this is a tri-series event so all the major local players would be out. most of the girls i know opted out. not sure if it was the venue or just coincidence. the tri-series events are for championship points - as long as you are a member of triathlon australia and so the competition is usually pretty tough. i have the misfortune or luck of competing against loretta wesley. she won the age group o.d. worlds last year (sept) at the gold coast and then followed it up by winning the long distance worlds in perth in october. this was meant to be your standard sprint but turned into a 750 swim, 25km bike and 5km run. the website had misleading and conflicting info about the bike leg (which is frustrating to someone who likes to be organised) and when i arrived i queried an official and he confirmed that the bike leg was 4 laps at 5 km per lap. and this was the same at the race briefing. i am not a fan of this venue. it is the local rowing regatta facility and is a man made lake. they have the main lake with the rowing lanes that is about 2.5km long (i know this because i ran it) and then there is a side lake about 1km long. so maybe it was the bad open water swim i had here earlier in the year or the fact that i was tired. the transition area had grass covered in yellow sand so it was really messy. the bike mount and dismount area was small. the run was hot and boring. when i did the open water swim we were in the main lake. but for this event we were off in the baby lake. the pics show nice blue water but this is a lie. it is brown and ugly water and i really hate it. even though i had an easier training week i was not full of beans. it has been a full on season and maybe this was one i could have left off the calendar. whatever the ups and downs i think it was still a good effort considering that i had to work my butt off to get a decent result. the swim sucked. i knew it when i was doing it and the only thing that i can blame it on is that i was tired or that i just really hate this water. it is brown (have i mentioned this ?) and with no visibility and i just don't swim well here. give me the ocean - sharks and all. time wise it was okay and only 30 seconds behind the the pack. i was glad to be on the bike and it was fast ride. not much wind and just flat and fast. i passed quite a few girls and the odd male. i knew i passed two girls from my age group. when it came to the end of the third lap i checked the computer and distance was 19.6. WTF ??? i had to make a decision. i knew they said four laps but i was at 20kms and only three laps. so i figured if i did more i could live with that rather than do less. so i turned around for another lap to bring it up to 25km. but it seemed i was right as i could see most people chasing me followed. being confused over this is very stressful. i now accept that my bike ride is my strongest leg and i pushed it. when i went to run my legs were fucked. but i ran it out and it was boring and hot and the longest 2.5 km to the turn around that i have ever run. very few people over took me and i was slow so that tells a story. i passed the yellow jersey holder for the 50-55 female age group points leader. i know the last 2.5km was faster. no one in my age group passed me so that was lucky me thinks. i am not going to dwell on the swim. the time was 1:40 - thanks to the extra 5k i didnt come in under 1:30. loretta (winner age group and third overall) was 1:19. she has competed in this sport all her life and is strong in all three disciplines. can i ever get close ? what will it take to get twenty minutes faster ? am i doing okay considering this is my first year ? i always hang back and watch the award presentations and hope that my race number is drawn and i win a really cool prize. finally last week at the enduro event i won a beautiful beach towel. triseries have even better stuff. i was thinking of leaving as it was hot and dragging on. the dude said they had three prizes left - a heart monitor and two wetsuits. shit. i had to wait. and then my number was called and i got a polar heart monitor !!!! SWEET ! i dont have one and wanted one. i will always stay for the prize draws. i have something to think about with this venue. do i look at the ugly brown water as a challenge to overcome or do i just say fuck it and move on ? we will see.