Dan Wilson

DAN WILSON ---- Professional Athlete ---- Part-time Wordsmith

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Beginning And The End

Greetings friends, and welcome to the final race report of the year, as my season reached it’s denouement up at triathlon down under’s spiritual home of Noosa. First and foremost, disregarding race outcomes or methodology, perhaps the most remarkable achievement from the weekend, and indeed the season, was to have my final race at a time and place of my choosing. Lower leg ailments over the preceding years have led to many a season being abbreviated more significantly than the syntax of a teenagers text-message, so to finish the year when it was myself, rather than a doctor, calling the season done, was quite lamentably neoteric thrill. 

Secondly, three things of subsidiary note from the period leading up to Noosa, obviously excluding such things as Working Hard and Doing a Good Job At Training, which I won’t mention save for the aforementioned mention of their exclusion in this narrative. Number 1, I bagged a win at the Gatorade Tri Series race at Raby Bay. Great event put on by the crew, always a pleasure to get a good hit out there. Number 2, I was honored to receive Male Athlete of the Year at the QUT sports awards. Some of my unkinder friends have suggested that it was the Universities way of telling me that as an academic, I make a great triathlete. Lastly, yet most significantly, I was groomsman and MC at my sisters wedding, and had a whale of a time, with enthusiasm and incompetence shown in equal amounts by yours truly on the dance floor, to the horrified delight of the crowd. Fizz and Linc, all the best for the future. 

So, to Noosa. Non-drafting racing remains somewhat of an esoteric concept to me given my ITU heritage, and the different format provided a benevolent level of intrigue for the last few weeks of training for the year. Jumping on the TT bike rustled up by Crank House and Trek (thanks guys!), admittedly a little later than I would have liked (My first ride was less than 24 before the start of the race...), is a bit of an galvanizing experience for most of us ITU dogs, and something we relish at the end of the year in the ‘Noosa Prep’.

The race. The swim went pretty well, my experience was bereft of the now infamous Noosa Snake, and with the arms feeling pretty good, I sat in 3rd spot for most of the swim, as the superlative pace set Josh Amberger shelled a lot of the field. Out on to the bike, and cycling heavyweights Burger and Tom Davidson shelled yet more of the field, dishing out power like Energex servicemen. The 7 metre rule somewhat limited the havoc they could have wreaked under a 12 metre or stagger rule, and thus 8 of us entered T2 together. Aaron Royle was not feeling sociable, and had broken the rest of us inside the first kilometre, and that was the last we saw of him all day, as he took the win to cap off a year of setting the bar for the rest of us Aussies to follow. Myself and the remnants of the ITU elite mens world team, Ryan Bailie and Cam Good, set about having a Good-Old-Fashioned-Running-Duel, and my legs suffered early, before resurrecting themselves late on to take the sprint for 2nd. 

From here, the body is having a break for a few weeks, whilst unfortunately my mind must stay active for a few more days to finish off my exams at uni, after which the brain can ejects itself as well. Lastly, in peroration to my last post, I have bought another coffee machine, this time of practical dimensions, power supply and plumbability. So, whilst on my break, Cafe de Wilson is officially open 24 hrs a day, feel free to stop by, currently serving a single origin Ethiopian. I think I’ll stick to these, and maybe some Kenyans as well, can’t hurt my chances of getting a bit quicker on the run next year, can it?

Take care friends,


A few words with the great Stef Hanson from Australian Triathlete

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Talking London

Greetings friends, 

Ok, so another punctual blog... this time less than a month has past since my topic of salience, London World Champs. Anyone who has had the (un)fortunate experience of sharing a domicile with me whilst on tour, may be familiar with the delight I take in butchering the English accent with my Ringo Starr voice, an impersonation that famously lasted for 3 continuous weeks in 2008. Arguably more eager to try out the accent on home turf as I was about racing World Champs, don’t let that lull you into the sense that I wasn’t excited to race... I was just REALLY excited to try out the voice. Go on, try out an English accent right now... You know you want to...

So, after boarding the plane for France, the 2 weeks prior to London I had the pleasure of getting back in my familiar Aix-les-Bains groove with the rest of the crew. Amongst the usual shenanigans of training, relaxing, and banter, I also made the admittedly hasty decision to buy a commercial coffee machine off ebay, a purchase made with very little rumination, and mostly just repeating the phrase, “Well, I’d be an idiot NOT to get this, wouldn’t I?”. Turns out I don’t have enough big enough power supply to run it, lack sufficient piping to plumb it, and unless I put it on my bed and sleep on the floor, certainly don’t have enough space to house it. Never-the-less, I’m still stoked with the purchase, and still stand by my analysis, I bought the machine, thus, I am NOT an idiot. 

