This weeks blog is another fantastic review from our famous guest blogger from Asia TC Tanakorn who races like a demon and shares his thousands of hours of experience triathlon coaching. This weeks review is of the epic Ironman 70.3 Busselton.
Toughest day VS Nicest people. Who will win?
TC: “Hey! Are we swimming the right way?”
Honestly, this was the first time I shouted to ask direction from other triathlete. At that time , I was in the middle of swim course and reluctantly thinking about calling it a day. Many big and strong wave kept coming and sweeping athletes from one side to another. I kept going in whatever direction. Of course, there was no answer from my question from an athlete beside me and only thing I could do was just keep swimming.
Here is my story of 2019 Sun Smart Festival of Triathlon at Busselton, Western Australia
Start time was postponed for 30 minutes because of the weather conditions; big, strong waves and high speed wind. Once I was in the water I tried to follow other athletes as long as possible but the water conditions were very tough and I couldn’t swim strongly as I trained.
One lap passed with an extra 5-6 minutes from my standard time. I knew that “today’s special” swim conditions were far more than I expected and all I could do was try to complete it as soon as possible.
At that moment, swimming in the right direction was very very hard and I admitted that I lost direction many many times. I spent almost 55 minutes in the swim. Probably the worst swim time since I start racing in 70.3 distance.
Once I start riding I was in high hopes to gain back my lost time in the water. The first 30km part went well as I can managed to hold AVG of 160 watt and 33kph. Second and third part were when I was running out of energy no matter how much I refuelled. I finished the bike around 2:48-2:49 hours which not so bad given the conditions.
Up until now my chances of finishing in under 5:30 hrs was gone and I knew that I had to run a sub 2 hrs half marathon to get a PB. The first few kilometres were ok as I ran under 6 min/km pace. Then I got a mild cramp in my left hamstring so I had to slow down for few km. Second lap was good as I could pick up the pace again and able to run with Evon (Event ambassador teammate).
Once I started my third lap my pace dropped again. I decided to use this slow pace to refuel and be ready for the last 3 km. Unfortunately, when I reach 18 km marked I was spent and got a big cramp on my both quads so the best I could do was 3 km jog to finish line.
Obviously, it was not a great result as I expected and trained for. However, in this very tough race day conditions I was glad and overwhelmed by the way Busselton treated me.
Here is why.
In 2016, I came here and had an amazing experience from the Busselton’s landscape and community. Since December 2018, I started planning my 2019 season and Busselton was the race I always wanted to come back and do. With a big hope to get select as one of team ambassadors of the event. I had been looking forward to hearing good news on January 6th.
Once I was selected, I had a concern about being the only foreigner in team full of Australian team members. This concern was with me until the race week came.
On Thursday May 2nd, I had a schedule for group photo shoot with the event ambassador teammates. With some laughs and chatting, this went pretty well. The most amazing thing and probably one of my greatest honour came when Jenni ( TWA Marketing & Events Coordinator) handed me an event guide which had my story featured inside for one whole page.
As an infamous overseas athlete who just really liked this town and really loved the spirit of local community, I was overwhelmed and full of joy when I saw my stories inside race official guide book.
Thank you Busselton and Triathlon Western Australia for having and accepting me into your wonderful triathlon community. I will never forget all your very warm welcome throughout this race.
Although I did not get my personal best but I was touched by all your support and encouragement. All my experiences of this year event was more than I expected and I wish to come back again years after years.
All in all, this race has made me believe that no matter how bad your race day you always have support from Busselton local community and Triathlon Western Australia.
The athletes, the race , the local community. These make 70.3 Busselton one of my most favourite races and these are the reasons why you should race here.
Until next time.