Jeremy Hopwood

Jeremy Hopwood

Monday, March 15, 2010

Geelong 70.3 2010 Race Report

Overall Time - 4:39:13

Swim (1.9km) - 32:30, T1 2:18, Bike (90km) 2:31:57, T2 1:10, Run (21.1km) 1:31:15

Overall - 178/1153, Male - 166/923, M30-34 - 41/165

The Background

I write this about a month after the race having arrived back in Canada just in time for the Winter Olympics. Will save the details for that for another post but that is my excuse for latency in this post.

Geelong 70.3 wasn't a goal race of the year, it was an early season hit out that gave me the opportunity to race in Australia and in front of my parents for the first time. The lead up had some solid training although nothing super intense and a fair bit of travel as I flew around South Eastern Australia and saw friends, cricket, the Tour Down Under (Including Lance and Cadel) and a fair bit of time in airports.

The Friday before the race picked up my parents form the airport and drove down to Geelong. Got in all my pre race workouts, hung out a bit and was ready for my first triathlon of 2010.

Swim - 32:30 (Avg 1:43 per 100m)

Overall - 421/1153, Male - 355/923, M30-34 - 78/165

The swim has been the weak part of my arsenal since I took up triathlon and swimming at the same time just over 2.5 years ago. There is still a lot of work to do but this swim was a good reflection of what putting the work in can do with the correct focus. Since October I have been swimming more each week than I would have in total some months. Essentially I am in the pool 5 to 6 hours a week with a lot of focused work. With more work and focus on technique hoping this will improve further.

The swim was a one loop swim and positioned myself about 10 deep in the middle. Getting the crap kicked out of me does not worry me if I get an advantage. The front few lines started wading out further and for sure I thought they would get pushed back so I hung near the start line. Alas they did not and it seems the jet ski was just for show and grabbed a 50m head start, maybe I should have just followed the crowd here.

Australian's other than myself tend to be strong swimmers so there was a good pack to swim with. The increased buoyancy of salt water and a wetsuit helped my body position which I had been working on a fair bit in the pool. Coming to the first mark felt good but had no idea if I was swimming well or not. At this point got stung by a jelly fish and basically went through the following thought process;

  • mmm I wonder if this is going to swell up
  • mmm, my hand is not grabbing seaweed or neoprene, that is more jellyfish
  • ok, I am going to swim with my eyes closed and till I work out what to do
  • well looks like there are a lot of jellies out here and I am sure other people got stung so the quicker I swim the quicker I get out of this gong show.

After this little "crisis" turned for home. Lost a bit more time as was swimming towards the exit but had to swim through a "buoy gate" with the pack I was with so that made for 30 seconds of lateral swimming.

All in all though it was a HIM pb by 4 minutes which is a good sign for the year ahead and proves the swim focus in the pool has been working. More work to come but can't complain.

T1 - 2:18

Overall - 88/1153, Male - 74/923, M30-34 - 13/165

T1 was so- so, didn't feel 100% coming out of the water so only really jogged through transition. At the bike rack everything was methodical but not fast. Bit of traffic getting out of the exit so just carried my bike and got past those working out what they were doing.

Bike - 2:31:57 (Avg 35.53km/h)

Overall - 256/1153, Male - 239/923, M30-34 - 58/165

So onto the bike it was, the course was essentially a short climb out of transition, through a rough section of road then onto a highway for a out and back with a climb at the turnaround, then back to transition. This all happened three times.

Lap 1 - 48:23 (avg 37.23km/h)

Did not feel great coming out of T1 but just worked to get in a rhythm. Went for water over Gatorade initially as just wanted to get settled. Came across some packs (20-40) and made the mistake of trying to blast by when most probably should have just sat back a legal distance off when they recover took me after my second attempt to get from the "insert expletive here" individuals. Any way burned a few matches here but such is life, proud that I resisted the urge to throw an empty bottle into a pack a passed as I went past an aid station but still would not have felt to guilty if I had.

