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ISHIGAKI WORLD CUP 2011

I was lucky to travel to Ishigaki, Japan this year for one of the most historic World Cups on the circuit. I have competed there once before and it is an incredibly beautiful island with extremely friendly locals always willing to help or even grasp a high five as you run along the shore line.

 

After Mooloolaba I was able to get in a few good days of training and Ishigaki was another event where I had no pressure - I could just go and enjoy racing and see how the body is responding to the new training regime that my coach and I recently implemented.

 

Ishigaki is a challenging course and this year had a solid start list.  In previous years, the race had a pontoon start even though the first turn was left with a current pushing you from right across to left. On race day there was not much of a current so I started on the left and soon regretted it as there was a lane rope all the way to the first buoy, when the group on the right came across they just crushed us against the ropes.  It was hard to stay afloat let alone swim forward. I still managed to jump out in the first bunch but unfortunately the two Russian Vassiliev brothers had a small lead and they always attack the bike.

 

I wished I was with them and so helped my group to try and pull them back.  If you give the brothers a little bit of room they will take minutes out of you so I knew it was important to pull them back. The group managed to bring the gap down to a little under 10 seconds - they were only a few meters in front of us and the group sat up and stopped chasing so they simply rode away from us again.  One rider was able to jump across the small gap before it blew out to a bit over a minute going into second transition.

 

I tried a different technique on the final lap to try and be one of the first off the bike but unfortunately it did not work. I was mid pack off the bike and got held up in transition with every one going in different directions.  It is a difficult run in Ishigaki with the first few hundred meters going uphill. I was just off the tail end of the big group and tried to push up the hill to get back to the group.   I managed to get on the back but I ran out too hard and with the acceleration of the group over the top and down the other side I dropped off again. My legs were hurting and I knew that I needed to build into it. The first lap was not great and I think I was sitting just inside the top 40.  I soon found myself running beside a mate from England, Mark Jenkins, and he encouraged me to jump on his shoulder so we could work together to pick up the pace. I ran with him and my legs started to feel better. By the end of the second lap we were 31 and 32 and we were closing on the big group as they started to break up.  We continued to pick runners off.  Unfortunately we weren't able to run up to the pack but we caught most of the others who dropped of.  I ended up in 24th place.

 

The result was much better than 57th in Mooloolaba and I now have a big training block in preparation for my trip to Europe and my international season. I have been able to gain some confidence and I am training better which is helping me to keep improving my run speed. I am racing at a local race on the Gold Coast this coming weekend; it is a sprint distance non-drafting event and I am planning to use it as a solid training day and looking forward to competing on the course again.

 

I hope you had a great Easter and were able to enjoy some chocolate, thank you once again for your continued amazing support.

 

 

 
 
 
 
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