4 weeks, 3 races, 2 ITU World Medals and Vice Champion in the PanAm XTERRA Championships
It’s exactly one week after racing the Pam Am champs I’m currently sitting in a quite café in Boulder, Colorado and I still can’t get the smile off my face a smug feeling inside of me is thrilled with my recent race performances. In fact this year four out of my seven planned races have been all time career highs (NZ, ITU Cross and Aquathon Worlds & Pam Am champs). Maybe it’s down to the new name and being happily married to the man of my dreams, maybe it’s down to our new coaching business and supporting others to achieve their goals & dreams or it could be down to the countless training hours in the bank, the facing adversity or plain and simple being in my happy place surrounded by people & sponsors that care and genuinely want to see you achieve your goals, whatever it is the mixture is good right now and I’m relishing the rewards.
ITU World Cross Champs, Penticton, Canada – 2nd Place – 23rd August
Compared to previous races this year this race was pretty straight forward but didn’t come without a few hiccups, as always in off road triathlon things rarely run smoothly and you must be prepared to deal with anything that may crop up. I had a good swim and lead the group out of the water. This came with a price the way the sun shone on the lake there was no way I could see the buoy and being the leader there was no feet to follow I twice had to stop and double check where the buoy was and when I stopped to clear my goggles the group behind whom also couldn’t see would crash into me, pretty funny when I think about it now and something I didn’t let fluster me or affect my race. I exited the water comfortably and was able to work hard in the very early stages of the bike along with Mel Mcquaid to hold our gap out of the water. After 8kms Mel took off and I wasn’t able to meet her effort however I rode the best I could on that day. I managed to claw back 2 minutes on the 8k run but it was nowhere near enough to match the class of Mel.
I’m not one for checking results or my split times I often like to go on effort and how I felt at the end of the race but pleased with my effort I was keen to see where I was at. To my surprise I had the fastest run split, it’s been a very long time since this has happened, I’m really not sure why my run legs are back I’m doing nothing different but I am feeling like a runner again, I’m working the hills and I’m running at good speeds on tired legs. I have focussed much more on the bike this year and it’s likely that being stronger on the bike has allowed me to feel fresher during run sessions, I also love to run here in Boulder there’s so many off road trails you never get bored and it feels easy on the body, a saying I like to remind myself of is “you can only train as hard as you can recover.”
ITU World Aquathon, Penticton, Canada – 3rd Place – 25th August
Quite possibly the most exciting race I’ve ever done. After achieving the sliver medal in World Cross 2 days earlier I was excited and relaxed for the Aquathon. With nothing to loose I was ready to hit it hard. I came out of the water 2mins down on the leader Chloe Pollard who also happened to be another British super swimmer. Emma Pallant and a Swiss youngster passed me at the half way point on the run with 2kms to go I was in forth place chasing hard for the bronze medal. The crowd could see how close the race was and everyone was screaming my name there was no where to hide as I dug deeper and deeper. Chloe was just 100meters ahead and the finish line about 400 meters ahead of her I made the pass with just 200 meters to go to claim the bronze medal over GB’s Pollard. This lady has a very bright future at only 20 Chloe claimed a Word Title in the under 23 race and finished 4th overall in the elite race.
I would like to take to take this opportunity to thank our amazing Canadian Homestay. Tom and Susan were not only an awesome Homestay but also the best supporters. Ben and I can’t thank you enough for making us feel so comfortable in your home. Once again we have made lifelong friends through the sport of triathlon and we hope you come visit us Down Under.
Pam American Champs, Ogden, Utah – 2nd Place – 16th September
First word that comes to mind when I think of this race ALTITUDE yuk!!!! 4 years ago I said I would never ever do this race again and I would avoid all races that were 1000 meters above sea level. Well being in the USA and having spent 6 weeks here training at 1500 metres plus I couldn’t resist the opportunity to race the Pam Am champs and give this altitude thing another crack. I love being in races with big quality fields what better way than to test yourself against the best to improve and learn. The week before the race I was feeling a little low, I was struggling to hit my numbers in training that I had previously achieved before worlds but I kept ticking those boxes and doing my best to stay positive. After a few easier days the tables turned and I was nailing the numbers just a few days out from the race, perfect I was feeling good and knew it was going to be a great day. The altitude really didn’t have much of an effect I felt stronger as the bike went on and passed Julie Baker at the half waypoint who passed me in the early stages of the bike leg. Whilst I didn’t get the fastest run I was able to hold my own and cross the line in 2nd place having put together one of the best races in my career. Lesley Paterson took line honours in her usual classy style she demolished the field and I’m proud to call her a friend, mentor and training partner (when I can keep up). Since this race I have had some time to take it all in and put my feet up before the final push to Xterra Worlds in 5 weeks time. I will finish the season in Australia at the TreX Victorian cross champs in Bendigo and Xterra Australia all before the Xmas break.
Next stop Maui baby…yeah!
Live your own life….