The race. I had a pretty solid swim, alas, as seems to be my trademark this year, missed the small front group by about 5 seconds. It was touch and go, but the boys up front had more speed than a Sydney nightclub, and I couldn’t bridge up. I rode with a group of 5 in no-mans-land for about 15km, when the group behind us caught us to form the large chase pack for the rest of the bike. Coming into T2 around 40 seconds down on the front group, I ran quicker than I have in 3 years to pull through for a solid 18th overall with a 30:45. Given the last 3 years of battling injuries, I was as chuffed as if I’d read an entire soliloquy as Ringo. 

In other news, once on home soil, I managed to bag a win at the Morton Bay tri, an all you can eat buffet of lactic, 300/6/1.5 x 2, with a small break in between. For now, I’ve got a few more weeks of training, then I’ll race the Noosa Tri as my last race of the season, after which I’ll have a brief sabbatical from aerobic endeavor, during which time it’s quite possible I’ll open a coffee shop. After all, I’d be an idiot NOT to open a coffee shop now I’ve got a machine, right?

Take care friends,

Enjoying a small refreshing beverage post-Morton Bay Tri. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Reflection, Introspection and Resurrection

Greetings friends,

Righto, it’s Sunday afternoon, and I’m at Brisbane Airport, about to get on a plane which is bound, in a roundabout way, to London. Via 10 days in my second home (or masion) in Aix Les Bains, France. I’m doing a stats subject at uni, so in that spirit, let’s crunch some numbers. 

365 - Days exactly (almost to the hour!) since this time last year I felt all-too-familiar pain in my hip whilst running during an ill-fated training camp in South Korea. I’ve still got the Garmin file, which shows my pace slowing to a walk at around 25 mins, followed by a long stationary phase, followed by a long trudge home. The Garmin even recorded head position (firmly down), and samples of inventive vocabulary hurled at the Korean countryside on the walk home. 

3 - It was my third stress fracture since having knee surgery at the start of 2011. Having spent significant time in the radiographers, the doctors, and finally, the metaphorical room of mirrors, I emerged, having asked myself some questions, such as, “Can my body handle running anymore?”, “Am I flogging a dead horse?”, and “That hairdresser has done a terrible job with the back of my head” (it was the room of mirrors after all...).

19 - Various MRI, Ultrasound, CT, X-ray, DEXA and Bone scans done over the last three years. My radiographer now drives a Porsche. 

20 + - Various needles, cortisones, anti-inflammatories and anesthetics in the same 3 years. I had to have a lot of needles when I was a youngster, and the deal with Mum was, 1 needle = 1 McDonalds trip. I presume this agreement is still valid, so I’m building up an appetite. 

10 - Months after insulting the Korean wilderness, and having posted some decent results, I made my...

7 - Seventh Australian team, 1- junior, 2 - U/23, and 4 Elite. Always an honour. 

11 - Months it’s taken to get my body (and mind!) back to a position where I can push my run training. While I’m still not at what I would call ‘full volume’ yet, the last five weeks have been the first time I haven’t had to hold back in my intensity, for fear of re-injuring myself. Obviously, this has had significant compromises to my racing, but better to spend some time being slower on the run leg, than hurling insults to the Korean countryside again. 

5000 - (approx) squats I’ve done in the last year, a big part of remaining healthy. Yeah, I’m gettin’ some booty dawg. 

- people I need to thank. Briefly, my parents, family and friends, Mossy my coach, support coaches, support staff at the AIS and QAS, TA and the sponsors listed on the righthand panel of this blog. Without their help I would have packed it in a long time ago. Thanks.

While it would naive and ignorant to suggest my life thus far has been anything but blessed, the last few years have had a few hiccups. Which is why it feels good to be about to get on a plane, bound for the World Champs, with a good block of training in my legs. 

Take care friends,



Coming to the startling realisation that I have neglected to post a Hamburg race report, in the nature of being chronologically complete, let's run through Hamburg, albeit extremely epigrammatically, before continuing with another more contemporary post in around 10 seconds time...

