I love this race! For so many reasons. It is a home race for me…friends and family are all there to support and see me doing what I love most. The swim around the Jetty is so unique and the ride through the Tuart Forrest can change on every lap. Four laps on the run with all those spectators means there is constantly cheering, encouraging words from strangers and a chance to see so many fellow west aussies out on the course going through exactly the same as you.
After winning last year, off course I wanted nothing more than to go back to back and redeem my finishing photo from 2010. Once Kona was over the focus was on WA and I was excited.
10 days before the race it was a typical day in the Bevilaqua house hold. Training, eating, sleeping and spending time with the parents. But the serenity was shattered by what was supposed to have been a controlled burn…which got totally out of hand. A mercy dash was made to Margaret River by mum and dad but halfway there they received the phonecall that I honestly had thought was never going to happen. The house was gone! Earlier that morning it appeared the blaze was under control and would hopefully avoid the area of Gnarabup were our house was. But a few hours later, the wind changed direction and with flames up to 40m hight and winds in excess of 50km/hr there was nothing they could do. I will admit I stayed up most of the night with a bottle of wine and the T.V.just starring..not quite knowing what I was watching. Guy came out a number of times to try and get me to bed but it was no use. Over 30 ours were lost in the blaze, thankfully no one was injured or killed but so many memories. I still consider ourselves one of the lucky ones because my parents split there time between Margaret River and Perth so there was still someone else to live. But for so many there isn’t!
It was an emotional few days as we were taken on private bus tours to see the house before all residents were allowed back in, but not allowed off the bus. There were tears for houses that you didn’t even know the owners of because you felt the same pain. By the time Guy and I got back to Perth, it was time to refocus as there was an Ironman at the end of the week!
It is incredible how one house is burnt and the 2 next door neighbours are fine! The fire does what it wants to do!!
So after a couple of days home it was back in the car and back down south to Busselton. The few days leading up to the event were quite busy but I didn’t mind, they were also fun!
On Wednesday Guy and I went out for a run together, no big deal we do it all the time. Halfway through the run I was feeling an uncomfortable tightness in my right glut muscle.We stopped for a stretch continued the run and thought nothing more of it. The next morning our riding I was beginning to get a little more concerned when I could feel it more and more as the ride went on. But still was putting it down to a little tightness and kept stretching. Then the same afternoon when I did a T.V. Interview for GWN and a little running up and down the foot path…then..I was concerned. It was hurting, pulling on my hamstring and all I was thinking was “please not a stress fracture!!”
Thankfully it appears not to be just a nice little strain to the Glut but the timing could not have been worse and Guy had to put up with more tears on Saturday when during our swim bike run…the run was more of a limp/shuffle.
Such is life!! Lots of icing, compression, everything I could and I would just have to see how it was come Sunday.
Race morning and I was ready to go, up early due to a restless sleep with so many things going through my mind. But once I was into the water and waiting for the start I actually felt quite relaxed and comfortable with the thoughts of “what will be..will be!”
I loved the swim! Yes, it was choppy but lucky I found myself with 2 other females and was able to swim with them most of the way!! It was the first time in a long time I hadn’t swum that course solo. I was feeling great in my Blueseventy Wetsuit and excited about finally having a good swim in Busso. 4 mins quicker than last year and 4th out of the water! Yah!!! Maybe all that swim training is finally starting to pay off! Big thanks and shout out to Paul Newsome from Swim Smooth, he has done so much for my swimming and now I can’t wait to take it to the next level again over the summer.
Onto the bike and it was time to go..!!!
One lap at a time, head down, pushing into the wind, nutrition, nutrition, nutrition. Michelle was riding awesome and Carrie putting a solid effort in front with Elly and I. Lap 2 and it was my turn. By lap 3 I was feeling the glut especially when I got out of my seat, which thankfully on this course wasn’t very often. Lap 3 Elly made the move and I unfortunately wasn’t able to go but continued to focus on my nutrition and riding steady. Meanwhile in my head I was stressing about how far I was going to be able to get on the run. I was going to finish no matter what, but would I be able to run??
Coming into T2 it was a test…running of the bike to the change tent..so far so good…yep..keep going…shoes on…nutrition..hat…I was off. Carrie and I running side by side. Yah..it was feeling okay…this could be better than I expected! 5km…10km….15km…still running side by side…man I love this type of racing!! 20km…now the adrenalin is starting to wear off…the glut is screaming..I can feel it down my hamstring..can I feel it in my lower back or not…not sure about this one. 24km….oh no…what do I do…it is hurting enough now that I walk the aid station. Carrie gives me a shout out to keep going but as I limp through I know that is not is going to happen. Okay…done, but not completely over, walk run, walk run. I can not for that finish line, it is going to be amazing no matter how long I take to get there. Still sitting in 3rd then Elly passes me bank, then with 6km to go Hillary makes the pass as I chat with Courtney Ogden about the day we were both having.
But OMG..that finish line was incredible!! I high five’d as many people as I could, did a fake little re-enactment from last years crawl across the line, then skipped and jumped with my arms above my head. It was the most satisfying 6th place finish I have ever had!
Although disappointed it was exciting to know that with such a quality field I was in the hunt…I stuck in there!
Thank you to everyone who called my name, gave a shout out, or just came down to support such an awesome event. To my friends and family….next year…..put it in your diary! Coach Dr J!! The 2 years is up…I am excited!!
To my incredible sponsors K-Swiss, Novatron, Rolf Prima Wheels, FELT, Ryders Eyewear, Computrainer, Blue Seventy, GU, Selle SMP Saddles, SKINS…I have an amazing team..thank you for your continued support!
Now it is time for a break…mentally and physically now is the time, but I am already looking forward too the next one and a chance for redemption!