Race reports

Husky Ultimate Triathlon Race Report 2024

I was up at 3:30am, it was always going to be an early start when I had an hour drive to the race venue. My amazing wife travelled down to support me, and we arrived at Husky at 5:10am. Plenty of time to get sorted and ready to race. I even had time to do a short swim warmup before the professional race started.

Swim Leg

I was the third person into the water for the 30-39 AG rolling start. Straight away I managed to bridge to the lead two, and sat on one of their feet almost to the first buoy. I felt them slow far too much and went around to pick up the pace. I couldn’t find any good feet to follow, so I just focused on swimming the best I could. As I headed towards the buoy to start my second lap, the pro men came flying past to my left.

I didn’t want to interfere with their race, however while I watched them pass a few meters away, I thought I’d move over to at least pickup some easier swimming conditions. Alas, I was a bit slow and didn’t get much benefit by the time I moved over.

As I started lap two, I noticed someone kicking making the biggest splashes I’ve ever seen! The amazing thing was that they were moving at a reasonable pace too, so I chose to follow. It was like following an outboard motor the amount of turbulence behind them. Don’t get me started on the constant shower of salt water pouring from the sky as I tried to breathe! However, it was easy to follow and they swam straight.

I contemplated going around, in fact after one of the turns I did, but it was much harder and it was like snails drag racing each other. So I opted to save my energy for transition and just chill as much as I could while being showered in salt water from the heavens. Swim split : 29:21

Transition 1

I was preparing for transition, but the steps up from the shore were still brutally hard. I passed a couple of guys as I forced myself to jog up them. I then launched myself into a proper run to my rack location. Wetsuit off, a few seconds lost fumbling, helmet on, and ran to the mount line. T1 time: 2:10.

Bike Leg

I didn’t really know where I was in the race, so I just put my head down and got to work. The first U-turn was 10km out of town, and I’d have an idea by then how much work I had to do to catch any groups. I saw the pro group go past, and a couple of groups of 2-3 riders, but everyone was quite spread out. Apparently, I’d hit the lead in my AG by the U-turn, but I didn’t realise this, nor would it have changed how I raced!

There didn’t appear to be any AG packs to try and bridge too. I continued to work, and the quicker guys I caught I encouraged to ride with me, hoping to get a little group going to help make things a little easier. Alas, I couldn’t find anyone to ride the pace that I wanted. 

As the laps past, I slowly kept catching and passing people. At the start of the 3rd lap, I caught and passed a pack of pro women on the hill out of town. When I approached the first U-turn I spotted James Martin (he’d started just in front of me during the rolling start). I’d seen him throughout the race, but didn’t realise who it was until that point. I clocked the gap at ~30-40sec and figured if I could bridge, the last 10km being quite fast downhill, even at 12-15m behind the draft is powerful. I could use the final kms to back up the pressure to freshen up for the run.

I doubled my efforts, and through the undulations and turns I kept losing sight of James. However, when I did spot him in the distance I could see the gap closing. The final climb to the final U-turn before heading for transition I clocked the gap at 15sec. It was now or never! I went for it, and about 100m before the U-turn (I was still 2-3sec behind) James overtook a car that was on course. Unfortunately, I couldn’t safely get past before the U-turn and the car was slow.

By the time I turned and headed back down the hill, the gap was back to 6-8sec. I’d been having a gel everytime I rounded the finally U-turn, but I didn’t have time for that this time around. I pushed and tucked to be as aero-efficient as possible. After quite a fast section and almost 3km later, I finally bridged the gap. Woohoo! Time to get nutrition in.. I sat up, took my gel on got sorted, the gap had opened to about 25-30m but I knew I could close it at will.

Clunk! I couldn’t pedal?!? My crank was locked, I’d ~5km to go to the finish. I looked down and guessed I’d snapped my derailleur hanger. ‘Noooo!’ I yelled in frustration as I started to slow down, just coasting along. ‘Well, it’s mostly downhill from here at least, I can still make it even if I have to scoot‘ I thought. So that’s what I started to do, I took my foot out of my shoe, but then I realised I couldn’t reach my other shoe to undo the strap as my pedal position was stuck at the bottom. So I quickly came to complete stop took my foot out of the shoe, and began to scoot.