I dove in the Alster, and did some freestyle. I then jumped out, and rode for a bit around Hamburg with some other guys. There were people in front of us, and there were also people behind us. After that, I ran as quickly as I could for 5km, which was not as quickly as I would have liked, but not so slow as to be completely disconsolate. A guy named Brownlee won, beating another guy named Brownlee. Apparently it was close, but like everyone else in the race not named Gomez, I was too far behind to see. I then enjoyed a German beer with dinner, and then jumped on a plane and flew back to Brisbane, where I continued my existence. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Euro Tour 2013

Greetings friends, 

Or as we say in France... Greetings friends (my French isn’t that great). I’m in familiar surrounds in Aix-Les-Bains, my home for  the European summer for the last 8 years, and at the moment I’m enjoying both the strong sunshine and the sounds of the music festival being held just down the lake. I’m back from Kitzbuhel last weekend, and while the race wasn’t everything I was after, it was a hell of a race to be involved with, and one that hopefully continues in to the future. 

In the meantime, I’ve got just over a week until the Hamburg WTS, so a little more tweaking to the training until a couple of hundred thousand passionate Germans will yell at us as we run around in our togs.

For anyone curious about Aix, here’s a description penned from yesteryear, enjoy...

Aix Les Bains

A long time European base in France, the infamous ‘Les Platanes’ was the home away from home for many generations of Aussie triathletes. Hosted by deceptively bilingual mustached Frenchman Monsieur Doobie, ‘Les Platanes’ was the accommodation of choice, a hotel full of ‘character’, in our much loved Aix Les Bains base. Highlighted with brilliant training facilities, Aix is a splendid place to spend the Euro summer, located a stone’s throw from any Euro races. 

Les Platanes

Sadly, the long term abode has finally been demolished as of 2010, yet the anecdotes lay firmly entrenched in the minds of all who stayed there. Notes on the notorious ‘Les Platanes’ accommodation include:

• The rooms – Petit, as the French would say, is an apt description of the old facilities. Sharing a room requires OCD-like neatness to maximize room space, while it is not uncommon to roll over in bed, and wake up three rooms down. 

• The showers – Preparation is the key. Many athletes choose to start running their shower prior to leaving for a long ride, increasing the chances that hot water will be flowing in time for the post-workout shower. The curtains also possess an anaconda like ability to wrap around your body, and many athletes emerge from the shower deeply cleaned, and lightly throttled. 

• The Locks – The infrequently used flats down at Le Grande Port, feature self locking doors. Keep this in mind, as there is apparently no French word for ‘Spare Key’, and locking yourself out requires the services of a locksmith for re-entry. A lengthy process, made less dignified by waiting around in sans-shirt running attire. 

• The stairs – Those un/lucky enough to land a third story room could book themselves in for a good season, as the extra fitness gained from climbing the 34 stairs several times a day has been known to provide an supplementary boost in run form. Some negatives include loss of sleep, as athletes have been known to stay at dinner until the late hours of the night, while they summon the enthusiasm for the arduous ascent. 

• The Roofs – In mid-2006 it was discovered that the ceilings to the old residences had the rare and remarkable ability to sporadically hold a coin flicked with the appropriate amount of force and dexterity. Thus, the game Roofcoin was born. A complex game combining elements of darts, dodgeball, and Russian Roulette, many a raucous game of Roofcoin passed the idle hours before dinner, and it is estimated that upwards of $100 Euro in loose change was lost with the buildings recent demolition. 

The Training

• Swim – Cleanest pool in France. Cleaned vigorously and religiously, you could eat off the dive blocks, and perform minor surgery on pool deck. Note: You may require major surgery should you wear shoes on the aforementioned deck, as the staff are passionate about their rules. 

Easily the best view in France as well. Take a breath and see the mountains and lake in all their splendor, and can almost take you mind off a heart rate set. Almost. 
Take a dip in the lake for an open-water swim set, but try not to attract the ire of the easily irritated ‘marins’ (sailors), ‘pechures’ (fishermen) and especially the ‘gendarmerie’ (police).

• Bike – Brilliant cycling to be had. Lap of the lake is a standard 2 hours, with anything but standard views to be had from the top of the climb. Popular loops include Le grande revard (3 hrs), Annecy Loop (4 hrs), or the Bakery (3 mins).

• Run - Take a cruise along the Boulevard for a recovery run, head to the Hippo for some trails, or take in the new path next to the Lake for some fartlek. Alternatively, drive up to Chambery for a track session. Known as the hottest track in France, mid-summer sessions are not measured by distance or speed, but by how many eggs have been cooked on the track per effort.

