I have never done the Triple Tri race before. Actually I wouldn't have considered it this time either had Jono not broken his arm. Sue took him down to Bega to get the plaster cast on and the physio, seeing the fun run t-shirt Jono was wearing started talking about running. It turns out he was looking for a runner for the Triple Tri .... anyway a phone call later and I was part of the team from Tathra/Bega. Grant the physio was our swimmer and team captain and Rob was the mountain biker.
I was pretty confident about running the 45 km over the various Canberra summits, but the three legs with a couple of hours gap in between had me a little worried. I tried it out in training and badly hit the wall on the last run as I got the nutrition wrong. A couple more attempts and I was as ready as I could be - although I knew that the last leg - albeit the easiest was going to hurt a lot more than the last 13 km of a normal (if there is such a thing) 45 km mountain run.
Anyway, race day arrived and was an early start - picked up at 5 am. But what a stunner of a day! Perfect conditions, clear, still and cool at first - although a bit hot when I was going over Mount Taylor!
The first run leg was 20 km, starting in Watson and went over Mount Majura, Hackett Hill and Mount Ainslie, finishing down at the Boat Shed. I took it a bit easy on this leg. Partly because I was conserving some energy and partly because I started well down in the field (our biker had a bad first leg over Black Mountain) and got stuck behind some slower runners on the windy single track up Mount Majura. I passed 14 people on the way to the Majura summit and then another 8 before hitting the top of Mount Ainslie. It was a fast run down Anzac Parade and along the waterfront - grabbing a couple more scalps befor handing over to our swimmer Grant. I was pretty happy with the time of 1:20 and some, but I think the course was a little shorter than the advertised 20 km.
The second leg started near the foot of Mount Taylor - went up the steepest past to the summit and then wound down to the bike paths that lead to Tuggeranong. Its 12 km ended down near the Tuggeranong swimming pool. This leg was quick - before I knew it I was at the top of Mount Taylor and flying down the other side. I chuckled as I sped past the signs warning about ice on the path - not today! The rest of the Mount Taylor trails were familiar, but the bike path down to Lake Tuggeranong was boring - good thing is was over quickly. Again I made up a bunch of places and was pretty happy with the time of 45 minutes - surely that leg is a little short too???
The final leg started in Garran near Hindmarsh Drive, went over Red Hill and wound its way down to the Bike paths from Woden to the city. It was 13 km and ended at the Yarralumla Yacht Club. This one wasn't as bad as I thought - due to my more conservative first leg but also because Red Hill was my old stomping ground when I lived in Yarralumla so the whole course was very familiar. Grant was pretty keen on making the top 10 and I left the drain transition in 16th place overall. I passed 5 people in the first seven km but try as I might I could not see another person ahead and ran out of distance. So we ended up 11th overall. Despite getting a cramp in my left hamstring in the last couple of kms I was again pretty happy with my time of 57 minutes. I reckon that course was long - though not quite long enough to make up for the other ones being short!
All in all, I had a great day. The boys were happy with 11th and just over 3 hours for 45 hilly km of off road running is a pretty good effort. I was later told it makes it into the top 10 of "3 run" times since the event started 14 years ago. I had a great time and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone - perhaps we should enter a Broulee team next year?