Last year’s winner Belinda Granger gives us an insider’s view of the Geelong Long Course and Multisport Festival, with tips on everything from battling Victoria’s unpredictable weather patterns to the solid climb out of transition for both the ride and the run. In addition to other events to watch over the weekend, including the Elite Sprint event which will attract some of the best in the world.
Geelong Long Course is a great race and the perfect first race of the 2013 season. Last year I used the race as my first “tester” of the season – to see where I was at with my training and what areas needed work in the lead up to Ironman Melbourne.
We awoke last year to some pretty nasty weather – wind, rain and cold. Well, for us Sunshine Coasters it was cold. Because of all the cloud cover it was quite dark when the gun went off so I suggest bringing two pairs of goggles with you – dark lenses and clear lenses, just in case. I was glad to have the clear lenses so I could see where I was going in the swim.
Onto the bike and the roads were fairly wet. The beginning of the bike course is quite technical so I had to be fairly cautious on the many tight corners through the park before we got out onto the main road. The main road is perfect time-trialing terrain. The wind on this part of the course is what makes it tough. It is a two-lap course bringing you back down into T2 at the end of each lap. The descent down into T2 is a little tricky as there is a very tight turn at the bottom of it - make sure you are prepared, especially if it is wet. Despite many officials, volunteers and even spectators yelling ‘slow down’, a few athletes came off here last year. It’s also a good idea to make sure that you are in the right gear for the nasty little climb back away from T2 again. The bike course is a good mixture of tight corners, descents, climbs, undulations and fast time-trialling sections. Throw in a bit of wind and it is good solid course.
The run was my favourite part. I love this sort of run course – a hilly two-lap run with a good mix of soft and hard terrain – perfect for the stronger runner and not necessarily the fast runner. Definitely make sure you add some hills into your long runs in preparation for this race. It is a hard course to get into any sort of rhythm, but the last few kilometres of each lap is flat and fast. There are also a couple of opportunities to see where your competition is at.
I love the concept of the Multisport Festival. There is always something going on and it is such a fantastic atmosphere. Last year I was able to do my race in the morning and then watch the sprint distance race in the afternoon. I don’t get too many opportunities to watch a race so I really enjoyed it. The team at USM are the kings of the Multisport Festival and do it so well. The festival enables the entire family to be involved. With the kids triathlon, the Half Ironman and the sprint, everyone gets a chance to shine.
1. It can be quite chilly in the morning so make sure you pack for all conditions. Those of you who have experienced Victorian summers know it can be a mixed bag and can go from one extreme to the other in a day.
2. Think about wheel choice. It is quite technical and undulating at the beginning of each lap and has the potential to be extremely windy. Talk to your coach or an experienced athlete to suss out what they think.
3. It is a pretty solid climb out of T2 for both the bike and the run, so be patient and don’t go out all guns blazing – think about gear choice.
1. If you are travelling from interstate, try to organise your flight into Melbourne so you are not arriving into during peak hour. The drive to Geelong from Melbourne airport can be a nightmare and twice as long during peak hour – I learnt this the hard way last year!
2. There are plenty of great cafes and food spots along the water. Most of the accommodation is close to the water, so most cafes are within walking distance. We had a car last year, but didn’t need to use it once we arrived in Geelong. It was simple to get around on foot. All the major supermarkets are within walking distance as well, so you can stock up on groceries easily enough.
3. There is a great little protected swim area down near the swim start, which is a great place for a swim and gives you a chance to get back into your wetsuit. Also, if the family has come along, the kids can play in the fantastic children’s pool while you familarise yourself with the swim course.
2013 Urban Geelong Long Course Pro List Male
2013 Urban Geelong Long Course Pro List Female
2013 Subaru Olympic Distance Triathlon Open Male
|Mikael||Staer Nathan||Albert Park|
Subaru Olympic Distance Triathlon Open Female
2013 Geelong ITU Sprint Triathlon Oceania Cup : Elite Men : Start List
2013 Geelong ITU Sprint Triathlon Oceania Cup : Elite Women : Start List