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HYVEE GRAND FINAL AND 70.3 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

After a solid race season so far with lots of great improvements taking place I have just finished the two biggest races of the year. Leading into these two races I put together a great training block in Boulder and I was confident of getting to great results in consecutive weekends. The first race was the 5150 Olympic distance Championship race in Iowa with the largest prize purse in the sport. The following weekend I had the 70.3 World Championships. Both races boasted very deep competitive fields and I was expecting some fast racing.

 

My 5150 championship race got off to a decent start , frustrating on my way to the first turn bouy my goggles were knocked off. I quickly readjusted them and got back into the heat of racing. I lost a bit of time doing this but I was able to swim through the pack and move back up to being near the front.

 

I exited the water well positioned and knew I had to get on the bike quickly to try and push the pace from the start. The day before the race the race organisers had to change the bike course due to heavy rain and flooding, we went from doing a one lap 40km bike loop to 4 x 10km laps. Even though there were lots of marshals on the road the pack was to large and there were quite a few athletes who could sit near the back and keep up. This meant the run was going to be fast. I didn't let this get to me so I tried to keep my output even and stay calm. A few of us tried to break away and pick the pace up to drop the passengers at the back of the bunch. Unfortunately they could follow the increase in pace and we had an abnormally large group coming off the bike together for a non-drafting race.

I knew I was running well so I needed to trust my body and go for it. It felt like I was back in the ITU with the pace we ran out at. I lost the main group near the start but I managed to keep them in sight. I was running strong I just didn't have the next gear in speed that the front group had. I kept pushing through the 10km and I was able to pick off some of the guys in front of me who were fatiguing to finish in 10th. It was a very fast race, especially with the course change, in a strong field and I was happy finishing with a solid result.

I flew back to Boulder straight after the race on Sunday afternoon, I needed to recover and re-focus on the World Championships the following weeked. Through the week between the race I felt like I pulled up well from the 5150 championships and felt good in training. I flew to Mont Tremblant, Quebec Canada on Friday with my coach, Ben. Once we arrived we drove a lap of the course to check it out and discuss how to approach it.

I was ranked 34 heading into the race, I am still quite new at this distance and this was going to be a good test to see where I am and also to see what I need to improve on to be near the front of the field. It is my first World Championships for the 70.3 distance and I was there to get everything out of my body and to also see where the best are. The best of the best were in town to race for the title.

 

We started the day off with quite a cool morning, wetsuit swim. I had a decent swim to start my day and exited the water in 5th. I got on the bike with some amazing athletes including Olympic medalists and World Champions. The pace was on from the start and I felt good. The course was undulating and quite challenging yet we were moving quite quickly. I managed to stay with the leaders until about the 65km mark until I hit a struggle patch, just as I started to struggle and look to get some calories in and keep going the attacks started at the front. I wasn't able to stay in contact and I ended up by myself, behind the front group I was with there was a big gap. I kept my head calm and my body started to come good again. It was the hardest 70.3 bike leg I have done to date, in terms of the course and the speed we were travelling at. I arrived at T2 about 1:30 down on the leaders.

I had a good transition and ran out fairly well; my legs didn't feel too bad… For now! I settled into my pace with the aim of trying to build my pace throughout the day and finish strong. Unfortunately the harder bike leg took its toll on my legs and I started to get slower and slower. The run was a 2 lap course and each lap consisted of a steep climb and decent to really test the legs on. Running down the decent to the finish on the final lap it felt like my legs were going to give way!

I finished the day in 29th at my first World 70.3 Championships with nothing left in the tank. The result is not what I was aiming for, and I am a bit disappointed with that. I am know I am capable of a better result and this will give me some major motivation through the off-season to be better next season.

For now I am on my end of season break to recharge my batteries and take some time out. I will sit down with Ben in the next week and discuss what is next and what we need to improve on. Thank you so much for your ongoing support, there is much to look forward to! I will be attending Kona this year to experience the race and everything about Kona.

 
 
 
 
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