18th of November 2017
Race 2 Stanford was my second 70.3 of the year and only my second 70.3 of my short triathlon career. The previous one was Cape Ultra. I’m starting to wonder if there are any 70.3 triathlons in SA that don’t have a killer bike course. Coming off my first 70.3 I had learnt lots of lessons regarding 70.3 distance racing, coming from short distance racing. Back to Race 2 Stanford, the last triathlon of the year. Speaking with the coach in the week before the race we came up with a race plan knowing that the bike course was going to be even harder than what we experienced at Cape Ultra. We knew that there were two climbs early in the race little did we know they never stopped till the end of the bike. Going into race week the flu decided to try and make an appearance; we were prepared and started taking the Dr Claire’s remedy to kick this flu out of the park.
So race day arrived, standing around at the swim start chatting to some of the other competitors. Talking to Matt Trautman he tells us that once the first two climbs are over there are still climbs all the way to Stanford; different to what we were expecting. This just meant having to hold back a little more particularly in the first half of the race.
The race started well with a good swim (beating the Claire out the water, yes she took a bet that she would beat me). The swim went according to plan and we were on track. Then we climbed onto the bike course and before we knew it we were hitting the first climb of the day. This was followed by the dreaded SHAW’S PASS. Right! Two climbs out the way now just a few rolling hills to the finish I told myself. I couldn’t have told myself a bigger lie, the rollers kept coming all the way to the finish. To top it up we were given a good dosage of some side wind, until we made the final turn to Stanford and were given a headwind for the last 23km. The legs were not expecting this wind with the climbs. Now was just about limiting the damage the bike course was causing. Finally the bike was over, time to run. The run course was a lot kinder to us after the brutal bike course we had just finished. Run route was in and around the Stanford town and along the river. Once the legs started to work it was a good run route.
All in all it was a tough race made even tougher with the wind and heat. The bike course contained a total of 1900m of climbing over the 91km. Thanks to Paul Ingpen and his team for giving us a race to test the legs before East London in January. Definitely the toughest bike route out of the 70.3 races we have in SA, look forward to going back next year wiser.