Sam Betten - 5th at the Byron Bay Triathlon
Posted on5 Year ago
photo credit to Byron Bay Triathlon
After racing IM 70.3 Busselton just a week ago I knew that backing up and racing a tough Olympic distance triathlon at Byron Bay was going to be a tough ask. Truth be told I found it pretty hard to recover post-IronMan 70.3 Busso and only just started to feel somewhat normal again the day before the race.
Race start was set for 12:10 pm, which meant that I was able to sleep in on Saturday morning and then drive to the race mid-morning. The male open category saw 60 men to the start line ready to race in a non-wetsuit swim. With a big current and choppy seas, the swim start was all about tactics and the large group started the swim by running 60 meters down the beach. This allowed the current to sweep us towards the first swim turn.
I stayed close to the fish that is Clayton Fettell and swam the majority of the swim side by side with Clayton. Bryce McMaster another front pack swimmer stayed glued to our feet. The swim felt quite long with the general consensus being that the strong tide had moved the turn buoys further out to sea. The water in Byron is pristine which made for a very enjoyable swim leg looking into the depths of the ocean below. Clayton managed to get the jump on Bryce and myself heading towards the swim exit by catching a small wave that gave him a few seconds head start for the run up the beach.
Swim exit with Clayton leading, myself 2nd and Bryce 3rd
Hitting T1, I was feeling pretty good about my chances with the longer swim helping me to put some good time into my competitors. I rode a controlled first few kilometres
of the bike leg and soon enough held onto 2ndposition. Clayton, who lives minutes from the race quickly disappeared up the road hitting T2 with a 2min 50sec lead on the rest of us. Young gun Ben Cook along with Lindsey Wall joined me just before the turnaround
and I spent the remainder of the bike leg sitting off the back of these two athletes trying to freshen up my legs as much as I could before I hit T2. The bike course was held on a very rough and quite hilly out and back course, which made for a very fair bike leg between all of the athletes racing.
Once our trio of 3 hit T2 I quickly resorted to letting Ben and Lindsey storm up the road. My legs felt very fatigued and cramped up quickly within minutes of running. I wasn’t sure how the body would feel after last weekend's effort but quickly knew once I put on my runners that this wasn’t going to be my day. I held onto 4th for 3 of the 4 run laps before being run down by 1 other athlete.
The entire run was really just a battle for survival and I was very glad to cross the finish line. 5th place was far from what I wanted but the legs just hadn’t recovered enough from last weekend's race.