Kaya is our youngest Official Fohette. We are proud to share her race report from the Australian School Sport Triathlon Championships. Here is her account…
I left to Hervey Bay Monday morning. We got there around noon and went to check out the apartments that the Queensland team was staying at. When I entered my room to unpack, I found my roommate (there were only two of us in this room).
Later we had our team photo and I went for a light jog to loosen the legs before dinner. On this night I ordered pizza and got to know my age group a bit better. When we arrived back at the apartments I tried to get to bed as early as I could for the following morning. When I woke up I headed down stairs in my bike gear with the majority of the team to get an early bike ride in.
After this I packed my bags for the day and headed over to the opening ceremony by bus. The ceremony consisted of the usual opening of the event and the race briefing. When the ceremony finished we got back on the bus and headed towards the harbour to get to Fraser Island. When we got off the boat we jumped back onto more buses (4-wheel drive this time) where we drove along a very bumpy, sandy trail to Lake Mackenzie. The lake was beautiful. The water was crystal clear and the sand was the purest and cleanest I had ever seen. No dingoes were spotted and we headed back up the track to the boats, then the harbour, and finally the apartments.
Dinner was earlier this night as transition opened at 5am the next morning. I had a simple pasta dinner and headed back to the apartments as soon as possible where I got ready for the following day. Before I went to sleep, of course all the girls – including me – had to have the traditional two braids in their hair.
I woke up at 4:30am the next morning so I had time to have a small breakfast and triple-check I had everything I needed. The walk to transition was freezing, everyone was wearing jackets and those who weren’t wearing long, cosy track pants quickly regretted it. I racked my bike where the allocated spot for it was and sat down under the Queensland tent – I still had 4 hours before my race began. The morning consisted of more braiding, and the usual nervous and excited feelings. I started my land warm up about an hour before the race and soon headed down to the water to do a swim warm up. The race was supposed to start at 9:15am but was delayed by about 15 minutes due to a crash a few races before.
I was very surprised, and annoyed, that there was a number ordered start because it meant that I couldn’t choose my starting position. When the gun went, I had a great start and I was first from the dive I took into the water to when my hand hit the sand at the end of the swim.
Because the race was draft legal, I wasn’t in a big rush to get to transition because I had a bit of a gap on the next person. I jumped on my bike and started out until I was caught by two other Queenslanders. We were going great until we got caught by the chase pack. When we finished the bike leg and headed into transition, my legs felt great and they were ready to smash a 4km run. My race was going exactly to plan.
I came out of transition in about 12th but soon settled into 8th. I had a good run and brought 8th place all the way to the finish line with me. I am stoked to have finished with this result – not only did I finish two places better than last year, but I’m at the bottom of the age group. I could confidently say my race went almost exactly to plan thanks to my coach Toby Coote at Sunshine Coast Triathlon Academy.
The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing and recovering from the race, before the presentation dinner later that night. We had our dinner, the medals were presented and the state that won the day was announced – Queensland! Dinner and presentations were a great way to end the day, besides trying to act normal when your legs feel like falling off. By the time we got back to the apartments, packed and cleaned the room it was 10:30pm and I fell asleep instantly.
The following morning was the team event where each team consisted of two girls and two boys, and each member had to compete in a miniature triathlon of 200m swim, 6km bike and 2km run. I was the first person in my team to go. I had another killer swim coming out with the winner of the senior girls and my bike and run reflected that. By the time I had tagged my next team mate, our team was about the second or third. By the end of the race we finished with a proud 4th place, just missing out on a podium finish. Finally, was the closing ceremony, where Queensland also won the teams event, and to conclude the trip, Queensland won the overall trophy for the 11th year in a row!
(Thankyou Stephen Harman for the great photos!)