11 November 2013

Watching is almost as hard as doing

I'm exhausted, totally spent, out of juice, completed knackered ....

and what caused this state?  

Spectating and supporting at Murray Man Triathlon held at Barmera in the Riverland of South Australia yesterday., that's what!

We flew down on Friday morning, arriving around lunch time and then drove straight up to Barmera.  Negotiating the Adelaide traffic seemed to take forever and it was a relief when we finally hit the open roads.

The weather was pretty brisk on our late afternoon arrival into town.  We checked in to the hotel and then Daryl and crew quickly put bikes together and headed out for a ride to make sure that most vital piece of equipment was in top condition.  While they were out I took off for a quick explore of town.

Barmera's pretty small so that didn't take long. 

Next morning it was an early start with Daz getting his crew down for a reccy swim at the Lake Bonney start line.  I was on gear guard duty with the odd spot of photo taking thrown in while they gingerly entered the water. 

Last year's event was held in 40+ degree temperatures with the organisers trucking in ice to help cool competitors.  Not needed this year, we Darwinites were shivering in all the clothes we owned (which is not many when you travel Jetstar and bike box takes up most of your luggage allowance) and the temperature was struggling to make it to 6 degrees (a far cry from the 36 degrees we left back in Darwin).

Watching Daz develop the shivers fifteen minutes after getting out of the water, I was more than happy to have had reason to be on dry land. 

Next was a drive over the bike course - which confirmed the road was pretty rough and it could be a battle against the wind. 

Registration and bike racking were scheduled on Saturday afternoon so we headed down to transition again - this time not so cold as the sun had finally managed to warm things a little.  That done, we all headed back to the hotel. 

While those racing put their feet up for awhile, I ducked out for a walk/run of the course.  My session went a little overtime but at least I had a good appreciation of what they would be facing on race day. 

Then it was time to head over to Berri (about 15km away) for race brief and pasta night.  

By this time I was starting to feel a little left out of things.  It's very obvious you are a fraudster (non starter) once everyone is wearing their wristband!

Still I was a little cheered by winning a Haigh's chocolate Murray Cod in the lucky "envelope under the chair" prize.






Next morning was race morning and this is when my big day started.  The alarm went off at some ungodly hour and it was cold.  As in very cold. 

Still it wasn't me who was going to have to swim, bike and run in it, so I just put on a cheery face, helped apply the TriTats and donned everything I owned and before long it was time to head down to transition and watch everything unfold.

I did some holding, folding and putting away of unwanted warm gear.  Got a few pics, went upstairs for a better view.  Came down again to watch the swim start, got excited and took pics of Tim being first out of the water, then raced up to encourage him as he got on the bike.

Following that great start it was up, down, back, up, down, back, changing positions often and trying to keep up with everyone. 

I wish I had a Garmin and been able to track my movements - I'm sure I'd have clocked about 15km.

Moving was also essential just to try and keep warm.  At one stage I was shivering so much I got a cup of hot chocolate, huddled down beside a bin near the bike turnaround to shelter a little from the cold breeze and prayed to thaw out!  I can only imagine what it felt like for the thin blooded Territorians out there on the bike.

Trying to get some video or photos of finishes and then dashing around to the athlete area fence to say congratulations was another endurance exercise for this Comeback Queen.  More of the up the stairs to the balcony for a good view, then back down and a quick dash off somewhere again.

I did manage to lose track of people at times but during the course of the race, managed to take at least one good photo of everyone.

It was interesting for me that I was quite envious of those competing.  I didn't really fancy the swim in the cool (apparently the water temp was reasonable) but I did find myself wishing I was able to be out there taking part. 

It was awesome watching Tim cross in under four hours and earn some prize money in the elite category.  

As I watched for those I knew approaching the finish, I could see the adrenalin rush they got in the finish chute and the thrill of making the line and I found myself wishing it was me. 

An hour and a half later I was starting to run out of steam.

Finally they were all done and had spent enough time in recovery and it was pack up and go back for a shower time. The hotel did seem as though it had moved further away by this stage.

To round off a big day, it was back to the Yacht Club for presentations and then to the hotel for dinner.

By this time the athletes all seemed to gain a second wind and were on a high from their achievements.

Me - I was spent and needing to go horizontal - I really do think watching is almost as hard as doing!





Barmera embracing triathlon

But it was also inspirational, and I loved being there on the sidelines knowing that if I just keep at it, one day it will be me again experiencing that fantastic feeling of crossing the finish line. 

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