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Lake Dunstan Triathlon

Lake Dunstan Triathlon

By Reuben Thompson

2018 kicked off the right way with the U19 win at the Lake Dunstan Triathlon and 2nd overall.  Out of the water I was 25 seconds down on the leader. I bridged the gap to the front within a couple kilometres before coming off the bike in first with another guy on my wheel. The initial pace was really fast off the bike and I lost touch with the leader for a moment before regaining composure and bridging the gap. With around 1.5km to go I lost touch to settle for 2nd overall. 

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I then spent the rest of January staying in Tauranga training with the Tauranga Junior Academy where I got some solid mileage in. Whilst in Tauranga I also got to train with 5 time ITU World Series Champ and 2 time Ironman 70.3 World Champ Javier Gomez. Javier was simply a boss.

The Tauranga crew then spent the final week of the school holidays at Blue Lake in Rotorua camping in tents. We spent the first few days training before the weekends Ecomist Blue Lake Multisport Festival. The festival had a Reverse Aquathlon and Open Water Swim on the first day and a Triathlon on the second day. In the Aquathlon I was 2nd U20 into the water for the swim but lost one position to finish in 3rd. The open water swim went really well to bring back some time from the aquathlon. In the triathlon I was quick to get to the front on the bike. I was first onto the run and held that position to take the U20 win. Wasn’t enough to win the series but enough to put me in 2nd.

Reuben Athlete blog

My only race in February was the New Zealand Age Group Triathlon Champs. Some issues off the start in the swim lost me valuable seconds. I never got all the way to the front on the bike only managing to pull up to 3rd. The run was very surgey and I struggled with this. I tried to maintain a good high pace but the group I was with forced the pace a lot. We ran down one of the boys who was up the road on the bike leaving a battle for the silver medal. It came down to the final 400 meters and I couldn’t match the pace of one of the older faster boys to settle for third as a 16 year old in the 16-19 National Champs.

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Waikato Triathlon Champs

Waikato Triathlon Champs

By Reuben Thompson- Ambassador

Reuben Athlete blog

March started off with a win at the Waikato Triathlon Champs. I lead out of the water for the first time ever in a triathlon before putting a descent gap into the rest of the field on the bike before running hard for a comfortable win.

Reuben Athlete blog

I spent two weeks away racing later in the month with two highlight races being the NZSS Triathlon Champs in Nelson on the 19th of March and the ITU World Cup in New Plymouth on the 25th.

Reuben Athlete blog

Nelson just went perfectly. I executed the swim I had wanted all season long and came out of the water in 3rd and made the lead bunch on the bike. Initially I wanted to split the group up that we had on the bike but that proved too hard to do without expending to much energy before the run. I just tried to animate the bike as much as I could and hurt the boys around me. We came off the bike in a group and it was to be a running race for the win. Early into the first lap I found myself with a gap and I put my head down and ran in fear to the line with older more experienced boys in pursuit of me. I won by 9 seconds with the fastest run split as a first year U19 since racing as an U16 the year before. 

Reuben Athlete blog

Between the races I don’t feel I recovered well enough with travel and trying to train on the road plus managing a good diet on the road. Although I had some extra confidence backing up from the NZSS race. The course for New Plymouth suited me better (on paper at least) with lots of hills and a very technical bike course.

In the end it wasn’t to be. My swim was good but not great. I expended a lot of energy to get across to the lead group on the bike. The bike was hard, and I simply didn’t have it on the run. I started the run in the lead for the Youth Olympic spot and finished up in the 3rd with one aussie and one kiwi ahead of me. This made me first loser for the spot but also first reserve.

#WhereAdventuresBegin

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December Race Wrap Up

With my first key race of the season at the Future ChampioNZ Triathlon Festival my form was tracking nicely. The race took place from the 15th to the 17th. Each event counted towards an overall time for the weekend with three events plus a team relay for fun. Day one had a lemans style criterium with a 300 meter run either side of the bike to put a triathlon style spin a race favoured for the strong bike riders. From start to finish the race didn’t really go my way. Straight off the start line my heel was stood on ripping one of my shoes off. I hesitated whether or not I stop for my shoe before carrying on, losing enough time before jumping on my bike to miss the front four boys. I ended up in a two-up time trial in an effort to chase the four boys up the road. Just as we came off the bike we had bridged the gap to 2 of the riders but in the heat of the moment I dismounted my bike late and faced a 15 second penalty which was more than enough for the boys around me to beat me to the line. I finished up 6th in my heat but 18th overall.

