I have been involved in the Team Latitude concept since its inception racing events such as the Port Douglas Long Course, Coles Bay and now Karri Valley Triathlon, and more importantly I enjoyed racing them all and had
a fun weekend away giving back to the sport and meeting new people at grass roots races. I love racing low key events a few times a year as it gives the body a chance to relax and enjoy the atmosphere away from the hustle and bustle of the big races which can be quite full-on sometimes with sponsor and race commitments.
The good thing about Karri Valley was that there was no phone, internet or TV reception, which felt pretty good and gave everyone chance to relax a bit more and converse. The Stadium Tri Club do a fantastic job with this event with everything being close by with the race location centralized within the resort which had great chalet style accommodation making everyone really comfortable.
Race Day was not ideal by any stretch of the imagination and was disappointing as most years I was told the race was held in sunny warm conditions. This year however it was raining hard and quite cold, and with the no wetsuit swim for the Open field it was not ideal for me who is USELESS in the cold conditions!
I had a great swim coming out in pack with Tim Berkel, Pete Roberton, Justin Brewer and Courtney Ogden, but as soon as we hit dry land, or should I say WET land thats where the fun started as Berkz took a 20m dive going over the speed hump, the rain was pelting down at this time and conditions were quite treacherous to say the least; full credit to Tim who got up and rode with us for the 1st lap before conceding to his battle scars.
I was joined on the bike by Robbo and Ogden, and I decided to ride hard at the front for the 1st lap primarily to stay warm more than anything! Robbo came around me at the start of lap 2 and drove the pace really hard, obviously still carrying some good leg strength from his 10th place at Ironman Melbourne a week before. The lift in pace shelled Ogden and eventually myself giving Robbo a minute lead into T2.
I was feeling quite good on the bike and was confident in my run despite coming off a really heavy training week, so I decided to try and use the run as my hard run set for the week and see what would happen. I caught Robbo at 2km who was obviously fatigued from Ironman. I pushed hard right to the end to hold off Courtney and win by about 4 minutes.
The course was challenging with some decent climbs on the ride and some cross country running and puddle jumping as you can see from my filthy race kit, but this was what made it fun and different and I urge any one who would like a great weekend away and a fun challenging event to come do this race.