The Language

The following represents a few frequently used French phrases, used to communicate with the eclectic ‘Les Platanes’ staff:

• Crepes plus sil vous plait – More crepes please
• Ce poulet est cru – This chicken is raw
• Oiu, crepes encore plus sil vous plait – Yes, even more crepes please
• Ce poulet est trop cuit – This chicken is overcooked
• Ah aller, un autre serie de crepes – ah go on, one more round of crepes
• Se mefier - Beware
• En colere - Angry
• Francais - Frenchman
• Beware of the angry Frenchman – Mefiez-vous des Francais en colere

The following represents seldom used French phrases, i.e, don’t waste your time learning these ones:

• Ce poulet est parfait – This chicken is perfect
• Ce que cela contient de la crème – Does this contain crème? (always yes)
• Crepes de trop nombreux –Too many crepes
• Quoi, ne pas croissants pour le petit dejeuner? – What, no croissants for breakfast?

Despite the ribbing, ‘Les Platanes’ holds a special place in the hearts of all fortunate enough to spend a summer among the welcoming locals, however no great compunction was shown following the change of domiciles to the present, somewhat more luxurious, quarters. 

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Austrian Uphill Assault

Alrighty folks, I’m transit scribing again, this time my narrative comes from a coffee shop in Dubai Airport. As usual, travel gives me the opportunity to combine my two loves of paying exorbitant amounts of money for average coffee, and of course, penning some doggrel related to my athletic endeavors. At the very least, my preoccupation with the latter, should prevent me from calculating the exchange rate to figure out exactly how much I’ve just paid for a short black and blueberry muffin, as I’ve got a feeling I could have put down a deposit on a sizable apartment for less. Ignorance is bliss, as is the muffin. 

So, the timeline in numbers. I’m 6 hours from Munich, which is 90 minutes from Kitzbuhel, where I’m 6 days away from 60 minutes (ish) of hell. The much hyped Kitzbuhel WTS is my much anticipated first European race of the season, where the topography will ensure the race will explode like a microwaved egg. Whilst the swim is standard, the terrestrial disciplines have taken an avant-garde twist. We ride straight up the sinister sounding Kitzbuhel Horn, featuring gradients peaking in excess of 20%, which for the uninitiated, is even steeper than the price of the airport coffee of which I currently sip. Sadism not complete, we keep running up hill (why not?) to the peak of the Horn, which presumably features little else but the skeletons of some unlucky sherpas and Felix Baumgartner.

Evil Knievel's Motorbike Ramps/Kitzbuhel Course Profiles
(They couldn't find an uphill swim for us) 

With a course as volatile as a vigorously shaken soft drink, there is guaranteed to be more pain dished out than a dentist with Parkinson’s. There will be suffering. But, as with everyone toeing the line, that’s a lifestyle choice we choose. 

Take care friends,

Convincing the cat to get the hell out of my altitude tent.  It obliged, but I'm suspicious he was sneaking sessions in there during the day, as he ran a 5km PB the day I left…

Monday, May 13, 2013


Greetings friends,

Another jaunt to the land of the rising sun, another near 2 hours of full throttle aerobic endeavor, and thus, another blog update hashed out during transit home. Travel has the unerring ability to put an end to my procrastination for a number of commitments, to the extent that if my uni workload ever gets too great, I’m considering booking a long haul flight to an irrelevant destination, for the express purpose of optimising my academic achievement. Perhaps an extreme measure, but my most salient point is that travel can prove to be productive time. I quite enjoy the chance to sit down, listen to some music, and only be disturbed by people bringing me food at regular intervals, with nothing better to do than get some important stuff done. Important stuff like blogging. Ahem. Yes indeed. Important. 

So, Yokohama. After a few more weeks after Ishigaki scraping away at the coal face of running form, it was back to Japan to sup once again from the chalice of pain, this time at my first World Series race of the year. In a juxtaposition to the pre-race smack talk in Ishigaki, this time such high-brow confabulation amongst the Aussie team revolved around our choice of last meal, should we ever find ourselves on death row, found guilty of an unspecific, yet evidently serious crime. At this stage I’m leaning towards a loaf of bread, a toaster and a jar of peanut butter, with a side of sweet potato fries, washed down with a Pepsi Max and a short black. While I was pretty sure I’d be skipping to the electric chair whistling a tune after this indulgence, Moffy’s main concern was an unwanted survival of the execution, should she choose a significantly indulgent final ingestion. 

Moribund indulgences confirmed, it was time to race. After a solid start to the swim, I lost a little more time than I would have liked through a combination of factors over the last 500m of the swim, and thus missed the small front group out of the water. Out on to the bike, and the Japanese deluge made it slipperier than Teflon on an ice rink, and though myself and Aussie hard-man Ryan Bailie rode hard, we didn’t have too much assistance from our group, and lost significant time to the lads up front by the end of the bike, but held our advantage to the third bunch. Onto the run, and I ran pretty solidly for the first 4km, but faded a bit over the last 6km, with my legs losing strength quicker than the Greek economy. I held things together enough to finish 19th, satisfying enough for my first WTS hit out of the year.

