Yesterday I was in Nottingham for the final World Qualifying race of this year.
With everyone vying for the final 4 places in the World Championships, I knew it was going to be a hard and fast race. The cycle course was a closed, flat road around the lake we swam in with the run course also around the lake, so it was a very localised course and you knew where everyone was at all times.
This was possibly the only Triathlon I have ever been in that had a later start! I had to hang around for 4 hours after my registration time, which just made the whole thing more nerve-racking! But it gave me the benefit of watching the other races and noticing parts of the course that I have to watch out for.
Perry gave me the task of concentrating on a hard swim and hard bike, and then whatever I have left over for the run. For me, this was hard as I have this habit of pushing the whole race instead of concentrating on certain aspects of the race, but I managed to beat my swim time by a minute as it was perfect conditions to swim in.
I hadn't been on the bike course before the race because it was closed for the other races, but I knew it was a flat, fast course with a windy straight at the back. What I didn't know was that we were going to get blocked by ducks walking across the course! Apart from that, I thought the bike part was going okay, but I felt that it wasn't as good as my previous bike section. However, when I got onto the run section and was only a few hundred metres from the end, I saw Perry screaming at me that I was doing really well and that I was near the end. I didn't realise then that I was on course for beating my record by 10 minutes!! I couldn't believe it! I ended up beating my previous bike time by about 7 minutes, which I was not expecting at all!!
To top it off, I came first in my age group by 3 minutes as well:D
Overall, I loved this race and the course,. One Step Beyond hosted the event really well, especially with the amount of people there too - everyone cheered and clapped you on and the live commentary was good to hear especially when running into the finish and hearing your name !
I would like to say thankyou to my sponsor Pedal Potential for supporting me and I have now bought myself a new transition bag instead of a second hand, broken bag! THANKYOU!! www.pedalpotential.co.uk
Also, with the help of Sovereign Play Equipment, I was able to pay for the quite pricey entry fee Thankyou to them as well! www.sovereignplayequipment.co.uk
And my record breaking has continued from last weekend as I have just found out from my PE teacher at school that I have broken a 35 year old record with my 1500 time. The record, - upheld since 1980 by a boy - now has my name against it!
I also hold the 800 m record from last year, which was also held by a boy in 1991, but I intend on breaking that further before the season is out. Watch this space :)
To round off my busy weekend, we headed to Cambridgeshire at 5:30 am for my first open water swimming competition.
I was quite nervous for this race because I have never competed in one before, and to jump straight into a 1500m swim was quite a difference from my normal 750m race in Triathlons.
This race was an 'Australian style race', as you had to run into the swim from the beach and dive in, then on your second lap you had to get out of the lake, run around the pontoon and into the water again.
There were hundreds of men & women on the beach waiting for the horn, but I managed to get to the front and as soon as that horn went I ran for my life (I had visions of being trampled by the hords). I managed to get into a good rhythm early on and was around 10th place when turning at the first buoy. It was so choppy that it made my arms ache like hell but my rhythm was good and I managed to sight really well and never went off course.
I had such a good sprint start that I managed to avoid the big cluster of people swimming over each other.
Coming into the end of my first lap, as I clambered out it took a few seconds for my land legs to get their bearings but I soon sprinted round and run in the other side before diving in. I managed to overtake a few more people with my dive and run on the second lap. I got into my rhythm again and overtook a few more people, although I now couldnt tell who I was lapping or who was in front of me.
I felt good coming out on my second lap and my coach Perry told me he thought I'd got 1st AG female - but I had actually got first overall (male & female of all age groups).
.... but my racing weekend was not over. We had bought the bikes with us and were cycling home!
Perry had planned the route on his Garmin and it calculated around 6 hours. Mum was going to head home but I could phone her when I had enough and she would come & pick me up.
But I refused to give up. I wanted to make it home.
Although it nearly killed me - I got home - 7 1/2 hours after we started out and after a 1500 meter open water race.
I am aching from head to toe today but my parents and coach Perry are very proud of me - and I am proud of myself.
I'd like to thank Kelly Bullis for the massage today. She had an extremely hard job and did a head to toe massage, spending nearly 1 1/2 hours on me. I feel a lot more flexible and aching a lot less now, although I do expect the DOMs to set in tomorrow.
UPDATE FROM THE BIKE RIDE HOME: PERRY HAS CHECKED HIS GARMIN & i DID THE 90 MILE BIKE RIDE IN 6hrs 31min.
COMPARED TO A RECENT 100MILE RACE, THE 16YR OLD MALE JUNIOR DID IT IN 8hrs 6mins... SO NOT A BAD TIME CONSIDERING I'D JUST DONE A SWIM & IM FEMALE! :)
After nearly 2 years of trying to get sub 5 minutes in a 1500m race, I went and done it - twice!
The first time was my local Districts where I got 4:59, but unfortunately, it didn't count towards the Power of 10. :(
It was then a week later (last weekend) where I had the opportunity to do it again at an official race and my time would be put on the Power of 10. There was me thinking that there would be loads of people in my race to push me, but no, there was 3 of us! How can you possibly run a good race when there is only 3 of you!? But regardless, I managed to run 5:00:4, which really annoyed me as I was only a .4th of a second from going sub-5 mins!
