Robyn’s Racing Diary Part 2

After a Successful overseas and Hamilton Island race season as reported in the July Active Life Fitness newsletter I reduced my training for a couple of weeks to start planning for the 2nd half of the year and races back in Australia.

First race back on July 18th was race 1 of a 5 races series in the South Queensland Zone which saw us compete in races from Hervey Bay to the Sunshine Coast, Moreton Bay and down to the Gold Coast. There was Short Course events (8-12km) and Long Course (16-18km) with the last race for this series on November 8th.

I won my age division in each Long Course race and was lead female in 3 out of the 5 races coming 3rd in the first race back after my break and 2nd in the Gold Coast race to the current Open Age World Champion (who I’m happy to be 2nd to!).

 

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Race 1 of the SQZ series at Mooloolaba, Paddle around the Pearl… was freezing!

 

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In the middle of all these local races I went up to Cairns to compete in the Marlin Coast Challenge which is a 4 stage race from Yorkeys Knob-Cairns to 4 Mile Beach-Port Douglas totalling 45km all up. I have not raced up that way before so it was all new to me being on the water with large reptiles with big tooth filled jaws… luckily I didn’t see any and was too busy racing to look for much else than the next turning buoy.

I was lucky enough to have Coral, the current World Champ to race alongside as well as lots of guys on single outrigger canoes and teams on doubles. This race could be competed as a relay or solo and as the day went on the smiles turned to tired looks at the beach changeover spots. The race works with a mass start then everyone came into change spots at approx. 10km intervals along the way and when the last canoe came in there was a 10min gap, a whistle blew and we lined up again for a mass start and so on until the finish line. This gave me time to have a drink, do a blood test from my Type 1 diabetes control and eat if I needed to.

I was feeling good and held a consistent pace for each leg of the race. It was a long day for all and tested even the best with Coral pulling out injured at the 30km mark leaving me wide open for a win with the person in 2nd place a good 15 minutes behind us. I enjoyed this event and will go back next year in June to do a similar course but with no stops.

After the local series I started training for OC1 Marathon Nationals to be held down in Cronulla NSW on December 5th. The course was planned for 25km but ended up being 18km due to the landscape of the location and the ability to find safe places to start and finish from. It was looking like a great line up with a multitude of past Australian Champions and the current Australian Champion entered. Unfortunately, World Champ and current AUS Champ, Coral Darbishire had to again miss this race with her injury which then left the rest of us girls wondering who would have the goods to take the National Title for 2015.

It was a tough paddle to the start line and a head wind and tidal paddle from the start to the first turning buoy at 4km mark, I was a little behind at this point counting 90min as I saw the 1st girl turn in front of me and another 4 in front also. Being the only one entered in my age group I took it on to race for the overall Women’s National Title and used the skills I have learnt over the years and in Hawaii to surf and catch the girls in front one after another leaving me the first Australian Female home and very happy that the work I had put in paid off when needed.

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My Boyfriend ‘Toppy’ -coach, canoe handler, shoulder masseuse, whinge sponge and very happy with my results at Nationals…

 

Goals for 2016

Feb 6th World Sprint Qualifiers at Lake Kawana in Open and Senior Master V1 divisions

Feb 27th Sydney Harbor 25km OC6 race

May 7-9th World Sprints at Lake Kawana hopefully in Open & Senior Master V1 divisions

May 14th Molokai to Oahu Hawaii 52km Solo OC1 ‘World Championships’

June 5th Great Barrier Reef Ocean Challenge OC1 45km Cairns to Port Douglas

Then 2 weeks rest!

8 week training prep for September 25th Molokai to Oahu Hawaii 68km OC6 open womens team ‘World Championships’

Then an even bigger rest!

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