Monday, 22 October 2012

Auckland World Championships Under 23 2012


The past 4 weeks have been probably the hardest mentally and physically. I came back to Australia, jumping straight off the plane into pre worlds training. From then on, there was no going back with everyday providing challenging and quality sessions. I looked forward to everyday, waking up knowing what we were preparing for. We had specific Auckland spec sessions that threw everything it could at me, shattering, yet satisfying. I was training in an elite environment, surrounded by my 2 other Under 23 team members. We pushed each other everyday and I watched them improve and develop around me, quite scared of what they could bring out on race day. I came into everyday not knowing how I had recovered from the days before, taking the good with the bad, knowing that fatigue had settled in. The last month of preparation has flown past and before I knew it, we were travelling to Auckland.

Having the opportunity this year to be involved in World Triathlon Series races, I have been surrounded by a new type of elite competition- striving for what I want for the future. I came into this race knowing that I was well prepared, experienced and a totally different athlete to what I was when I started Triathlon this time 2 years ago and even a year ago at my first World Championships as a junior in Beijing. The least nervous I have been for a race in a while, I had the mindset that I wanted to put myself in the race to win but top 5 was an achievable expectation. In the days leading up, I couldn’t say I felt amazing or I felt flat so I was honestly unsure how this race would actually go. Our race day could not have been more perfect weather wise and this gave us the opportunity for fast racing.

The swim was a fresh 14 degree water temperature that was not that inviting even with my HUUB wetsuit on. I started next to a front pack swimmer, Claudia Rivas and I knew that would great feet to start next too. My first 750m was an absolute shocker!! I didn’t know what I was doing, passing girls that I should be well infront of. Due to this about 6 girls were ahead and that could be race over if they stayed away. I dove back in for my second lap and felt about 10 times better. I had rhythm and I felt like I had feel for the water. I put my head down, leading the chase bunch of us around the second lap. Running out of the water, the girls up the road had about 45 seconds on us. This was pretty disappointing as I have confidence in my swim to swim with the lead girls and training had been going well.

 

The first lap of the bike is the make it or day over situation in all races and this one was no different. I found myself in a good pack of girls that pushed the pace up the first hill and we consequently dropped a few girls. Having only one lap of the bike course done for familiarisation, the bike leg was the first time riding the course at pace especially with the fast downhill sections and sweeping corners. My confidence in my skills has massively improved since last year and everytime it came to corners like these, if you sat back you were asking for the opportunity to come off. Within the first few laps, we caught the main pack with the help of my team mate, Ashlee Bailie. For the rest of the bike, we set a good pace, gaining time on the next group which I was happy about as there were fast runners in that group. The bike course lived up to its hype, being technical and hilly which I enjoy. I could tell which girls felt good as they were dominate up the hills, leading the charge. I was dominate in my position sitting near the front all the time and sitting on Ashlee Bailie wheel. 8 laps is more than enough to create plenty of sting in the legs and we came into transition with 12 girls in our pack. During the ride, I knew that I could run faster than most of this girls in my pack and gave myself confidence that I was in the race.

 

Coming out of T2, my put myself into a position to win but there was already 2 girls setting the pace. I was in 3rd, 4th and 5th position running with a Canadian and Mexican. The run course was fairly flat with a short rise in the middle. In training, I have been trying to work on my front speed as for most of my races this year, I have gone out way to slow. I felt comfortable with the pace and then the Canadian girl surged and I could not go with her. Coming off the bike we had 2 and a half minutes on the next pack of girls. I was trying not to think about it too much, if they had the legs to run me down. Every lap I was looking at where they were in comparison to the laps before.I ran the next 3 laps with Claudia Rivas, leading her around the course. It was nice to be actually running with some body for once being able to push the pace and help me cadence. Coming down the hill with about 500m to go, I wanted to see what I had and try and break her. I had a small gap and I tried to keep it from her. She ran back up to me and running into the finish line, it was going to be a sprint finish to finalise the positions. I basically run 9.5km for her and gave her 500m to finish it off. She got me by a minimal 2 seconds and I finished in 5th place. When I look at it a podium was10 seconds away..

I went into this race knowing that I had to do everything in my power to win. It was there for me to have and in the end, I just don’t have the run legs yet to win. Did my race go perfect? Far from it. From what I thought would be my strength turned into my weakness for the day. I am fairly happy with my end result knowing my put myself on the start line, fit and ready to race the best Under 23’s in the world. My run was the best I have run all year and it was nice to finish the season on a high from something I have been trying to develop all year. I couldn’t ask for anything better for my first year in under 23’s and I look forward to the world of opportunities that I have for my future in the sport. A big congratulations to my two best friends and training partners, Ashlee on her 7th and Charlotte on her 12th and another congratulations to Aaron Royle on his win and Ryan 10th.

I would like to thank everyone that has helped me over the last year from the start of the season to the end. To all the service providers that surround me from massage, Alex Price and Phil who have made the last few weeks a lot easier, having the opportunity to have massage at night and after training. I would like to thank Katie Slattery for her help with Jamie in working out specific sessions for us to be dominating at Worlds. To everyone that has helped me out at races over the past year and given me the opportunity to race this year and step up. Thank you to Michael Flynn and Shaun Stephens for having confidence in my ability to do this. A big thank you to my Coach Jamie Turner for helping me with my development from being a junior athlete. I have faith in him that he knows what he is doing and is always about coach driven, athlete centred environment. We always work in an elite environment with him looking out for the best needs of us. Thank you to NSWIS and Triathlon Australia for the financial help over the year with my overseas travels and allowing me to develop through this constant support. Nothing is ever possible without a starting block and I am pretty lucky that my parents gave me a stable base to build from. I was very exciting for them to make the trip down to Auckland to see me race and I want to thank them for their constant support in what I call my day job.





To end my trip in Auckland, if I didn’t have many butterflies in my stomach the day before, I did now, bungy jumping off the Sky Tower in Auckland. I am now looking forward to a break from the world of Triathlon and excited to see what 2013 can bring!! J
 
Here is the Tricast from the weekend :)

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