So Murray Man has come and gone! What an epic event. The organisation was flawless, hands down the best event that I have ever been involved in! The course was amazing, the volunteers were awesome, everything worked like clockwork and the competitors were super friendly. The whole vibe of the event was so good!
At the finish line there was a competitors "finish area". This was so rad, it had ice baths, blow up couches, massage, delicious endless food including brownies, fruit, icecream endless drinks etc and also the well used medical tent :-)
Onto the event. I love events like this where it become a road trip and weekend away. It meant that Kate and I finally got away together. We drove up on the Saturday morning. The drive takes you north of Adelaide, throug some very arid looking regions and into the riverland. The drive is about 250kms and you get to see some amazing scenery including vast arid planes, productive farming land and the beautiful Murray River.
The race was held on Lake Bonny in Barmera, but we stayed in Berri, at the main hotel there which happened to be a sponsor and held an info night the night before. The hotel looks totally like a highway 66 budget motel, but the rooms were great. Once we had signed into the race and dropped the bikes in transition, kate knuckled down to study and I wandered the streets of Berri......wow, country towns are DEAD on weekends. It was say 3pm and nothing was open. You could have shot a gun down any road and the bullet would have dropped to the ground before it hit anything. Funnily I was trying to find somewhere to get dinner so I asked some locals..and they had no idea where you could get take out pizza or anything after say lunch time at that. LOL. Don't think I could live in Berri.
Sunday morning came by. Alarms set for 5am allowing me to smash a good coffee and a bowl of museli before we headed to the transition zone in Barmera, a 15 min drive away. The temp was stark in contrast to the day before. Sat was low 30's, sun morning was 9! Needless to say it was chilly in the transition zone! Kate didn't want to take her shoes off until the absolute last minute.
We did get to the transition zone pretty early, but it gave us a lot of time to familiarise ourselves with everything and to organise our gear without rushing (just the way I like it). Anyways the race finally neared, we wandered to the start line and had a quick swim to get acclimatised. Next thing we're lining up to start, a quick hug and kiss to kate and then we were off. The swim was beautiful, the lake was an amazing temp and I felt good. In the end the 2km swim was 34 mins. Pretty stoked.
I was feeling great out of the water and set into a steady ride. The course was beautiful. Long the shores of Lake Bonney, 10km out, 10km back. Unfortunately the back leg was slightly more uphill, and into a decent headwind. Funnily enough, everyone was smashing me with the wind, but I was smashing everyone into it? Strange. It must be all the hill climbing!
Being broken into 4 20km loops, the ride actually felt like it went pretty quick. Nex thing onto the run. Another decent transition, and off for 20kms. The run comprised of 4x5 km laps. This was a really great way to structure the run, once again mentally helping as 5kms is easy right....and I only have to do it 4 times. In the end I was stoked, after needing a toilet break at the end of lap one, I progressively got faster finishing my last lap with an avg pace of 4:24 min/km, placing me 2nd for the run in my age group.
Feeling strong I passed Kate at the end of her first run lap, she was in suffer town and I felt pretty bad for her, but kudos to her she stuck it out.
I ended up crossing the line in 4hrs29mins, and then proceeded to chill out in the race finisher zone, munching some nice food, soaking up some rays and getting a massage. Not to mention meeting some rad crew and hearing some crazy race and training stories.
Kate ended up crossing the line in 6hrs 9mins with a lot of encouragement. She was pooched to say the least. So proud of her.
Now we headed quickly back to Berri for a freshen up in our late checkout hotel room, the shower was amazing. Smashed a coffee and some food and then embarked on the 2.5hr drive home, which was surprisingly good seeming I just did a long distance triathlon. What an amazing weekend. It has filled me with enthusiasm to ramp up my Iron Man training and maybe get a proper TT frame :-)