From here, it is back to Brislamabad (Brisbane) for another solid training block before my next series of racing. Next on the agenda is the twisted monolith of this years ITU calendar, the Kitzbuhel WTS. With the bike and run course going straight up the side of a mountain, the course resembles a stoners weekend plans i.e. Getting very high, very quickly. We’ll be pulling out a bag of tricks in preparation for this topographical menhir, including but not limited to altitude tents/chambers, gratuitous hill reps, and generally Trying To Be A Tough Bastard. I’ll leave specifics for later narrative.... 

Until such syntax arrives...

Take care friends,


Monday, April 15, 2013


Evening friends,

As alluded to in my previous post, the next locale in my pursuit of athletic excellence was the small fishing isle of Ishigaki, Japan. 51 weeks of the year, Ishigaki’s raison d'être is engaging in all manner of fishmonging, but 1 week a year, the island embraces triathlon. Running for 18 years as a bastion of the World Cup circuit, I made the trans-pacific sojourn with a bunch of fellow Aussies keen to rep the green and gold in the land of the rising sun.

Doddsy and I testing our new tandem approach on the way to briefing. We're looking to start racing like this  in 2014.

The flight over featured 24hrs of talking smack and tactics in equal amounts, with myself and Fish engaging in our usual pre-race ritual of painting eloquent pictures of dissecting the field like a surgeon. If karma had paid any attention to our gratuitous exaggeration and nonchalance towards the talented field, it would have had us lapped out of the bike on the first lap, however we managed to escape the karma police, with Fish claiming his first World Cup win, and myself snaring a pleasing third. 

Re-attaching my false beard.

My primary concern in the swim was the maintenance of my swimming cap, and therefore avoiding hair-induced blindness. Taking ample precautionary measures such as avoiding conditioner pre-race, double capping, and putting my hair in a Bam-Bam style pony tail, I was gratified to finish my first swim leg of the year cap-intact. Navigationally advantaged, I managed to lead out of the water and onto the bike, where mayhem ensued in the wet conditions. Spending the first few laps dodging crashes and launching attacks, I found myself with only Fish and Irish gent Bryan Keane for company, and we set about grafting out as much of a buffer over the main pack as possible. After Bryan hit the deck with 2 laps to go, it was down to myself and Fish, surprisingly enough holding true to our bold, pre-race plans. 

Onto the run, and my legs felt about lively as a pensioners pool party, and so with Fish blazing up the road unchallenged, I tried in vein to hold of the rampaging Irishman behind me, who drew up to me at 8km, and then away from me at 9km. 

Super happy to be back on the podium, and well pleased to share it with two very deserving lads Fish and Keaney - nothing makes waiting for hours in drug testing freezing cold waiting to pee go quicker, than sharing it talking even more smack with these two gents. With Bryan disturbingly even more ‘chipper’ than usual following his sip of champagne on the podium, I’m sure the drug testers were more than suspicious about his inability to stop laughing for the best part of an hour

Wine tasting post-race...

From here, it’s four more weeks until Yokohama WTS, and like usual, it’ll be a matter of trying to get a few more run kms in the legs, without having them break... The usual balancing act of Wilson...

Take care friends,


Monday, March 18, 2013

Mooloolaba Renaissance

Evening friends,

Mooloolaba. Undoubtably my favorite race on the ITU calendar, and a race I have missed the last 2 years, sitting on the sideline with much chagrin with a litany of lower leg ailments. Therefore, it was with much gratification that I took to the start line once again, not however, in the World Cup race, but in the lower-limb-friendlier Continental Cup. That said, getting to the start line was not completely without drama, as a mid-quad niggle mid week had an unwanted deja vu feel to it. Diagnosing myself off the start line with all the paranoia of a man who just about has an honorary degree in MRI Radiology, fortunately a bit of treatment, rest, and lack of concrete symptoms had donning the race suit after all, but not without swapping the race flats for training shoes for peace of mind…

Giving World Cup Conquerer Pete Kerr a few horns out of the water...

