Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I got ya this time Beijing!

Three years ago, I was 20 years old, injured, sick and mentally gone, and I was on the start line of the Beijing Olympic Games triathlon. Not a good situation to be in. I had a terrible race and ended up not finishing. I was crushed and took 2 years off from competitive racing. I went home to Bermuda, got a job, didn't train and got a little chubby. Fast forward three tears and I was back in Beijing for the World Cup Series Final but this time I was three years wiser, healthy, fit and mentally ready to tackle the demons from 2008. I had a fantastic race and finished 9th. Very happy and surprised with that result, I could not have asked for more. This is how the race unfolded-

The swim was pretty uneventful for me. I had clear water to the first buoy and didn't get pulled under or hit, which is very unusual in ITU racing. I was constantly looking up to see where I was in the swim looking for little holes in the pack I could swim into, to move up. Eventually I was swimming at the back of the front pack in a sweet draft making the swim feel easy. I was out of the water front pack- mission accomplished. 

The pace on the bike was on from the start. There was a small select group of us 20 seconds up from a strong chase pack. Helen Jenkins, Andrea Hewitt, Jessica Harrison were on the front pushing the pace especially up the massive hill. Every lap we put time into the rest of the field eventually ending up with 1.50 seconds at the end of the bike. The bike was hard and my legs were feeling it so I didn't know what to expect going onto the run. 

I had a bad T2, struggling to get my left shoe on so I came out a few seconds down from the rest of the girls which in ITU racing is a lot. Although, looking back at it, it might have been a good thing because I started the run at my own pace instead of trying to hang with those girls. I felt awesome on the run.  I slowly started to pick off some girls and moved up to 9th. Nothing makes you run fast than having three Aussies chasing you! (Moffat, Snowsill and Jackson) 

It was an amazing feeling running down the finishing shoot knowing I had concurred my demons from 2008.  This was probably one of the race of my career and so far has meant the most. 2008 hurt me a lot so to go back to Beijing and totally smashed the race was an incredible experience. 

Big thanks to my coach, Neal Henderson for having confidence in me as an athlete and bring me back from hating racing to loving it again. 

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