I coasted and scooted for ~3km watching competitor after competitor ride past. It was hard as this was a fast section of course, and I was barely maintaining 15km/h. It hurt my feet pushing on the road, and I could feel myself about to cramp, but I didn’t have a choice, or did I? As time passed my mind was going at a million miles an hour. I started thinking if my hanger had snapped the derailleur should be hanging loose, but it’s not? So I stopped again. The chain had come off slightly, maybe the chain had come out of the derailleur?!? I carefully made sure the chain was all good, and then I saw the issue. My cassette had somehow rattled itself loose and was moving around! ‘I can fix this!!’ I realised.

I took my rear wheel off, and then tightened the cassette retainer as tight as I could with my hands and then put the chain and wheel back on. I’d only have 2km to go, and I’m sure this will hold up until then. At this point, James Alexander came flying past. He seemed to be moving quite well, and I couldn’t stay with him until he slowed up to dismount. At which point I caught up, as I already had my feet undone from my shoes! Bike split: 2:25:55. Slipped back to 2nd in AG.

Transition 2

I racked my bike; socks and shoes on while standing up! I was proud of this, and I didn’t cramp (yay!). Picked up my hat with gels and race numbers and ran for the exit. The time was 1:20.

Run Leg

I’d hit the lead, but I didn’t know it! I’d lost a lot of time with my mechanical, I estimated somewhere between 6-10 mins (turns out it was 6.5mins), and was on the hunt to try and make that time back up. However, I had 21.1km to do it, and so I needed to be smart about how I tried to catch up.

At least I felt as good as one can having swam and biked before going for a long run. About 2km in I was caught by another athlete who was running quite well. We had a brief chat, I stated I was targeting 3:40s and then would bring it home quicker if I could.


We ran together alternating the lead a little, although truth be told I mostly followed as I was being a little conservative and our pace was often slightly faster the 3:40s. I saw some of the competitors I’d been riding ahead of coming the other way, but the gap was huge. About 6km in I took my first gel. At about the same time, I also started to feel a blister/hot spot on my right foot. My foot was slipping a little bit too much and it was getting extremely uncomfortable. By 8km I decided to stop and try and tighten my laces. I lost 15secs to my companion, but at least I could see him ahead. I spotted my amazing wife, and asked where I was in the race. 5mins in the lead for the AG. My mindset went from chasing to let’s keep this going to test where my fitness is at.

The gap held steady with my companion ahead, but around the 13km mark, it started to drastically reduce. Time to take my final gel for the race! Just before the final U-turn, I took back the lead. I encouraged him to hang on although it was as much about trying to motivate myself to hang on too. I saw James Martin heading for the finish. The gap was less than the previous lap, but there wasn’t enough distance left to be able to close the time deficit.

Less than 20mins, just stay strong. I passed James Alexander going the other way, who cheered me on (thanks mate it was very appreciated!). My body was tired, but my mind was incredibly focused. I forced myself to keep going and stay strong. Now was the time to prove to myself what I can do. This was a great opportunity to challenge myself and in doing so get a great training stimulus that I can bank for the future.

My focus was just on 1km at a time. Trying to keep each of them at 3:40 or better. 3:41 close, 3:39 check, 3:45 my legs are cooked! 3:46 just over a km to go so dig in! 3:37 See you can do it!

With 200m to go, I caught another competitor who picked up their pace too. I surged and made the overtake. I felt like I was all in, and 100m later started fading hard. Not daring to look back (for it to be a sign of weakness), I went full send to the finish line, dropping my pace to 3:00/km. It’s amazing what the human body can do even when it’s exhausted, given the correct motivation!

I finished the run in a time of 1:19:05. 4th overall run split, or first overall age group. Pretty proud of that effort.

Total time was 4:17:54.


When things go wrong, don’t rush. Rushing and assuming things often leads to things taking longer to be resolved. It’s my natural inclination to act that way. But I need to take a breath and work through the problem to find a solution.

Taking an extra gel for me on the bike has provided me with significantly more mental focus for the later stages of the run. I still feel like poo, and I don’t think there is any escaping that feeling after 4hrs of pushing my body. However, being able to control my body, and focus on trying to be as efficient as possible to get to the finish is a real benefit when racing. Dial in that nutrition plan!

Never give up. I’ve said it before, but you never know what can happen. Don’t limit yourself, just keep going and having a go. You may end up pleasantly surprised 🙂

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