Onto the race, and in a much welcome juxtaposition to my start in Devonport, I got off to a cracker and didn’t get touched for the entire swim, my only moment of consternation coming whilst trying in vein to keep my swim cap from coming off over the last 500m, an unwelcome trend this year. Some say it’s to do with an excess of hair (which I can do something about), and some say it’s to do with my excessively large skull (which, barring a lobotomy, I can’t do anything about). Regardless, the aforementioned hair, once unhampered by the cap, rendered me blind for the last few hundred metres, but using my keen sense of smell, I navigated successfully to the swim exit. 

Hearing a blood curdling battle cry of ‘Ubrut!!!’ from my mate Rhys Davies at T1 (If you don’t know what Ubrut means, you definitely didn’t train with us from 2004-06...), inspiration struck, and I pushed the pace on the bike early, capitalising on my break out of the water. Settling into a rhythm on the highway, I rode a solid tempo, and waited to see how this would compare to the bunch of 15 behind. Cursing the ITU restrictions which are definitely not made for a comfortable 40km time trial, I sat on a wattage I knew I could handle, and this saw me dismount at T2 with around 1:30 on the pack. 

In case anyone is wondering, yes, that's a Boston Celtics race suit, courtesy of Scody...

Running my first 10km off the bike since June last year, I was as interested as anyone as to how they would hold up over the 10km, aided by another surge of adrenaline from another ‘Ubruuuut!!!!’ from Davies on the sidelines. The legs were solid enough given my limited training load, however it wasn’t enough, and I was reeled in by Declan Wilson (yes... I was out-Wilson-ed...) with around 1500m to go, by which stage the lactic in my legs was giving me a grimace that could be seen from the moon. 

Content, for now, to be on the podium, I was happy with the race, and also special mention must go to a great race by Matt Brown in third. I’d been engaged with some serious (but light-hearted) smack talk with Browny leading up to the race, and with him hunting me down over the last kilometre, I was facing some serious (and much deserved) gloating had he run past me before the finish. Fortunately for myself, Brownly will have to wait at least one more race to win bragging rights...

From here, I’ve got 4 more weeks until the Ishagaki World Cup, in which time I hope to take a few more small steps in my running form, whilst avoiding factual or fanciful niggles...

Take care friends,
Willy (Professor Of Hypochondriac Diagnosis)

1. Declan Wilson (1:52.03)
2. Dan Wilson (1:52.25)
3. Matt Brown (1:52.41)
4. Joel Tobin White (1:52.55)
5. Jesse Featonby (1:53.07)

Sunday, March 10, 2013


Evening friends, 

Nigh on two weeks late, I thought it pertinent to give a cursory account of the now somewhat archaic Oceania Champs down in Devonport. I shall keep this account brief, for I fear the mists of time have somewhat shrouded the details of the events in my memory. With this in mind, I could be in danger of heading towards a distinctly ostensible parable, and I would hate to recollect incorrectly and mistakenly paint the narrative featuring myself in a gratuitously flattering manner...

Conditions: Windy. Very windy. So much so that had Matt ‘The White Kenyan’ Brown ridden a disc wheel, odds were he would have started the race in Devonport, and been blown to the South Island of New Zealand. The wind also caused the swim course to have more waves then the Queens Jubilee, and more chop than a season of My Kitchen Rules.

Swim: Managed to run at least 10 steps before comprehensively face-planting in a Wilson sized gutter in the beach break. Losing more dignity than time, I swam back up to the leaders by the time we rounded the final buoy, then promptly lost that time again, failing to catch a single wave all the way back in. Back to surf school Wilson. 

Bike: Thanks to my surf skills, I had some work to do early, and didn’t join the front pack until around 10km into the bike. Having talked smack and tactics in equal proportions pre race with Ryan ‘Cancellara’ Fisher, I was probably a little too desperate to come good on our promise of splitting the group, but did manage to sneak a small advantage into T2, along with strong men Fisher, Ryan Bailie and Marcel Walkington. 

Run: Bit of a dog fight. Didn’t have the legs to contest for the win, but happy with the progression this far into my rehab. I finished 5th, the podium was 1st Pete Kerr, 2nd Ryan Bailie, 3rd Jamie Huggett, all top athletes, and top blokes to boot. 

Next weekend, I’ll be returning to Mooloolaba for my first race there since 2010, having missed the last two years due to various leg ailments. In the interests of keeping the aforementioned legs ‘ailment free’, I’m racing the Conti Cup, rather than the World Cup. Although I yearn to sink my teeth into the World Cup, running up and down Mooloolaba’s infamous hill 8 times does enough damage to healthy legs, let alone mine, which are still being kept very much under a limited load at the moment. Thus, I hope to get to the end of the distinctly flatter Conti Cup course with somewhat less moribund lower limbs. 

