A Report by Online age grouper Tina Van Wyk coached by Mat O'Halloran.
So here I was at 50 years young racing against some 25-30 year olds as I had registered in elite age group division for the South Africa 5150 which also doubled as the South African champs in Ekurhuleni!
Oh my I said, now I have shot myself in the foot! I gave it some thought and said OK, this going to be a very hard training session, as I am going to have to go flat out just to save face!
But was also exited to race with my new teamTBB race kit that had come in the mail the week before :)
Just thinking no pressure, I continued with my pre-race plan, bike racked, run w/up done, pre-race briefing, then off to swim. I was turning back from my swim warm up when the gun for the first wave (my wave) went off! I looked up to see the pro's and elite age groupers racing towards me! If you had a camera on my face it would have been funny! I turned around and tried to swim in the same direction, praying they would not swim over me!
They passed me in a second and I was left hyperventilating. I tried to calm down, took a few breaths and looked around me. I saw a cap ahead of me and one behind. The Pros were in the distance already, I worked hard on calming down and getting into a rhythm. I passed the swimmer ahead. I kept going, I could see the group of Pros ahead...The swim went on forever! On the last 300m a small group of 18-24 year olds passed me and then I came out relieved as it was a choppy/long swim.
In T1 my son told me I was second Elite - I raced off on my Cervelo P3 on the windy and hot bike course that finished with a 6 km uphill at the end! It went well, and I felt good.
In T2 my son Nick told me I was now first Elite! Off I went out with my ON Cloud racers BUT I did as my coach said, nose breath the first kilometer, and build into it! On the 2nd lap, I heard I had someone gaining behind me. I saw her, watching as we looped I saw she was a good runner and picking up time! 4 km to go I started to pick up my speed, 3km to go she still had not passed, 2 km to go, I decided that's it I am going to take this title! I turned the burners on and was doing almost 4 min per km to the finish line!
I crossed the line, the elite age group winner! I was stunned, these girls are much younger than me but I pushed myself harder than I ever thought I could and ended up in 8th overall in the females!
Now time for some recovery before I start to prepare for the 70.3 in Buffalo City next January!