Monday, May 21, 2012

Life is an Adventure! Western Australia Part 1

As I am a long way behind in updating my news I have decided to publish it in parts as there is far too much to read all at once!

We arrived in Perth on Tuesday 1 May for a 12 day holiday including Mr B’s big event in the Busselton Half Ironman. As we didn’t fly out until 7.30pm I had time to go for a run in the morning before my hair appointment.
Total distance: 10km
Time taken: 1:02
Average pace per km: 6:14
Calories burned: 555
By the time we checked into our motel in Perth it was almost midnight but the pillows were thin and the bed the lumpiest we have ever slept in!
Next morning we drove to Cottlesloe Beach and it was such a lovely day that we went for a swim. It was really lovely. To top it off we thoroughly enjoyed fish and chips at the beach. I chose grilled barramundi and it was delicious. 

Barramundi, Perth, Cottlesloe

Thursday 3 May
Mr B came with me for a run from our apartment in the morning, over the bridge and into the city.
Total distance: 6km
After that we checked out of the motel (not one to write home about - VERY basic) and headed for Busselton stopping for coffee and lunch at Mandurah on the way. We found a spot overlooking the very blue water and it was so peaceful and pretty. Then on we drove to Busselton where we checked in at our motel not long before CJ checked in to hers. Dave put his bike together and went for a little ride while CJ went for her short run before we headed off for dinner and to explore.

Friday 4 May - Happy Birthday Speedygeoff!
CJ and I started the day with a run before brekkie. We decided to just run part of the track we plan to run tomorrow while Mr B is on his bike leg. We ran along the foreshore. It was a dull drizzly day and the rain fell heavier when we were cheering on the littlies in the children's triathlon in the late afternoon. My daughter and her new fiance arrived today with his family as Liam's nephew and niece took part in the kids' tri. It was lots of fun watching them but the swim had to be cut short as the breakers were a bit fierce. This does not bode well for tomorrow's half ironman event!

Total distance of run: 8.3km
Time taken: 52mins
Average pace per km: 6:20
Calories burned: 452

Saturday - 70.3 Busselton Ironman
The Half Ironman begins!

What an amazing day this turned out to be. During the night I was wakened several times by heavy rain, thunder and lightning. I think Mr B slept through it all and I did all the worrying for him! We were up by 4.40am, breakfasted and ready to leave well on time. CJ slept through her alarm so it was a mad rush for her but she made it with time to spare. The bikes were all checked in the night before but Mr B checked his tyres and organised everything at the transition area before we headed down to the beach. So far so good.
The morning was still dark but there was no rain and it felt calm until we were at the waterfront. Mr B tested the water and came back shaking his head saying "it's dreadful out there!" However, there was no backing down now and all the starters braved the elements and disappeared into the swirling breakers.
We joined my daughter, Mandy and Liam to watch his sister and her hubby who were also competing. It definitely took a while before any of our swimmers emerged from the water. Some swimmers pounded the air in relief that they had survived the swim, some looked just plain utterly exhausted and some did in fact pull out or were pulled out during the swim (that is, rescued and taken ashore). There were definitely some interesting stories later and the slow times indicated it had indeed been a very tough leg of the race. Fortunately there were no missing limbs indicating the sharks had stayed away! Mr B said he couldn't see the buoys and lost his bearings a few times swimming off course and perhaps covering more distance than required!
The cycle was another story. It was an almost entirely flat course and a tail wind on the way out gave everyone a good start. It was a 2 lap course and of course a battle into the wind on the return. However Mr B was extremely pleased with his bike leg time.

While Mr B was out on the bike course CJ and I went for a run. The intention was to run about 15km. However during the second 5km I tripped on the path and face planted on the concrete path - not a stone or stick to indicate what I had tripped over. I lay there for a second assessing the damage - ouch. CJ helped me stagger to a standing position but I had to lean on her for a minute as I felt dizzy. However, I escaped with very little obvious injury - a bloody grazed knee and elbow but not a scratch on my hands or head so I have no idea how I landed. It sounded like a loud bang though. We ran the remaining 4km back to the bike turnaround and managed to watch the rest of the race without incident.

The run was 3 laps so there were lots of spectator cheering opportunities. It was exciting to see Mr B finish with a relieved smile on his face and soon after Liam's sister who was also completing her first half ironman. I am so very proud of my man who was definitely very pleased to finish! He had  completed a 1.9km swim in dreadful conditions, a 90.1km cycle & a 21.1km run. And he was still smiling at the end!
In the evening Mandy and Liam joined Mr B, CJ and me at the celebratory dinner and presentations. It was a great spread - a roast, lots of roast veges followed by sticky date pudding and icecream - delicious! It was also so inspiring to see some of the video coverage and hear some amazing results from some really awesome athletes!

Sunday 6 May
CJ, Mr B and I had our final breakfast in Busselton with Liam's family and Mandy. It was lovely to catch up with everyone after the race and the breakfast was yummy.
We starred in the local Busselton paper at the awards ceremony dinner - Media Stars

Our final breakfast with all the future family in-laws

 After fond farewells to the family we drove to Margaret River stopping at a few places and passing several wineries on the way. We had fantastic accommodation at Leeuwin Apartments - far better than in Perth. There was plenty of space and it was only a ten minute walk to the main street. Later in the afternoon, right on dusk in fact, CJ and I went for a quality 4km run before showering and heading out for dinner at Wino's. This was a lovely restaurant which we had checked out earlier. It had a big open fire and exposed beams. The food was served tapas style in very small portions. It was yummy but there just wasn't much of it, not what one would call good value for money. The wine was good though!

Monday 7 May
This morning we woke to wind and squally showers. It was not at all pleasant but CJ and I had planned a long run so there was no backing out. The day would probably not improve weather wise so it was better to get it out of the way early. I had a banana an hour before the run and we set off into the bleak day just after 8am heading for Prevelly Beach. We started off wearing spray jackets but  by the first hill they were tied round our waists. The run wasn't too bad going towards the beach as we had some shelter in the tree lined trail. However as we neared the beach we became very exposed to the wind and on our return we were running uphill battling a fierce wind with sand blasting our faces and bare arms and legs. It was quite painful and we were fighting to see and to move forward, let alone stay upright!
We passed lots of burnt remains of trees from the devastating bush fires in November last year. There was an incredible amount of damage and the fires obviously came very close to a number of houses. It was a very stark landscape in parts and the smell of ash was still strong as the wind blew it into our faces. We were so happy to have hot showers after the run and enjoy a proper breakfast.
Total distance: 18km
Time taken: 2hours
Average pace per km: 6:40
In the afternoon we visited Cowaramup which was a fascinating place. In fact everywhere we went there seemed to be cows made of fibreglass or metal or papier mache. It was fun to see them in random places, even on the top of a pole in the local park. We also visited the Margaret River Chocolate Company to sample the chocolate and buy a few yummy gifts to take home including some amazing chocolate liqueur from the winery next door which of course we sampled first - yummo!

Our last stop today was Gracetown to check out the beach. It was here where a cliff tragedy happened in 1996 which claimed the life of 5 adults and 4 children. There was a beautiful memorial overlooking the ocean, marked with 9 white crosses.

Gracetown Memorial overlooking beach
We went to a seafood restaurant in the evening for dinner. Dave had a mixed grill, Cathy had dukkah coated  salmon and I had the most divine home made pasta of chicken, avocado, cashews and mushrooms - truly yummy!


  1. Well done Mr B!! And what a fab holiday you all had. Lucky, lucky, lucky.

    Are you free for post run coffee this Sat??