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March Wrap Up

March Wrap Up

by Reuben Thompson- Ambassador

On the first weekend of March I raced the South Island champs where I took the win for the U16 boy’s race. After a good swim I was 30 seconds back going onto the bike. The bike was 3 laps of a 5km circuit. I caught everyone on the first lap but it took me another lap to shake everyone off. I came off the bike 30 seconds up on the rest of the field before running away to take the win by more than a minute. The next weekend after that I travelled up to Wellington to compete in the U20 national champs. It was pissing down with rain and was really windy for the race which made the sea really rough for the swim. Being a weak swimmer I came out of the water almost two and a half minutes back…. This was a draft legal race and I had well and truly missed the first bunch on the bike so I rode solo passing a few stragglers but didn’t make any significant time up on any of the favourites. My legs felt really sluggish going into the run but came around in the back half. I finished in 15th, pretty disappointed. 

South Island Champs Bike

picture: South Island Champs Bike

I then had just less than three weeks to do the final tuning for my main race of the season, the NZ secondary schools champs. In the weeks leading up to the race I started surprising myself with some of my times in training and knew I was well prepared. I raced the Central Otago Cycling Club Champs Time Trial as a final wee hit out before taper. I took out my age group and the overall and also won the junior points series for the season.

The following Thursday was race day. It was the New Zealand Secondary Schools Triathlon Championships. 500m Swim, 15km Bike and a 4km Run. The swim was in the Whanganui River. Being upstream I was very nervous because I thought it would make the swim longer and give the stronger swimmers a better chance to get a gap on me. This wasn’t the case because the river is tidal and race organizers had timed it for when the tide was coming in.

I wasn’t happy with my swim but not disappointed either. I did hope to do better but came out of the water 40 seconds down on the leaders. My transition went well until I hopped on my bike. The strap on my shoe came out so I rode with one loose shoe the whole race and my aero bar pad got knocked off. The bolts on my aero bars dug into my skin exposing blood by the end of the race. Despite a little bit of panic in that first kilometre I set into a rhythm and with 24 boys in front of me I ticked all but one off in the first lap of four. I then caught first place at the end of the third lap. I didn’t think I had the legs to distance him and we had enough of a gap on the rest of the field so I rode the last lap slightly reserved so I could hopefully blitz the run.

National Champs Run

picture: National Champs Run

I biked fastest by 45 seconds to come into transition in first but only by a couple seconds after having to make up the 40 seconds from the swim. We battled out for about 3 kilometres but I lost touch and blew up a bit mentally to roll in for second place. 

National Champs Bike

picture: National Champs Bike

The following day there was an aquathlon that I didn’t intend on doing but thought I would since I was up there. I came out of the water 1:05 back in 55th and had no hope of a podium but wanted to nudge into the top 10. I ran the second fastest split to make up 47 places to finish in 8th.

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