26 Oct 2012

Auckland deflation- Noosa is next

2012 highlights:
Sydney WTS: 10th
San Diego WTS: 10th
Banyoles WC: 3rd
Kitzbuhel WTS: 9th
Tizzy WC: 1st
Hamburg WTS: 7th
Yokohama WTS: 6th

To finish off my World Triathlon Series with a solid performance and another top ten would have been the perfect conclusion to my 2012 campaign. No matter your preparation or level of determination to succeed, Triathlon is not an easy sport and will always throw up challenges. The Grand Final of the World Triathlon Series (WTS) was held in chilly Auckland with the Elite Women’s race being held on Saturday at 12.15pm. Many people assumed I would have been racing in the U23 race, although I was always preparing to race in the Elite category. I had being racing in the elite series for the duration of 2012 with consistent top ten’s, so I relished the opportunity to represent Australia in my first senior World Championship. I was extremely eager to finish the year on a positive note, very excited for the trip to Auckland. Unfortunately I got a puncture on the bike and the chances of me producing a decent result became impossible.

Swim start, cold waters

The smallest of the hills!
Once arriving in Auckland on the Wednesday, we experienced all four seasons, sometimes even within the hour. The bike course was a brutal 8 lap course with 3 decent hills to navigate each time around. Steep downhill’s with corners at the bottom meant that the unpredictable weather could become a factor in the race come Saturday. I was very fortunate that Auckland kept the roads dry for my race, with the rain being was one less element to contest with. The water temp was 14.6 degrees, wetsuits were most certainly mandatory... and in my case, a thermal cap plus two another lycra caps were in use :) The previous week I had been feeling a little run down and tired, although I had adequately prepared myself with some rest and a good taper. To be completely honest, I felt a little drained during the swim, there was lots of fighting going on! The first part of th bike was quite tough, although I felt very confident through some of the fast downhill sections. Unfortunately when I got my puncture I had to complete most of the lap riding on my rim. Going up and down the hills was rather difficult but I managed to get around the course unscathed to change my wheel. The race was well and truly gone for me at that point but there was no way I was going to have a DNF against my name. I got a few sympathy claps from people who thought that I had just blown up big time; I think that was the most embarrassing part!

fast decents

U-turn in front of the grand stand
 I walk away from the weekend feeling disappointed. I recognise that the puncture was out of my control although can’t help but feel like I let people down. I was so grateful my family had come to Auckland to support me and the crowd was absolutely amazing!! If you were out on course cheering I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, it was an incredible experience. Despite the puncture, I am happy that I got on with the race and made sure I finished, even though I was crossing the line far from where I would have liked. The race of the day went to the U23 men, an amazing team effort which saw Aaron Royle take out the win, it was inspiring to watch. It was also great to see Josh back on the ITU scene and driving the bike pack to finish in 11th, making the day a whole lot brighter. Congratulations also to all the Australian Age Groupers who raced on the Monday, we had a strong team of over 600 and won the medal tally!

Lonely run to finish the race
 I guess I can say that I am proud of my efforts in 2012, my first Elite series and finishing in 15th in the overall rankings. Thanks to my coach, Craig Walton, I've started doing things that I thought weren’t possible- my training load slowly increasing and remaining fairly consistent. Many times during the year I have learnt to adapt to different training when dealing with a few little injuries or misfortunes, learning to put faith in my running ability (and the power of an elliptical!). Also to my swim coach Denis Cotterell, he has been spending some extra time helping me with my stroke and I appreciate his time. He is the best in the business and for him to have faith in me and my swimming gives me confidence for the future....lots of hard work and a few more years under my belt, I am determined to not be chasing for once ;)

Lastly, a big CHEERS to Tri NZ...that was certainly a fun after party. 

Noosa is next, I hope to see you there!


  1. Good one Asha, proud of you.

    love Josh

  2. Hi Ashleigh,

    Even at your tender age I'm sure that you know that all sports consist of many ups and downs, though it is more upsetting when you have a down when you most wanted an up.

    The important thing though is to weigh the downs against the ups, and as you say, 2012 on balance has been an excellent year for you.

    Here's wishing you an even more successful 2013.


    1. Hi Ray,

      Yes I've most certainly learnt along the years that triathlon will always have many ups and downs! Thanks for the support


  3. For fear of sounding a little OTT, I just felt the need to write and say you are bloody brilliant.
    You have one of the most technically amazing and beautiful running styles out there, even Barrie Shepley raves about it!
    Looking forward to seeing you progress up the ranks next year.
    You are destined for great things, go get it 'em :)
    Ciao Melinda.

    1. Hi Melinda,
      Thankyou so much for the nice comment, I truly do appreciate it and are so grateful that there are people like you following my blog!