busy. We were both racing and we had a fantastic crew of GKEndurance athletes racing as well. We wanted to be able to support them as much as possible.
Thursday afternoon Ruth arrived in town with Lisa and we were joined by Terenzo and Kelly for dinner. It was a relaxing night, with plenty of laughs. Followed by an early night!
Friday was when the fun all started, we had a group bike,run,swim with all our athletes. Unfortunately I had to dash off early for the Press Conference. It was then back to transition for registration. Home for a quick lunch, enough time to get everything organised, then back to transition for chat with the Pro’s. Guy and I followed this up with a visit to the Mizuno tent to talk every important run tactics and finally race briefing ended the day!
We were lucky that by the time we returned to the apartment Ruth had cooking away and we could sit down and relax for the rest of the night.
Race morning as everyone knows was extremely cold! For Busso standards anyway! I needed more layers!! We were well organised and had enough time to set up transition, return our bags to the car, go for a good jog warm up, then wetsuits on ready for the swim start.
My feet were frozen by then, but the water temperature was beautiful! It was so much nicer in the water than out!
The compulsory pre race kiss and “good luck” with Guy and we were both on our way.
My swim start unfortunately was a little sluggish, but after the first left hand turn I finally started to feel better. I found myself swimming on my own, in the end about 20seconds in front of the chase pack but a good 2mins down on the leaders. Not a bad position but with the quality of athlete’s in the field every second was going to count.
I had a pretty good transition and was out on the road, trying to warm myself up! This was definitely the hard part! Katey and Renee were right behind me and it looked like it was going to be some fun riding 90km with these 2 great athletes. We each took turns at the front but it wasn’t long before a flying Anna has also caught us. The pace lifted, but everyone was strong enough to cope with the change and now 4 ladies were trying desperately to close the gap on the two up front. But to there credit both Felicity and Liz were riding extremely well. The second lap on the bike became a bit chaotic as we were dodging other cyclists and constantly moving from left to right in order to go forward. Most of the other athletes were great and yelled encouragement as we went past. There were 2 guys however, that we would pass. Then they would pass 1 or 2 of us back and drop right in front only to sit up and slow down. This continued for a long time and for the first time I really experienced how this can affect the Female Pro Race.
The 4 of us rolled into transition together, with no feeling in our fingers or toes, 3mins down on the lead.
Anna and I came running out side by side, which reminded me exactly what happened last year. I was thinking to myself “here we go again!” It was fun! But it wasn’t long before the flying Katey went by. I knew she was awesome run shape. I had the endurance but not the speed at this point in time and was unable to respond.
The crowd support is always incredible and one of the many reasons I love racing in Busso. Even at the far turn around and the aid station, I was getting cheers and support as they handed me coke and water. The first lap of the run was a bit of a struggle but I felt much better lap 2 and found myself hovering in 4th with the first 3 girls having a great battle up front and 5th over 2 minutes behind. I maintained my position all the way to the end and loved every minute of running down that finish chute!
(Check out https://www.facebook.com/PaparazziOnTheRun?fref=photo for more great photo’s from Paparazzi On The Run from race day!)
With the planned slower start to the year, my primary goal was to be consistent with my racing this year. I can definitely say I have achieved that with 4th at Batemans Bay, 4th at Karri Valley and 4th at Busso 70.3.
Thank you to all my incredible sponsors…I am excited about this year and what is planned of which none could be achieved without your continued support. Rolf Prima Wheels, Ceepo, Coeur Sports, Challenge Tyres, Profile Design, ISM, Ryders Eyewear, Mizuno, BlueSeventy and SwimSmooth. Churchill Cycles, and Tri Town Boise Computrainer Keeping me fuelled GU and Upbeat Beetroot Juices and recovery by Ruth Chang Physio and Matt Booth Boise Therapeutic Associates. And last but not least Coach Jeff Shilt.