This morning (2nd June) I woke up at 4:00am to eat breakfast ahead of my 7:00am start time for my first ever olympic distance Triathlon, Deva. But to also top it off I was out to qualify for the ITU world age group championships that will be held in London in September. To qualify I had to finish top 5 in the under20 category. There were 8 other competitors wanting to get these qualifying slots so I knew it was going to be tough, because I was the youngest there, 16, and I was competing against five 19year olds and three 18year olds.
We arrived in chester at 5:30am, this meant I had plenty of time to stick on my race number tattoos and rack my bike in transition. My race number was number 1 so this meant I had a good position in transition, not too far from the swim and right in front of the bike in entrance. At 6:00 I had one hour before my start so I began drinking my Herbalife prepare. And then after getting ready it was time to race!
Swim and T1
The swim was 1500m, 850m of which was upstream in the river dee and the remaining downstream, this meant the swim times weren’t as fast as usual! I knew some of the guys in the under 20 cat were very good swimmers so I would have to work hard and then play to my strengths on the bike! I jumped into the 14 degree river which was pretty cold at first but once we were off it was no problem. With a 7:00am start the sun was pretty low which made it quite difficult to sight where the buoys were. The swim was brutal and I got kicked in the face a few times but I kept on swimming hard. I finished the swim strong and headed into T1 5th under 20 and 30seconds behind the leader of the 17-18year old age group. I managed to kick my wetsuit off pretty quickly without many problems and then it was helmet and shoes on and I was off.
Bike and T2
It was a 40k undulating bike course with a few sharp digs in it. I went off comfortably so that my legs had time to warm up and then it was time to hammer it! I carried another bottle of Herbalife with me to keep my energy levels high, 5miles into the ride I was now leading the 17-18 category and knew I had to push hard if I wanted it to stay that way. Then at 25km I had caught another 2:30minutes on the third placed under 20 and went past him strong and soon made a big gap. I had a niggling stitch all the way round on the bike but i kept pushing hard but i knew the run was going to hurt after it. At 35km I had past the second placed under 20 which meant I had caught around 3 or 4minutes on him, but i couldn’t break him and he kept me in his sights for the remaining 5k. I finished the bike in a total time of 1hour 4minutes which included the run from T1 and long run into T2. I got into T2 racked my bike put my running shoes on grabbed a gel and I was gone, but I had been overtaken in transition by an under 20 athlete, this left me third under 20 but first 17-18 year old and I had around a 5 minute gap to the next athlete in my category, meaning i had taken around 7minutes out of them on the bike. I knew these time trials would pay off someday!
This is where my race began to go down hill. The run was a 10km lumpy mixed terrain course, I couldn’t keep with the second placed under 20 and was suffering with severe stitch from the very beginning of the run, to around three quarters of it. I tried to keep running but eventually had to stop and stretch my stomach to try and get rid of it. The run didn’t go as well as I had planned but by the end had only lost 1minute 30 to the second placed junior and gained another minute on the athletes behind me. I finished strong and kept my third place in the under 20 category and my lead in the 17-18 category. This meant that I had qualified for the age group world championship! And also earned myself a £50 voucher for Eureka Cycles for winning the 17-18 cat. Not bad for my first ever race at this distance.
I enjoyed this race and now know where I am going to make the improvements needed to reach the level I expect from myself when I represent my country in London.
After the race I had a Herbalife rebuild to help my recovery as I have another busy week of time trials starting Tuesday.
I will post some photos when I get them.
Check back next weekend as I have a 10mile TT on Tuesday, my club 10 on Wednesday and then my first ever 50mile TT on Sunday!