The second last World Triathlon Series race was an easy 8 hour flight from the Gold Coast. Not long after landing in Yokohama, Japan, we were treated to some strong winds and much cooler temperatures than I had anticipated. There was a typhoon further south along the coast of Japan and it created a little bit of concern amongst the organisers and athletes. The forecast for race day was clear and calm and everyone was desperately hoping that this would be the case, although it was a little hard to imagine when looking out to a bay full of crashing waves! Nevertheless, we woke early Saturday morning to mostly clear skies and calm waters, race time!
The field was far from full, although the talent amongst the athletes still meant for a very competitive race with 7 of the top 10 ranked women making the trip to Japan, including many Olympians. As I had already anticipated, the swim had the potential to break up more with fewer athletes. Once the elastic band broke, it was always going to be hard for us in the chasing pack to get sucked along. Although we weren't in the ideal position, I was happy to exit the water with people like Maaike Caelers, Barbara Riveros and especially Anne Haug, as I knew all these girls were strong runners and would want to try and help reduce the deficit on the bike. Sometimes it is hard to understand the dynamics of the race unless you are in it, so although it was unnecessary, it was very nice of both Anne Haug and Maaike Caelers to acknowledge my efforts on the bike in their post race interviews. Anne and I pulled the majority of the turns to catch up the deficit in 3 laps. I then sat in for most of the ride until I made a little break on the last lap coming out of the U-turn. No one came with me and found myself with a little gap, I couldn’t help but think what I was doing was totally ridiculous and didn’t fully commit. I got myself a clear entrance into t2, but not much else.
Once I was onto the run and I had found my rhythm, I worked my way into the lead run group. I eventually went to the front and lead for most of the first 2 laps. The five others girls I was running with included Anne Haug, Lisa Norden, Emma Moffatt, Maaike Caelers and Erin Densham. I tried to break up the group but I was stuck in one gear and after sitting back when Moffy took the lead, I came to the front once more. The running was very tactical and unfortunately the group of six stuck together until about 500metres to go and I didn’t have the kick to go with the girls as everyone was trying to sprint for the line. A little disappointing to be the last one from the run group but I was satisfied by my race and that I tried to be aggressive and put myself out there. Congratulations to Lisa for the win, Anne with silver and Maaike with the bronze. Aussie chicks 4th, 5th, 6th! I have come away from the race with things (physical and mental) which I know I need to address in Auckland and for the seasons ahead. 6th is my best result in a WTS race over the Olympic distance and now have made it lucky number 7 top tens from 7 WTS starts. I had no idea how many of the WTS races I would even be getting starts for this year, so I am very pleased to have kept things consistent. I will be representing Australia at my first senior elite World Championships in Auckland in three weeks and am hoping to finish off with a solid result.
Thanks for reading.