Well that is race day done and dusted. I think I can say it was successful.
All up my racing for the day felt good and I got some results that I was pretty happy with. Fair to say that racing on the standup paddle board is quite a different experience to triathlon, both in duration of the event and the scale.
To give you an idea, the event today was called the Blackblade and was sort of big deal among the paddlers in town, which meant that all up it had about 35 competitors and my age group had about 6 people in it. Believe or not that isn't bad going for a paddling event in Perth. There are certainly bigger races in WA, but this one attracted most of the states better paddlers. The lack of competitors may diminish my age group 2nd place slightly, but I am going to claim it anyway.
Race wise the event was made up for three races, a 200m event, a 1000m event and a 5000m event. To get a result you had to do all three. For context, 200m takes about 60 seconds and 1000m takes about 6 minutes. I think all up I raced for a bit under 40 minutes. Slightly different to an Ironman.
Despite the shorter events and smaller field I can truthfully say though that I had a great day out. It is a good reminder that you don't need a big song and dance to have fun. In the end you just need some welcoming people, competitive racing and a bit of organisation to put together a good event.
For me, my enjoyment came partially from a decent result, but more from a sense of accomplishment due to some good progress. Over the last 6 months I have been able to watch my progress against other paddlers and personally I feel it is going okay. I am still a long way off the pace of the top guys, but I felt like I took a good step forward today. Always very satisfying.
As well as having a fulfilling day racing myself, I also had the pleasure of seeing numerous athletes do well today in actual triathlons today.
Among the athletes there was a guy who ran a 10km PB in the Olympic Distance state championships. That is the fastest 10km he has ever done, in a triathlon or otherwise. There was another guy who is a super consistent performer, getting yet another podium and putting himself in with a great chance of taking out the WA triathlon state series for his age group, all in his first season. Demonstrating just what is possible with a good attitude and a solid work ethic. There was a girl who got on the podium for the first time ever. Pretty big deal for her as you can imagine. And finally there was one of my Ironman athletes who took a brief break from mega miles to bust out a 4th place in his age group at one of the local Olympic Distance races. Not bad for a mid-Ironman training, no taper Olympic Distance.
You can't help but feel proud seeing these guys produce super results. Very happy coach.
A great race day all around.