And Today was my 3rd try at it. I was hoping it was going to be 3rd time lucky and that I might just be able scrape below 5 mins. Instead, I managed to run 4:54:05! I couldn't believe my ears when my mum shouted across the track that I got that time! All I could see was her jumping up and down with excitement! Obviously, having just ran a sub-5 min race, I had no energy to join her in the jumping up and down, but trust me, I was extremely happy!!:D
Now it means that my training target times are going to get a hell of a lot faster! ..... but watch this space as there's more to come! :')
Thankyou all for your support in liking and sharing my blog post. I hope you are enjoying reading my very hectic life.
But if you could help me further by sharing my new Go Fund Me page. I really need help to get me to the World Triathlon Champs in Chicago and my European Champs next year.
Unfortunately triathlon is a self funded sport (until you reach Elite level) and it is extremely expensive. Costs can range into thousands over the year from race entry fees of £90 each, to £190 for GB kit. Then there is flights, acccomodation, hotels and petrol - and that is before we even get into the kit ie bike, tyres, wheels, trainers etc etc.
Any help would be massively appreciated.
Please donate or share my page: http://www.gofundme.com/un3pyg
I am of course always on the lookout for sponsors. Please can you help. Even the smallest amount of sponsorship can help me achieve my hopes and dreams.
As your sponsored athlete I can offer you regular posting of your company or logo on social media and here on my blog page.
I will keep you updated with sports photos and details of my races and training for your website, newsletter or noticeboard. I also have space on my GB trisuit and my kit bag to advertise your logo or company name for all to see.
Please get in touch if you feel you can help and we can have a chat or arrange a meeting.
Last Friday I had my last EVER Schools Districts - which was very emotional - along with the rest of my team that I have competed with for the last 5 years. I wasn't expecting anything to come out of the Districts competition, especially as in 2 days I would be competing in the British Triathlon Champs. But I got 2 PBs! One of them was the shot putt, with a throw of 9.30m. And then the 1500m, I managed to run sub 5 minutes! (I've been trying to get below 5 for a long time now, and finally got it!)
Then just 2 days later I headed to St Neots in Cambridgeshire to attempt to qualify for the World Triathlon Championships and the European Triathlon Championships.
Mum & I picked up Seb from the train station on the Saturday after booking into the hotel and headed to the site so we could register and get a look at the course early.
It was a huge site, very professionally marked out and the transition area had room for more bikes than any transition I had ever seen before - over 900 competitors!. I was now really nervous.
After a lovely nights sleep we headed out early to get there in good time. We met Perry and my Dad there, before warming up and getting in the water. I thought it was going to be freezing but it was surprisingly nice.
The start was more like a boxing match rather than a swim! I was hit in the head, scratched on the face, dunked and pulled back, all within the space of 2 minutes! After that, it was an easy 750m swim -NOT!!!
The beginning was down stream, so that wasn't too bad, but then the home straight was against the current, which made it much harder.
The bike course I was familiar with having ridden it a few weeks before. It was split into thirds: the first third was the windy part; the second-third was the hilly part; and the last third was the downhill part. I don't usually like downhill, but on this one occasion I really enjoyed it because it gave me the chance to recover from the hard part of the bike course!
After that, it was the run. At first, my legs were like jelly and I found it hard to move anywhere! Eventually, I got into a rhythm and started to run faster and faster. I didn't know where I was in the rankings, but to be honest, I was enjoying it too much to care!
After I crossed the line, we worked out that I had just qualified for the EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS!! Although my swim time was at least a minute & half slower than it should have been due to the 'boxing match start' I couldn't believe it! Most of the girls in my age group are at least 3 years older than me (U20s) so my coach and my parents were absolutely amazed!
Three days later... Mum came running as I was screaming in the living room. I showed her the computer screen that read "QUALIFIED FOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS"!!!!!! That's when mum joined in with the screaming!
I would like to say thank you to my coach, Perry Agass, for seeing potential in me when maybe I didn't. And also a huge thank you to my parents for spending their money and time ushering me everywhere and always being there. Thank you:)
Due to the immense costs involved in competing for Great Britain, and the fact that it is self-funded, I have set up a Just Giving page to try and raise some money to get me to Chicago. It would be a shame if I cannot go now I have worked so hard to get to represent Great Britain. Please can you like and share my blog and Just Giving page. Or if you know anyone who would like to sponsor me - I have space on my GB suit to advertise your business.
I have my first triathlon this weekend and talk about jumping in the deep end - its also a World and European Triathlon qualifier.
So off we went to the lake yesterday for some open water training.
Little did I know how cold it was going to be - 12.3 degrees to be precise!
It was a-b-s-o-l-u-t-e-l-y freezing. I lost all feelings in my hands and feet and had a permanent grin (grimace mum said) on my face where my facial muscles were frozen! Even the ducks spent more time on the bank than in the water.
But I at least got to try out my new HUUB wetsuit :) Now I know why the Brownlees love them - fantastic buoyancy and the quick release zip will be a godsend this weekend.
Fingers crossed it all goes well, but I really hope this wind dies down or the bike section will be horrendous.