It was 6am and John and I were wondering yet again why we kept signing up for morning races as we trudged our way through the underpass to cycle our way down to the Trifactor Bike race. The upside to such an early morning ride is the sea breeze and the quietness of East Coast Park. An hour and 12km later we arrived at the main event site.
Along the way we got a shout out from Michelle as she was completing another loop in her 35km category. Cool as a cucumber she drafted behind the leading cyclists throughout the race with a determined effort to take one of the top three positions.
Michelle’s been cycling seriously for less than a year. With a bi-weekly 50km ride to Mt Faber return has provided her with a good dose of training for this race. Setting an average pace of 31km/h, Michelle finished her race in 1:06 hours taking 3rd place out of 43 in the Women’s Open Category. A fantastic effort for her first cycling race.
Both John and I registered for the 21km category. Neither one of us are cycling enthusiasts. We prefer cycling for leisure to the nearest coffee shop, rarely covering more than 10km. Often we are accompanied by our 6 yo daughter, making the 10km distance sufficient for one day’s ride.
However, we wanted to experience the Tri-Factor Series with cycling as one of the sporting events. Choosing the 21km category was sufficient distance for us, especially since we haven’t trained for it and the last time we covered that kind of distance was 5 months ago. Pretty much before I fractured my ankle.
Although John flagged-off 15 minutes earlier than myself, it was evident that our experience was quite similar. We both enjoyed the bends and slopes, had fun seeing each other across the barriers and John especially enjoyed drafting Michelle for about 300m until he couldn’t keep up with her anymore. The straight was possibly the most tedious and we just looked forward to the next u-turn or slope.
Assessing my competition when I was in the holding area, it was very clear that the two women in front of me would lead and finish off ahead of the rest of us and the women behind me were reasonable competition for my abilities. Throughout the race, I aimed to maintain a steady pace, having no expectations other than getting to the end and surviving the upward slopes.
On average I kept a speed of 24km/h. When I saw John on the opposite side, cycling his last lap, I considered slowing down so he could catch up and complete the loop together but I was having a very good race, keeping a steady pace and decided against it.
Throughout my entire race I was largely on my own in my own category. The fast riders were obviously way ahead but other than overtaking one rider in my category, I didn’t see anyone else nearby or in the distance. A brief calculation indicated that I could very possibly have an opportunity to win a place. With that in mind, I pushed on even when my injured foot was going numb and I was super happy when I crossed the finish line. Dismounting the bike was a bit humorous with my jelly legs but it was great to catch up with hubby and Michelle to toast our successful rides with a couple of 100 Plus’s.
The race results were released fairly quickly and it was extremely exciting when it was confirmed that Michelle took 3rd place and I placed 1st in the Veteran Female category. That was just an awesome way to finish our races.
After accepting our prizes, we headed back home. Knocking up 40km in one day was twice as much as John and I have ever ridden making the homebound ride eternal. Michelle on the other hand just cruised on as if she’d only just started riding.
We celebrated our successes with poolside big breakfast, strong coffee and beamed for the next couple of days.
With two out of four Tri-Factor sporting events completed, we are waiting for the Tri-Factor Run at the end of July but not before the OSIM Sundown night race.