8 Aug 2013

I've been a bad blogger of late, so below there is two new blogs, one from Kitzbuhel and another from Hamburg.

The team for the London World Championships was announced yesterday and I am pleased to have been named on the Elite team for 2013. Here is a short piece I wrote in response to a few questions for the press release, I thought I would share it here. 

“It is a privilege to be selected to represent Australia at an Elite World Championships and something which I am very proud and honoured to do. We have a rich history and I want to be a part of the new generation to continue the legacy which has been set before us. My first Elite Worlds last year I unfortunately got a flat tyre but continued on after losing significant time to come 26th. Although my Junior Worlds history is a lot brighter with 2 silvers and a gold (07,08,10).  I would love to have a great race In London to give the selectors a convincing reason to consider me for the Commonwealth games.  I will race in Stockholm three weeks before London to get another Olympic distance race done. My early races in the year were coming off a significant period of injury so I have been satisfied to have been improving throughout the year, before hopefully saving my best race to last.”

5th in Hamburg 2013

Hamburg is renowned for being one of the most popular racing destinations for athletes on the World series circuit and once you have experienced it, there is no doubt why. The atmosphere is always incredible, the passion and excitement of the huge crowds radiates energy and lifts you, I can only imagine what it would be like if I was German!

 I have fond memories from racing in Hamburg from when I was just 16 years old. It was my first Junior World Championships and I placed 2nd to Hollie Avil. I was so young and na├»ve but it still remains one of my fondest triathlon memories.  

After Kitzbuhel, I felt like rubbish. The race up the mountain and the travel had well and truly caught up with me. After a few easy days of feeling sorry for myself, I gradually got back into the swing of things and was very excited to be heading to Hamburg. Josh was also making the trip from Boulder to see me race, which was a positive boost after not seeing him for about 3 months. 

The swim was mental, a lot of girls I spoke to after the race had got clobbered and it was a bit of a fight at times! There were some great swimmers in the field who strung things out at the front although I was happy that I exited at the back of the big group of girls. Once onto the bike, as always, its hammer time out of t1. I caught up to a few girls and most were looking around for someone to do some work. As we were all putting on our shoes, I noticed a leading group establishing just up ahead.  Once Svenja Balzen and Anne Haug caught up to the group, it was rather obvious that Svenja was going to be Anne’s worker for the day and it only took one lap for us to catch up to the leading bunch. 

Once we had bridged, I went straight towards the front and stayed amongst the first 5 wheels for the 20km. I wasn’t sure of what was happening at the back, but the coaches kept us informed that the group that included Gwen was 45 seconds down.  It was only a sprint distance race, but I was still nervous about 45 seconds, it’s very clear that Gwen can run. Very fast!!
I positioned myself well on the bike so I didn’t feel it was a particularly fast ride, I felt comfortable through the corners. Although a few times, a couple of girls trying to get to the front compromised the safely of the pack trying to move onto the wheels in front of me at the technical parts of the course. 

Out of t2, the girls ran out hard. I picked up a few girls but the early leading trio of Jodie Stimpson, Non Stanford and Anne Haug stayed just out of reach. I felt fairly average on lap one and had an annoying sharp stitch but started to feel a lot better on lap 2. This, combined with the fact that the leaders might have started getting strategic between themselves, allowed me to finally make the bridge to the front. Andrea Hewitt also bridged across and it was a race between us 5.  Unfortunately when Anne kicked, I had nothing to give and it looked like a battle for 4th between Andrea Hewitt and I.  Yep, I lost that one too ;) I was very satisfied with 5th place. I gave myself a shot at getting on that podium and unfortunately I was just out classed by some incredible athletes on the day. Hopefully one day soon I will get there, always searching for that ‘perfect’ race. I’ve learnt to be patient in this sport though, and some recent injuries this year have really taught me some hard but valuable lessons in patience.

The next day was team relay and I was joined by Moffy, Peter Kerr and Aaron Royle. I was super tired in the relay and lost some time on the short swim but was thankful I found something in my legs to make up the deficit on the bike. The run was super short and very fast and I didn’t have the speed. Peter anchored the team into 4th place, the best that we have done for a long while. It was no podium and it seemed that there was a bit of disappointment with the result, but everyone in the team put in 100%. Moffy and Aaron got me in a great position and I wish I could have offered more on that run! Peter did a great job to finish off.
Team Transition
Another great experience at Hamburg, it was a pleasure once again. Here is the link to a short recap of the race.

 Thanks for reading

The Kitzbuhel Horn 2013

I arrived in Vitoria, Spain for the first time on the Sunday evening before the weekend of Kitzbuhel. I was very excited to be arriving in a new place, as I have been based in Aix, France in previous years. A new culture was to be experienced and unfamiliar riding and running loops to be explored. Anyone that has done the long haul travel from Australia knows that it takes its toll, so the few days that I did have in Vitoria before heading to kitzbuhel were very low key. Next time round, I will allow myself more time in Europe before racing. 

The mountain town of Kitzbuhel was just as beautiful as I remembered from the previous year. Quaint little cottages and breathtaking views, and we were there to climb one of the mountains which loomed before us, the Kitzbuhel Horn. 750m swim, 11.55km bike and 2.55km run.  

The swim was somewhat of an uphill battle for me too. I hadn’t raced since May in Yokohama and it is enough time to forget what World Series swims are like, especially over 750m. It is no time to become complacent and I had some time to bridge coming out of the water.  Once I was onto the bike Vanessa Raw flew past me and on I jumped on the back to try and make up some time through the town before we started climbing. The group was not far away once we got to the climb and I started making up some ground on ones who had already fallen off the pace. Once a main group of girls was established, I stayed the same distance off the back of them for quite a while. I was never going to be in the race if I didn’t bridge across, but I had nothing to give and the girls up front were quite clearly brilliant mountain goats.
Uphill transition

There was more climbing to be done once we battled up the mountain on our bikes, even the transition was even on a pretty decent gradient. I’m quite sure that Alister Brownlee was the only athlete who even attempted to remove his feet from his shoes while he was riding, so the rest of us were left to look rather stupid running into T2 in our cycling shoes. The race was over once I was off the bike, the run was too short to make up time, so it was just a matter of holding anyone off from behind. I finished in 9th place. 

 I was satisfied to stay inside the top 10 again, although a little disappointed in myself. Disregarding my place, times or the other girls, I was underwhelmed with the way I climbed after the work I had put into the training. Kitzbuhel Horn is a unique beast, I understand that, but I felt that I couldn’t push myself to the limits in which I had reached in training while on the gold Coast. I wanted to do it all over again to try and better myself. 

The girls up front were incredible. Kudos to Queen of Kitz, Jodie Stimpson and Aussie teammate Em Jackson in second. Anne Haug came in 3rd

I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to take part in such a unique event but I must admit, I was pretty happy that Hamburg was up next. Fast and flat!