The Esplanade, a stretch of road between Mornington and Safety Beach that I have been lucky enough to ride, and enjoy the views of, many a time. However, knowing this road like the back of my hand had one major downfall, I knew how hard this race was going to be…. HARD.
Leading into race day I was extremely comfortable and happy to be able to be at my own house and going about my usual weekly business. As one of my good mates recently said to me, “there is something to be said about having your own fridge and own couch.” He couldn’t be more right. Thus, coming into Sunday I was in a great mindset and looking forward to finishing off the year of racing with a good hit out (in my new custom Jaggad trisuit I might add).
Race day dawned with absolutely supreme conditions. The beautiful part of the Mornington Peninsula that is Mt Martha was flaunting beauty to a point whereby I considered grabbing the iPhone for a quick ‘Insta snap’ before race start. I managed to resist the said temptation and after a quick yarn with a few of the other boys, it was time to roll. Lining up next to Ben Huggett and eventual winner, Leon Griffin, I was able to garner a sheltered start and position myself comfortably on the back of the lead bunch. From then on the swim pace remained fairly tame and I was more than content to sit in at a reserved pace before making my way further towards the front just as we hit dry land. Out in the front group and first box ticked.
Out onto the bike with Jamie Huggett and Griffo, my first crucial mistake occurred. Simply put, I couldn’t get my foot into my shoe. I put this down to not taking a second to relax and do what I have done hundreds upon hundreds of times before. All this meant was Jamie getting a gap and with him pushing hard at the start to get up to the duo of Griffo and Michael Fox, it would have been nice to make the jump as well. In any case, however, Griffo ended up putting on a display over the tough course and I was able to remain comfortable, rolling into T2 only 90 seconds down on 2nd and 3rd, respectively. Although the bike course was a constant array of hills, twists, and turns, it was truly a privilege to have the road closed for our use and it was nigh on impossible to not take in the views during the race. I think I can speak on behalf of everyone racing in saying thank you to Scotty for making the experience possible.
Out onto the run in 4th place and whilst I knew that it would be reasonably hilly, I can safely say that the first lap was a metaphorical slap in the face and a literal slamming of the quads. After asking every volunteer if I had gone off course in the hope that maybe I had taken in an extra hill, I quickly realised that it was going to be a tough day at the office. The aim of the day became to try and run all laps as consistently as possible and in the end I was reasonably happy that I avoided completely falling apart which, unfortunately for me, has happened a couple of times before. In the end I began to fade and was passed by Matt Clark at about 18km, a big kudos to him on a fantastic run and a strong fourth place. Also, a big congratulations to the three boys up on the podium, they all raced extremely well on a very tough course and it was a pleasure being out on course with you. I could not have asked for a better place to end my year. Despite being a close 3rd behind Hawaii and Buffalo Springs 70.3’s on the ‘tough course list’, it truly was fantastic and I very much look forward to returning next year.
I would like to take this time to say an enormous thank you to my fantastic sponsors in Jaggad, Cannondale, ENVE, SRAM, Bell, and, Dare2Tri for your ongoing support. It has truly made this amazing year all the better and without your support it wouldn’t have been possible. I would also like to add to this list Transtions and more directly, Roxii, thank you for the opportunity that you have provided me. It has been amazing to see the exposure and support it has given me in the triathlon community and I truly couldn’t repay you for that.
To my mentors and fantastic mates Luke Bell, Col Davis and Noel Tanner thank you for always giving me the advice I need when I need it. To my coach Andy Sleeman and also to my amazing parents, thank you simply does not do justice for how much I appreciate everything you have done for me this year. I am forever grateful. Finally, a special mention to my Pop, John Briscoe. He follows everything I do and is my biggest inspiration and mentor.
Text: Lachie Kerin Images: Courtesy Mornington Triathlon.
Ed: Lachie, thanks for being a great ambassador for Transitions and we all wish you a Merry Christmas and all success in the New Year.