Last week I packed up my bags and left Mooloolaba for the Team TBB training camp in Leysin, Switzerland but enroute I stopped off at the Philippines for the inaugural 5i50 olympic distance triathlon. The race was held at an old American military base called Subic Bay. I’ve been racing well of late but I was a bit unsure of my form leading into the 5i50 because I was defiantly still feeling the effects of ironman Cairns three weeks earlier and I was up against some solid competition namely Team TBB’s Matt O’Halloran, Xterra champ Ben Allen and old mate from the Tizzy world cup days and three time Olympian Csaba Kuttor.
As expected the swim was pretty fast with a prime on the line and a group of five of us exited the water with a good lead including myself, Csaba, Ben, Matt and young Filipino Team TBB scholarship holder Dhill Anderson Lee. The bike course in the Philippines has it all, fast flat sections along the Subic airport, steep climbs and technical descents. I was a pretty nervous on the descents because it was so hot and humid that on the climbs my hands were getting sweaty so on the descents I was hanging on for dear life with slippery hands. Myself, Matt, Ben and Csaba came into T2 together and the pace was really hard from the start on the run. Csaba pushed the pace and at the 3km mark he had a 20 second lead on me. I was feeling alright and still confident of getting the win at this stage because in my past few races I’ve been able to negative split the run and come over the top of a lot of others. I eventually caught Csaba after 6km and kept pushing hard to establish a lead. Lots of people after the race commented to me that going back to the olympic distance after racing ironman must be so easy but I think it’s all relative. 8km into the run in an ironman I’m just getting into my rhythm and looking forward to the rest of the run but 8km into the run at the Philippines I was exhausted and just wanted the race to be over.
I crossed the line for the win with a small gap back to Csaba and Ben with Matt O’Halloran coming in 4th. It was great to catch up with the 6 young Filipino Team TBB scholarship holders in Subic and a big congratulations to them because most of them were competing in their first race on the weekend.
I’m in Leysin now ready for a big 15 weeks of training in the lead up to Kona. The whole team is getting along well and everyone is looking super fit so I think it’s been a great year to date for Team TBB but there’s plenty more to come in 2012.
All the best.
Some highlights from the Philippines 5i50.