For those of you unfamiliar with Mooloolaba’s course, here’s a piece I’ve written previously, detailing the ins and outs of the Mooloolaba race…

Given a few idle moments ruminating over the physiological and psychological roller-coaster that a taper presents, your editor has spent a few moments postulating past experiences at Mooloolaba. The past 10 years have dealt yours truly a few lessons in the art of Mooloolaba, regrettably mostly unkind lessons. Whilst yet to have the credentials to provide an accurate ‘What to do’ guide for Mooloolaba, I may certainly lay testimonial to a “What not to do’ guide which may provide some insight in the beast that is the Mooloolaba race. Allow me to provide a concise course description; as well a few pointers that may help you avoid my disasters of the past:
The Night Before: That’s right folk’s, tragedy can occur more than 24 hrs before the gun goes. Charismatic though friend of the Guardian Jimmy Seear is, if choosing to dine with our man, avoid ordering the same poultry based meal as he chooses. Chances are he will snare a delicious meal, whilst salmonella vomiting will plague your next 24 hrs, leading to difficult race conditions, with both the chicken and your race hopes disappearing down the toilet. (Reference: Wilson 2008)
The Swim: Depending on surf conditions, the swim can either be held in the canal or on the open beach of Mooloolaba. Having negotiated the sometimes tricky currents and rips, care must be taken when catching the ‘miracle wave’ into the beach. Known for dumping on shallow water, practice is important the day’s preceding the race. Even having avoided severe spinal injury is sometimes still not enough, so take care to avoid your goggles getting ripped off, taking with it a small section of nose and leaving an unsightly gash for the crowd to ogle over at the next days race (Reference: Wilson 2009).
Race tactics include picking suitable feet to follow. Chances are if you are a 17 yr old mid- pack swimmer, picking the greatest swimmer the sport has ever seen (I.e. Walton), and following him left, while the rest of the field goes right, will result in you losing the feet, the pack, and in due course, the race (Reference: Wilson 2004).

Ticking time bomb - 2006

The Bike: Usually hot, usually windy, and always hilly, it may not be the hardest bike course around, but is enough to begin the burn in the legs. Attacking solo with 39kms left to race is not advisable, particularly on the 2005 course, notorious for being more difficult than Advanced Physics 101. Results include being shown the exit before the remaining 39kms is up, and reduced run ability (Reference: Wilson 2005).
The Run: Try to run fast enough to avoid being slagged off by the commentators (Reference: Wilson 2005). Try not to run a 5:30 first 2 km then bonk (Reference: Wilson 2006). Try not to attract the attention of vigilante civilians attempting to coax another lap out of a gastro intestinally constrained runner (Reference: Wilson 2008). Try not to have bleached hair (Reference: Wilson 2003). Try not to get outsprinted by a Frenchman (Reference: Wilson 2009).
As you may gather, the run presents more hurdles than the Grand National, not least of all is the hill that rises like puff pastry in a pizza oven, which must be conquered no less than 8 times before breaking the tape. Close races comparable to trench warfare.
After Party: Classified.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Rain and Pain

Greetings friends, and in a refreshing change of pace from recent years, it’s February, and I have a race report! From a triathlon, in fact! Indeed, my season debut at the Gatorade Series at Caloundra was the culmination to quite an eventful week. 

Most of Brisbane was the focal point of apocalyptic-esque weather last weekend, with wind and rain delivered in a cannonade of fury, the weather reports reading like a passage out of Genesis. Despite the weather, I found myself somewhat reluctantly dragged out for a ride on Saturday morning, by the weather-immune hard-arses Jimmy, Burger and Max.  Riding in sideways rain, the few brief moments that I could open my eyes without being blinded by the torrent were spent trying to identify the road, which closely resembled the general Mt Nebo wilderness amongst the debris. We also, dodged some falling trees (see photo), and saw a 60 year old man ride a mountain bike through a thunderstorm wearing nothing but a pair of underpants (photo not taken, but unfortunately permanently etched into my memory…)

Sunday night saw our house lose power, again thanks to the weather, which would not return until Wednesday morning. This came with the realisation that despite the adds on TV, we were definitely not ‘Ready for Storm Season’. With no torches, no batteries or radio, were were reduced to borrowing some gas from a benevolent neighbor, and cooking by the light of our phones, which worked well until I accidentally threw my phone down the stairs, breaking it and rendering myself completely bereft of illumination and communication. If it had have continued for a few more days I was considering passing out tin cans attached with string to all my friends. So with no power, internet or light, we sat around in the dark and made up songs on the guitar, which was easily more entertaining than anything on TV anyway. Energex, I apologise for some of the content of my impromptu lyrics. I love your work. 