Reuben Athlete blog

I headed into the second event with extra motivation. The race was a 400m pool swim followed by a 750 meter run two times through. On paper it was going to be the weaker event for me with no cycling and such short runs between swims. Despite this I improved on my result from the criterium and moved up some spots to 16th.

Reuben Athlete blog

The grand final triathlon was the key race of the weekend with double points up for grabs. With a breakthrough swim I came out of the water only 50 seconds down on the leaders. The bike course was very technical and hilly. I nearly bridged the gap to the front group only 8 seconds up the road. My run was good but not great, but I made up a few places to finish in the 7th. Enough for 10th in the series points for the weekend.

Reuben Athlete blog

I’ve since had some time back home in Queenstown and raced at the local Lake Hayes Triathlon.  After a really big week of training I just felt drained from start to finish to finish one spot off the podium in the U20 boys race and 5th overall. However I’m happy with where I’m at as 2017 draws to a close and look forward to 2018 and my lofty goals ahead.

Reuben Athlete blog

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November Race Wrap Up

This month I have continued progressing towards the Future ChampioNZ Tri Fest to be held in Taupo mid-December, with more speed work and specificity in my training. As well as racing at the Te Awamutu Summer Series races every Tuesday night I also raced at the New Plymouth Round the Mountain Run relay and at the Tinman Sprint Tri this month.  

My best result at the TA summer series came Week 7 on the 21st. A breakaway of 5 riders including myself got all the way to the line and I managed to (poorly) sprint to 4th in the open A grade. These races have been an important session of the week building my speed on the bike. I also went down to New Plymouth to race for Team Body Logic in the round the mountain relay. My leg was 5.2 km long. We mixed between first and second for a long time before a mishap in one of the legs put us back a few minutes and we never made up that time. After over 9 hours of running the team finished in 2nd. 

My season opener triathlon was the Sprint Race at the Tinman triathlon at Mt Maunganui. After an average swim I managed to ride myself back up to 2nd place overall with the fastest bike split. On the run I battled for 2nd place for around 4km but couldn’t quite match the pace. Still nudging the 2nd fastest run split however, I finished in 3rd overall. Since the race I have already made some big changes to my open water swimming and am working lots to improve it so I can be closer to the front of the race for the bike and the run.

Looking forward to coming back to Queenstown for a couple of weeks, in late December and racing in the Lake Hayes & Lake Dunstan Tri’s.

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October Race Blog

October has been another wicked month of progression coming into summer. I raced the Yunca Junior Tour of Southland, Calder Stewart Elite Series Hell of The South and have begun racing the Te Awamutu Summer Series on Tuesday nights.

 

The Yunca Junior Tour gave me more good time on the bike to build strength and gain experience. I featured in major breakaways on stages 2,3 and 6 to gain myself points towards Sprint Ace and KOM. Unfortunately on Stage 4 I missed a key breakaway which featured 6 really strong boys. The bunch never brought them back and these 6 boys all got up on me on the General Classification. My GC position in the end was 7th although I came away with 2nd on the longest stage and finished top 5 in Sprint Ace and top 10 in KOM. 

 

The Hell Of The South in Christchurch was EPIC. 144km with eight gravel sections. About 75km into the race I went down in a crash with several other riders. I got back on my bike and made it back to the bunch but on the second to last gravel section I was dropped from the main bunch as it split up. I finished 2nd U17, 16th U19 and 39th overall out of a 86 man field. The gravel sections were a new experience for me and they proved really hectic. There were riders crashing and puncturing all over the place. 

 

I’ve also begun racing on Tuesday nights at the Te Awamutu summer series. We have already had guys like XC MTB U23 World Champ Sam Gaze turn up to race which gives me a good opportunity to put myself in the box and get lots of quality training out of it. 

 

My swimming and running are coming along nicely. Really looking forward to my first triathlon of the season on the 19th of November with the Tinman Tri in Tauranga.

 

Yunca Time Trial

Hell of the South

Yunca Stage 3

Yunca Stage 4

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