I am now mid-way through the season and there has been some high’s and low’s, but all things to learn from for the second half of the season and following years. As mentioned in my last email, the start season went pretty well at the performance assessment so I was looking forward to good racing in the Super Series this year.
The first real race of the season was at Llanelli in South Wales, a race I really enjoyed last year so I was looking forward to the return. I had a good start and came out of the water in the lead pack of girls as we entered transition, the transition did not go as well as I wanted and I lost a couple of places but was not overly worried. When I left transition as I jumped and mounted my bike I pulled one of my calf muscles which was really painful. Still, I went out onto the bike to see what I could do with the aim of maintaining a reasonable pace. However on the second lap I had to pull up as I could put pressure down on my left leg pulling out of the corners because of my calf and was worried that I could make the injury worse.
The following week I took training easy as it was only a few weeks to the second race of the season Blenhiem Palace. I went in feeling a bit down on training but was confident I could have a good race. Again the swim went really well and I entered transition in the front pack as I went out for the bike which again went well. I came in to transition in the chase pack knowing that if I could hold this place I would finish in the top 20 on completing the run, but this is where it all fell apart. When I went to my spot to rack up my bike there was a bike already there which led to a lot of confusion and running around thinking I was in the wrong place. Then I worked out with the officials that one of the lead girls put her bike in my place and worse still had taken my trainers. By this time there was nothing I could do nearly all the girls had gone through and the girl who had taken my trainers had feet two sizes smaller than mine so I could not use hers to do the run and had to withdraw.
This left me really frustrated as 3 point scoring rounds had now been completed and I had only got a score in one. Worse still was that I was planning to miss the next two rounds because of exams and Glastonbury Festival. The first race I was going to miss was Leeds which was the week after Blenheim so entries had closed already so the chance of racing was slim. However because of what happened we lodged an appeal with British Triathlon and on the Wednesday before the race they confirmed that they had managed to get me a spot. We travelled up to Leeds on the Friday and undertook the race on Saturday which went pretty well and got me some more points to start pushing me back up the league table.
The high of the season was still to come, just a couple of weeks ago I went to race in the Cardiff Triathlon. This was a Sprint distance race which meant each leg was double in distance to what I race in the Super Series. This race consisted of a 800m swim followed by 20km bike around the city finishing off with a 5km run. I was racing in the U19 category so was not sure of what the competition was going to be like and how the extra distance would affect me. This race also acted as a selection event for the British Age Group Team for the World Age-Group Triathlon Championships in Edmonton Canada next year. Overall there was just over 600 people in the race, set off in waves over a period of an hour, I was in the female under 30 wave, the fastest of the females waves. Swimming is my strongest aspect and I left the water with around a minute lead on the next woman, and set the 7th fastest swim time of all competitors. The course bike course was pretty crazy as they had to cut the route in half and double the laps to make the distance due to a police incident on the planned run. This made the bike section very busy and slowed me down in a few areas, also as my bike gearing is not set up for this distance I lost ground to some of the older women in the race. Still by the time I came into transition I was still in first place in my category and had opened the gap to a minute and a half. The 5km run went well, but I was glad to cross the finish line in a time of 1hr and 8mins. When the results came out I had won my category and also beat all females in the 19 – 23 Category as well finishing as 7th place female in all 230 entrants, I was also 86th out of the full field of 612 which I was really pleased with.
Winning this category has meant that I have been selected to represent Team GB in the World Age Group Championships in Edmonton Canada next autumn which is a great boost after the bad luck I have had this season.