A small group of Tritons registered for 70.3 Liuzhou, Jennie B, Thomas B, Laurent L who did fly from Sydney, Swimlabber Matt and myself. After the usual stress of checking the bikes with Cathay (Laurent and Thomas bikes where put on standby but did make it to Guilin).A quick one hour flight to Guilin, while waiting for our bags we didn’t see Laurent ,he just realized that he did forget his hand carry luggage with his wetsuit/Tri suit etc...In the Cathay Lounge in HK, after trying to locate his bag with the help of the ground staff; we hop on the bus for a 2 hours’ drive to Liuzhou. We were staying at the Wanda Realm pretty nice hotel with all the needed facilities.
with our bikes ready we head to the registration in the middle of a bunch of electrical scooters which were much slower than us J.Laurent luckily could locate his luggage, Cathay did send it on the plane to Guilin and the hotel did arrange the pick up from the airport, by 5PM he was all sorted and relaxed with all the equipment needed for race day, no more excuses, lets race.
We head up to T1 in the Hotel shuttle, the weather forecast is looking pretty bad ,rain with heavy showers, we then hop on another shuttle from T1 to the race start which is around 2kms away, then the bad weather hits us heavy showers pouring rain .We are all waiting for the gun start at 7AM,but there is thunder and lightning so they do postpone the start by around 15min.
Rolling start, it’s a zig zag swim from point A to point B which is pretty easy to sight with some current, we get out of the water for a very long transition with around 100 stairs as soon as you get out of the water and a long 600 meters run..
The rain is there and it’s not a small one, it will stay with us for the whole bike section, too bad because its a super fast course along the river with blooming sakura trees but unfortunately today we can’t enjoy the scenery, there is a little hill in the middle of the course on which you need to be really careful due to the very slippery roads. The roads are closed and there is a policeman at every intersection to make sure that no one gets on these roads during our race.
Two loops, starts and ends in Liuzhou ancient Town then in the modern city and along the river, with spectators cheering along the road which always makes it easier and enjoyable, its flat all the way except when you get on the bridge over the river and back which makes it a little more challenging, the rain did stop during the run and the temperature was pretty cool so we didn’t t have to battle with hot weather and did help for a nice speedy run. And then the finish line.
It was a very competitive field due to Kona slot allocations, people came from all over as usual for these China races for which you can get Kona. Very well organized race, I would recommend it.
Special congrats to Jennie who got her Kona slot,Laurent got his PB but couldn’t t get the Nice IMWC 70.3 slot(which he just got yesterday in Australia Bravo, see you in Nice),Thomas couldn’t t finish due to some stomach issues,Matt finished 3rd just one position away from Kona slot…I did sign up for Liuzhou with the idea in the back of my head to try to qualify for Kona, but it was unfortunately too competitive and the only slot in my age group(55-59) was taken by a damned French man…(coming all the way from France to get his Kona slot…that shouldn’t t be allowed…).