However, retiring for the night held the biggest challenge, with the heat, humidity, and lack of fans or aircon making for terrible sleeping conditions, despite trying everything short of walking out into the backyard and bellowing at the heavens for respite. In conclusion, pay your power bills people. Especially in summer. 

The week also saw a Wednesday crit, which was almost a motorpacing session, as I found myself in a 4 man break early and we were dragged around for 45 minutes by Malcolm Rudolph of DRAPAC, who dealt us more pain than a 1960s dentist. My trademark sprint saw me claim 4th out of 4, which was better than the second crit of the week on Saturday, where I finished nowhere out of 50.

Onto the race on Sunday up at Caloundra, where I managed to grab a win and blew out more cobwebs than could be found on a steak-knife at a vegans house. Great to be back racing, but still a little rough, as is evident by my 15 second penalty for throwing my helmet in T2. Very unprofessional, kids, don’t follow that example. Despite the win, I lost an outrageously handicapped wager with my housemates Jamie and Jack, based on their times from their 3000m on Saturday, so now I have to cook them dinner. Based on their cooking skills, I might have done myself a favour…

Take care friends,

Friday, January 4, 2013

Seasons Celebrations And Southern Migrations

Evening friends,

Seasons greeting, salutations and wishes to you all. I trust you have had a pleasant festive season as I have, trading gifts, pleasantries, and jokes with those friends and family you hold dear. 

The festive period holds a litany of traditions myself, including, but not limited to; playing with my young cousins christmas presents, partaking in ridiculous swim sets, postulating over a career as a Christmas cracker joke writer, as well as the predictable overindulgence in all manner of edible extravagance. Of notable mention was this years Christmas eve set with the Lawnton Swim Squad, which my choice of 40 x 250m (10km) was a surprisingly amicable option, given the ‘proper’ set of 72 x 250m (18km) for the open water swimmers. Insane. Inspirational, and impressive, but still insane. 

In other news germane to the blog, I have started hosting a column in the bastion of triathlon literature, Australian Triathlete. Fans of the rambling narrative idiosyncratic to this blog, should find the dialogue to their liking, so be sure to grab a copy, or subscribe to the iPadable edition, for those who scorn the feel of parchment under thumb in this digital age. However, fear not, this blog shall not remain bereft of updates, and the trivial narrative will continue unabated right here, although if I should chance upon some mildly entertaining subject matter of around 700 words, odds are it will find it way to the pages of Oz Tri. 

The winds of change are howling through the world of Wilson in the new year, with several  new changes ushering in new challenges for the future, largely aimed at ensuring my body stays in one piece for 2013. Most significantly, this will involve a change of locale from my long time stomping ground of the North-side of Brisbane, to the daunting, inner city (still Brisbane!!!) scene, featuring close proximity to my new home away from home, the QAS gym. Of significance, commuting impracticalities will mean I no longer grace the aforementioned Lawnton Swim Squad with my truncated swim sets. A big thanks to the squad for their hospitality over the last 2 years, and a special thanks to supercoach Harley Connelly. The Lawnton cognoscenti was given the dubious honor of a ‘Wilson Song’ a the recent going away soiree for the departing superfish Pilar Geijo (departing to Argentina, distance 12,000 kms), and yours truly (departing to Toowong, distance 25 mins, depending on traffic). Sharing the vocal work with Pilar lent a somewhat more mellifluous juxtaposition to the hideously familiar Wilson monotones... 

Also, in a stimulating test of cognition, I will be dabbling in some uni work over the upcoming year in an effort to keep what remains of my mental function supple. I’m studying psychology, which I hope is not, as some have taken great delight in pointing out, the mental equivalent of an obese person studying nutrition. It will provide myself with some much needed mental stimulation to match the physical exertion inherent in my current profession, also inaugurating the pathway to my admittedly romantic post-triathlon dream of helping the headspace of humankind, one nutcase at a time...

Physician, cure thyself...

Take care friends,

Christmas Day masterchef-ing with my uncle Wal, and a lurking cousin Maddy. You can imagine those sausages are low-fat, low salt and fully organic, if that's what you would like to believe...

A fatigue-induced dummy spit at poorly made East German paddles. This one is about to get spiked. 

Love song dedications, Pilar Geijo singing straight from the heart to Codie Grimsey.

Some deep thinking moustache wearers… The Grimsey brothers and I at our spiritual home of Sizzler.