Cel­e­brat­ing 25 awe­some years

Multisport Mecca - - Column - Ja­son Crowther At­las Mul­tisports head coach and ex-pro­fe­sional triath­lete

AN ICONIC race on the cal­en­dar, the Mooloolaba tri is a great first race for the be­gin­ner and also a true test of an ath­lete’s form for top age groupers.

The surf swim can throw up its ob­vi­ous chal­lenges if the con­di­tions aren’t favourable and not only for the swell and po­ten­tial chop, but for swim­mers that aren’t con­fi­dent in open wa­ter, sighting can play a role also.

The old say­ing goes you can’t win the race in the swim, but you can def­i­nitely lose it.

The bike on pa­per looks great – flat and on a slick mo­tor­way, but if we have a wind like we saw last week­end then the trip home is straight into a block 20kmh southerly.

Avoid cruis­ing down to the turn-around think­ing you are on fire only to turn and strug­gle to get above your aver­age Satur­day morn­ing easy ride pace.

Or worse still, don’t go too hard with the tail­wind and then blow at 30km and in turn cook your­self for the run.

The run scares most peo­ple with the undulations, but if run smart it can be a quick run. Go into it spent af­ter the bike then it will be a long day and even more so if you have a later wave start.

On a side note, your wave start will af­fect your race if it is a hot day, so race to the con­di­tions. Some­one start­ing at 8.30am will be run­ning in a lot harsher con­di­tions than some­one start­ing at 6.30am so keep this in mind.

Exit T2 with pur­pose, but not too hard. Wait un­til you get over Alex hill be­fore you gauge how your legs are feel­ing. Use the mo­men­tum of the down­hill to get you to your goal pace and set­tle into a rhythm. The tough­est part of the run is when you turn the north­ern end for the last time with about 3km to go.

Have enough left in the tank to run this the same speed as the first 7km and you will def­i­nitely pass peo­ple and pick up a few ex­tra spots.

For the first timers you will only ever do your first Mooloolaba once so en­joy it. For the sea­soned ath­lete to win the Mooloolaba tri you don’t just have to be tal­ented and well trained, but also know the course and ex­e­cute all three dis­ci­plines well.

Ahead of next week, I spoke with Com­mon­wealth Games gold medal­list and 2007, 2010 and 2011 Mooloolaba ITU World Cup win­ner Brad Kahle­feldt (he came sec­ond in 2008 and 2012, and third in 2009) on how to win Mooloolaba on the main stage.

“Back in 2007 I pre­pared re­ally well all sum­mer for this race. It was my main fo­cus and was a great chance to see how the train­ing is go­ing,” he said.

“To be hon­est I had a cou­ple bad races in Mooloolaba as a ju­nior and an up and com­ing pro.

“It was a bru­tal course and I just didn’t pre­pare well enough. 2007 I left no stone un­turned and did a lot of hard train­ing es­pe­cially in the hills for this race.

“You have to re­spect the course and it’s a race you can­not be un­der­done.

“I knew i had to be off the bike with the likes of Javier (Gomez) and co to have any chance of do­ing well. We pushed hard and from mem­ory we picked them up to­wards the end of the ride.

“I headed out on the run and pushed the pace on the first lap un­til Javier put the foot down half­way through and split up the front group. I man­aged to catch him on the last hill and it was nice to beat the champ this time. The fol­low­ing year in 2008 he beat me and I was sec­ond. I al­ways en­joyed rac­ing Javier as he con­tin­ues to raise the bar in our sport on many lev­els.”

Brad’s tip: Once out on the run course build into the first hill, try not to spike the heart rate too much as it’s flat and fast the other side for the age group race so you can cer­tainly wind it up, es­pe­cially

if you have a southerly.

If rac­ing for the podium, you need to be pa­tient. The last climb up be­fore you de­scend into tran­si­tion is a great place to make a move but use the mo­men­tum over the top of the climb as it’s al­most down­hill from there.

Tip for first timer: En­joy this race, it’s one of the most iconic races in the world. It’s a fun course and there are many other ath­letes out there to push with.

Use the peo­ple around you to help lift you. Pace your­self well, but most im­por­tantly have fun.

PHOTO: BRETT WORT­MAN

Brad Kahle­feldt on his way to Mooloolaba vic­tory in 2011.

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