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Race Report - Sunshine Coast 70.3 2022

Updated: May 17

By Greg Mc

Race Report Sunshine Coast 70.3 is my favourite distance and favourite race and each year I have considered this race to be the primary. This year I’d done Ultra355 a fortnight earlier and had no idea how the body was going to respond. Was 2 weeks enough time to recover? Numerous friends had said the training for Ultra355 would have me ‘ready’, but in the back of my mind I knew it could also go completely pear shaped. And a few days after Ultra355 I found myself completely exhausted, run down, head cold and a cough. It was not looking good.

Fast forward 7 days (Tuesday after Ultra355) and the symptoms started to lift. I went for a 5k run and although I still was not 100%, I did not feel like shit. Hope started to rise. By the time the weekend came around, I was feeling pretty good and ready. Game on !!

Race morning I was up before my alarm and mentally ready to go. It is the last long course race of my season and after this I could relax the training for a few months. I had no intended times but wanted to race in the moment and enjoy the day. To deal with what ever presented itself with a clear and calm mind.

SWIM Lined up with Salmo and Sherie, looking around we saw Keira. She came and joined our little posse, excitement was building “It’s just a Glasshouse swim” said Salmo, and we each repeated it. A few minutes later, I’m in the water and away we go to the first buoy, I remember thinking how much I was going to enjoy the day. I thought back to each of the Sunshine Coast 70.3’s I’d done (this was my 6th) and that even on the worst of days I still had a great day. I kept to the right of the crowd as I always do. I’m not interested in wasting energy swimming amongst the bodies and it works. A calm easy swim ‘to the Glasshouse’ was all I was interested in. The first 500m buzzed and I looked at my watch, it read ’7mins48seconds’. Up until then I hadn’t thought of pace, but was now thinking there must be a current as that’s a 1:35/100m pace. A little further along I looked at my watch and it read ‘1:35’ pace – There is definitely a current. Turned left, left again - now swimming back up the beach - watch still showing ‘1:35’ pace, and it felt easy. Turned right at the last buoy and my watch buzzed for 2k, as I’ve swim wide to stay out of the bodies, I’ve swim over the 1.9km (ended up being an extra 300m). For the easy swimming and pace, I was ok with that. Although not the shortest duration, it was the fastest pace and most comfortable I’ve ever been at Sunny Coast. 34mins22sec (1:33/100m avg)

BIKE Quite simply, the ride was great. Pushed a little on the hills, it felt controlled and easy. There were more athlete accidents and flat tyres than any Sunny Coast I had ever seen. Ambulances going back and forth. There were quite a few big groups with 20+ riders in them. I did my best to keep out of the packs and ride my own race. I loved the ride, in fact it was the best ride I’ve ever had at this event…… EXCEPT on the last bit of the highway before heading back into Mooloolaba I got a drafting penalty when a big group passed me and the slowest rider pulled in front of me and slowed down. I heard a motor bike, turned my head and he pointed at me and said “1490 drafting penalty”. I did use ANY of the words that were in my head, but safe to say I was not freakin happy Jan. Even the guy behind me said more to the TA official about it than I did. In all my years and races I have never been penalised for anything. I stayed in the moment, used the 5mins penalty time to eat, drink and mentally prepare for the run. 2hrs32mins51secs Avg 33.7kph

RUN Took a k to slow the heart rate (185bpm after T2). Saw D and the kids, gave them each a kiss and on my way. The first few k’s settled into 5:30/k pace and decided to hold that for the first 10km’s and then check in. A gel Blok every 15minutes, sipped at Trail Brew at each km, the k’s went by and I felt good. Over the hill for the first time my left hamstring spasmed into a cramp, what the actual fuck !! This can not be happening. It came out of no where. I walked, drank 1/2 a pickle juice bottle and the cramp stopped. Got back to it and put it behind me. At 10km’s my heart rate went up for no reason, I slowed to 5:45/k and settled into that for a few k’s, again feeling good but I didn’t want to lose feeling. Was worried about how quickly I can go from ‘good’ to ‘oh shit’ and have the wheels come off. At 12k’s I had my caffeine booster to give me a good kick to the end. Up and over the hill, turn around and back up the hill again. That hill hurt, but then remembering Ultra355 and what ‘hurt’ really could be. Kept on keeping on, steadied at 5:50/k pace and decided to walk the aid stations to keep heart rate under control. This felt good and on the way out to the turn around point I did some rough maths and realised I would be getting a PB, and was on track for a sub-2hour 1/2 marathon, but it would be close. Felt a solid slap on the arse, Conor goes passed with a shit eating grin. Was good to see him on course. Turn around point, still feeling good so I picked up the pace a little. Heading to the finish line now. Up and over the hill. Passed the SSG tent. To the finish line. 1hr59mins33sec Avg 5:38/k

TOTAL 5hrs12mins56sec. (13min PB)

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