Race reports

Nepean Sprint Triathlon Race Report 2024

It’s been a long time since I did a sprint, about a year. However, I wanted world championship qualification points towards the mixed team relay being held next year in Wollongong. The night before the race the weather was terrible, heavy rains and lots of flash flooding made travel quite dangerous. My family and I stayed at my in-laws place, which meant we avoided the worst of the weather, however, we all had terrible sleep or maybe should say not much sleep at all!

I got up nice and early to get to the Regatta Centre with plenty of time only to find out the race start was delayed. It happened multiple times as they tried to get things sorted, changing the course to avoid flooding and give people more time to arrive. It made getting into the right mindset somewhat tricky as I felt like I was in limbo wondering whether to warm up or rest.

Swim Leg

The swim was a deep water mass start for the 30-39-year-olds, I held my space on the far side and got a solid start. In fact, I was still swimming in clear water halfway to the first buoy. I was trying to stay in control and putting down a strong effort. Sure enough, I started to get passed, and I latched on to the first person who came past until the first buoy, at which point we hit traffic from an earlier wave (it still dumbfounds me why there always seems to be someone treading water once they reach a turn buoy?).

I made a slight misjudgement and lost their feet as I went the wrong way around the human speedbumps. On to the next buoy and I was focused on maintaining control, finally had some other feet to chase for the final 2-300m. The pace was easy and I considered upping my effort to overtake, but for 10sec benefit, it was going to take a lot of effort, so I chose to keep drafting and wait for the later parts of the race to smash it. Swim time: 11:56.

Transition 1

The run to transition was quite long, and I overtook a couple of people before reaching my bike. Helmet on, grabbed the bike and ran for the exit in a time of 1:16.

Bike Leg

With the poor weather the course was still very wet and plenty of mud on the turns. So I was rather cautious in the first technical part of the course before getting to work. Prior to the race I’d thought I could probably set a 20min power PB, but alas the course did not allow this. I made good progress through other competitors and only had one person still with me.

I realised after half a lap what was happening, and so took it easy for another half a lap, before putting in a big attack exiting the corner onto the straight section. It hurt, I could feel the lactate building and yet I kept pushing. I reached the turnaround and saw I’d established a gap that continued to grow for the remainder of the bike. I did a couple more big surges getting up the one hill on the course and accelerating out of the corners (corning speed were slow to stay safe!). Unfortunately, I was going to regret these choices very shortly. Finished the bike in 28:30.

Transition 2

Into transition and it was basically empty. That’s a good sign. Racked my bike, shoes on (had a little bit of a struggle there!) grabbed my stuff and ran to the exit. T2 time was 54sec.

Run Leg

5km, ok let’s get in the right headspace, we’re not running a half marathon. However, try as I might my legs just didn’t want to get up and go. It was a highlight seeing my family, but I still felt horrible. It is expected and so I just focused on a kilometre at a time. 

1st one down, only 4 to go.. my mind wondered ‘Once I get to three to go, then it’s like just over 10mins’. I saw the juniors who were leading the race coming the other way, ‘It would have been nice to have started with them, rather than doing this on my own.. I wonder what I’ll eat after this?’ I thought. Another km down, and now I was nearing the turnaround point.


If I had anything left now was the time to go, try to get a good training stimulus for this. It seemed to take forever to do the last 100m to the turnaround, I think because mentally I’d thought the turnaround was going to happen earlier on the course. Finally, I made the turn and headed back towards the finish line, and just like that only 2km to go! I upped the pace slightly, on the home stretch. I’d seen someone chasing after making the turnaround, but I also knew they couldn’t pass me. I was struggling to push myself, but if it came to competition then I knew I’d an extra gear to give. Why couldn’t I access it now though? 1km to go, common embrace the discomfort and just get it done. I pushed myself to pick up the tempo and finally approached the pace I’d hoped to run the whole 5km in. With a nice little sprint up the finish chute I finished the run in 17:43. Total time: 1:00:20.


Turning around buoys in swims I often lose the feet I’ve been following. It’s probably a combination of things, me being a little tentative avoiding others and also a surge from the person in front. However, this has happened to me in multiple races over the past year and I need to learn from it. I can be more aggressive around the buoy and actively surge myself to give myself more time to spot where I need to be to get back into a nice draft.

Speaking of surges, big surges on the bike, although it feels good will hurt my running legs. So I need to be calculating if and when I surge understanding the actual cost. Is breaking a draft worth running 1min slower? Ultimately, I’m pretty confident in my run, so I probably shouldn’t ever concern myself about people riding behind me. Maybe they might even help do some work? A good lesson to put in the bank.

Mentally I need to stay in the moment. Don’t think too far ahead. Sometimes I do this well, while others I do not! It’s a skill I can practice, not only just in racing but also in training. However, it does take a mental toll, but I feel the more I practice it, the more naturally it should be (IE less effort).

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