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MOOLOOLABA ITU WORLD CUP 2010

Mooloolaba ITU World Cup 2010Mooloolaba ITU World Cup 2010Mooloolaba ITU World Cup 2010Mooloolaba ITU World Cup 2010

Over the weekend I competed in the Mooloolaba ITU World Cup it was the first world cup for the year. Over the past months I have been putting in a lot of hard consistent miles into the legs and arms and I was feeling good and I was extremely excited about having a good race. The week before the race I had a bit of recovery time and wasn't feeling to good but I had faith in my coach and the body started to come good 2 days before the race. Mooloolaba course is a very challenging course with a combination of hot temperatures and an ocean swim with waves, a hilly and windy bike leg and a very hilly run.  It really highlights weakness or lack of fitness and strength so it makes it a hard day out for everyone.

 

I went into the race with a few ideas of how the day might unfold. I felt confident and was looking forward to racing in front of a big home crowd. We raced on the Saturday afternoon and the age group athletes were out in huge numbers and almost the whole course was filled with spectators. I started ranked number 6 in the race and I got a great starting position beside Courtney Atkinson. The swim was an interesting one as there was a big sand bank right in the middle of the start area and that was where everyone wanted to start. I went left and missed the sand bank but there was method behind this as there was a rip on the left side which drags a small group of us straight out and we were top 5 around the first buoy.

 

I settled into a comfortable pace and followed the feet in front of me. I just wanted to keep a good position and stayed relaxed to save as much energy as possible for later on. There was an ever so slight current with us on the way out on the swim so the pack was bunched up. As we turned the buoys to return home the pack started to feel the current and it turned the big bunch into a long single file line. I moved up a few spots and was feeling good and relaxed. I caught a small wave and had a good exit out of the water. There was a long run on soft sand up the beach into transition. I was fourth into transition and I got my helmet on and was out on the bike quickly and smoothly.

 

Out on the bike you straightaway start to climb and we had a nice small group of 5 athletes away with a gap over the next group. We worked hard for the first two laps and the group was not working at all well together and the main bunch behind us of around 25 athletes had nearly caught us. Going out on the third lap my training partner Josh Amberger and I put the pace on up the hill and left the other 3 athletes to fall into the grasp of the bunch. We surged forward and worked well together. We started to quickly open a gap again on the pursuing bunch. It was like a hard training day, time trailing together and sharing the work evenly. ON lap 4 of the race we were coming around to complete the lap and Josh got put into the barrier by the camera bike. I sat up and waited for him to regather himself. It held us up a little bit but we were ok just stayed calm and resumed our pace. We had slowly work out to a minute lead and then the gap grew even quicker to 90 seconds. It seemed that every time check the gap was growing. I knew I had a great chance of winning the race and I felt good.

 

We finished the bike leg and I had a very good transition onto the run. The crowd was amazing it was so loud you could not hear yourself breathing. I went out with heavy legs but I knew I had to just build into it and the legs would come. My coach was at the top of the hill just giving me some useful advice as I was pushing myself up and over the hill. There were almost no empty spots on the course and everyone was willing me to keep pushing on. I kept my turn over up and just was hurting but I knew that the faster I ran the sooner it would be over. I could see the chasing pack coming and I knew that they were going to have to run very fast to catch that gap. Every lap the chase group seemed to shrink and I wasn't going to make it easy for them. With 1 lap to go I could see on the big screen that there was now just 2 pursuing runners coming. I had 2.5km to go and had around 10 seconds. I tried to lift my pace. I got about half way up the hill and Brad from Australian caught and over took me I surged to try and get on his shoulder but he was running a bit to quick from my legs to handle. I then took a few deep breaths and waited for the next runner. It was Stuart from Britain and I surged to get on his shoulder and I stayed there for around 5 seconds and then dropped off.  My legs were burning my stomach was aching and I was just breathing as hard as the body could handle.  Not far to go now.

 

I stayed calm and pushed to the end. I was still getting huge amount of support from all the spectators and I came into the finish chute and I was ecstatic that I placed 3. I had did it the hard way but I had nearly held off the pursuing group. I finished only 20 seconds adrift of Brad and only around 8 second behind Stuart. I couldn't believe I just got my first podium finish for the year and my first ever Podium in a World Cup.

 

It was a great way to start the year and what an amazing way to do it. It was the hard way but it is also the most rewarding way. I have to say a big thankyou to Josh for helping me on the bike and making the race exciting for the spectators. Now I have to refocus and get ready for Sydney World Championship Race in 2 weeks.

 
 
 
 
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