Pretty much just tried to stay aero as much as I could and started to take in nutrition towards the end of the lap

Lap 2 - 50:23 (avg 35.73 km/h)

Lap 1 had me on pace for a 2:25 Bike split which is definitely within what I can achieve. However I think being early season and not having ridden at that output much I started to suffer a little bit on the second lap. This may not have been helped by me wasting my energy on the drafters on the first lap. Was not a horrible lap but quads were getting a little bit tired. On the good side though was able to start going through my nutrition to plan.

Lap 3 - 53:11 (avg 33.85 km/h)

So the wheels fell of a little here. The plan in my head had been to go out steady on lap 1, maintain build on lap two and then hold pace on lap 3. The inverse seemed to happen. Legs just didn't feel the mojo so just worked to keep a high cadence and get er into T2.

In the end was a good early season bike split and not super stressed that didn't go perfect as know my riding strengthens up come my main race season based on passed years. The base work is there just need to get the body used to working at the higher tempo's. Also learned a valuable lesson in needing to have a plan when you come across packs in the bigger races that does not revolve around anger and violence.

T2 - 1:10

Overall - 32/1153, Male - 31/923, M30-34 - 6/165

Pretty straight forward T2, lost a little bit of time as there was no clear dismount line so did not have the best dismount and ran the turn wide to exit transition. Other than that pretty straight forward with no mistakes

Run - 1:31:15 (Avg 4:19 per km)

Overall - 132/1153, Male - 123/923, M30-34 - 31/165

My run was a bit blah. Think this is more reflective of not being used to riding that hard on the bike at this point of the season than anything else but it was a bit dissapointing. Tried to pick up the pace a few times and although aerobically it felt fine the legs just didn't want to turnover. In fact felt like I had bike legs the whole run which made it feel more like running of the bike in an IM.

Had been hoping to hold around 4 min/km pace so became more about survival. Run course was reasonably hilly and in hot,, humid conditions so had some good race experience toughing it out. Managed to pick up a few spots in my age group and think only got passed by one individual but would have been much happier laying down a run split about 10 minutes quicker which I am definitely capable off.

Post Race Thoughts

Happy with an early season hit out which I did not know what to really expect form. Tough race day but you learn more form a day that has some challenges than a perfect day. Big positive is definitely the swim and looking forward to the next few months of work ahead of the A Race in IM CDA.

Was great to race in front of my parents and Les and had an awesome time in Oz over the 5.5 weeks I was there. Flying back to Vancouver the day after i raised knocked my immune system around a bit but it was worth it for the experience on both sides (Oz and Olympics).


  • To Les for coming out and supporting a teaching my parents triathlon spectating 101
  • For my parents for coming up and watching the race and through living at the top of a 3km 5% hill added a nice challenge to every ride and run I did in the first 15 days of 2010
  • To Phil & Toni Lee, Rhys & Kirsten, Susan & Misha for having us stay during our trip around Oz and letting us spend time with you and your families
  • To Clint for all the help with the program since October, early day but think the process is working well. Especially once I learn how to swim :)
  • To Forerunners, Newton and Speed Theory for their support in 2010

Compared to the Pro's

A race report feature I have included since last year is to compare myself against the race winner. This time it was against some guy called Criag Alexander :)

From Geelong 70.3 2010

3:53:15 (Crowie) vs 4:39:13(Jeremy)
20% slower

Swim 23:01 (Crowie) vs 32:30 (Jeremy) 41% slower

1:40 (Crowie) vs 2:18(Jeremy) 38% slower

Bike 2:15:39 (Crowie) vs 2:31:57 (Jeremy) 12% slower

0:55 (Crowie) vs 1:10(Jeremy) 27% slower

Run 1:11:57 (Crowie) vs 1:31:15 (Jeremy) 27% slower

Links and Photos

Full Race Results

Photos by Les and Dad


Got a Clearwater spot at roll down so looks like a trip to Florida may happen in November. Next up though is a few running races, Shawnigan Half Iron then Ironman CDA on my 30th Birthday.

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