25 Apr 2013

Season start in San Diego.

Finally I was set to start my first race of 2013 after some delays due to my Plantar Fascia injury. It was the second time San Diego had held a World Triathlon Series race and for the second time I was happy to be back on the west coast of America. It was in the town of San Diego 39 years ago when the first ever triathlon was held and the wonderful sport of ours was born.
I am not going to go into details of what I could or couldn’t do in my preparation for the race but basically my running was extremely limited as I rested my plantar fascia tear. I slowly learnt that it is an injury which is not fixed quickly and you must be very careful coming back into running. I had tested my foot on a little treadmill set before I left San Diego so I was pretty confident yet still rather anxious. I had put myself on the start line fully aware that I was going to be measured up against world class athletes. I'm just very relieved that I didn’t completely mess up and let the Aussie coaches and staff down!
Athlete dinner by the ocean after breifing

When I first arrived in San Diego on the Monday before the event, it was so COLD! California, I think of bikinis and beach when I think of California!! Over the next few days leading into the race it gradually warmed up which I was very pleased about. Although the sun was out, the water was still only around 16 degrees which meant my brand new Roka wetsuit was making its debut :) Coming out of the water I did an impressive face plant into the soft sand in the run up to transition. Once getting on my bike I was with a fairly big group of girls and we caught another group quite quickly. There were four other athletes up the road in a breakaway and our group was seemingly too big to get any type of organization happening. We got the gap down to about 25 seconds at one stage although it blew out to about 1 minute by the end of the 40km.

Once on the run, I didn't know what to expect or how I was going to feel. I felt surprising ok within the first lap but the hard concrete and lack of conditioning saw my body really start to feel it towards the back end. I just tried to keep focused on myself and hold good running form. I was really pleased to cross the line in 9th place. Thanks to Asics for helping me pick out some suitable shoes coming back from my injury. I used some DS Sky speeds which are basically a light weight trainer and it was definitely a good decision.  Congratulations to Gwen for the win, Non Stanford in second and Moffy on the podium finish. 
Post race Roller Coaster fun- bit of a dodgy ride :)

I want to also take this opportunity to introduce my new sponsor, Roka. They are an exciting new wetsuit company out of America. I was fortunate enough to meet both of the founders as they came across to San Diego to check out the Triathlon and watch me race. They are extremely cool guys and have already gone above and beyond to make me feel welcome and get me sorted for 2013 and beyond. Their wetsuits feel great and there has been a lot of work and research gone into the final product. Take time to check out their products at http://www.rokasports.com/pages/products and my athlete section http://www.rokasports.com/pages/ashleigh-gentle

Next stop for me is Yokohama WTS race on May 11th.


  1. Well done Asha, I'm very proud of you!!!

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