The 25th of June was my final international race of this year, and what a way to finish!
Chateauroux is a lovely place, and it was very French! Little cafes lining the streets, shutters at every window and door, and narrow lanes that form a maze! I loved it!
The race venue was on the border of Chatearoux. The lake was a comfortable 23 degrees, so it was a non-wetsuit swim which I was happy about. Although the course was very different to normal! The first 600m was in the lake, then we had to run out of the lake and onto a min beach. After running around a barrier, we had to run back into the lake to complete the next 400m. I have no idea why that was included, but it changed it up a bit!
The run was 2 'T'-shaped loops (2.5k loops), so perfect to see whereabouts you were in the competition. I felt really good at the beginning of the run, and for once my chest wasn't tight from asthma. I could see my closest competitor in front of me, and my mum told me that she was 50 seconds ahead. So on the 2nd lap, I ran as hard as I could. By the time I crossed the line, I had caught up by 40 seconds and I had nothing left in me!
Thirty minutes later, I was standing on the podium in 3rd place receiving my bronze medal! I couldn't take the smile off my face! To make it even better, I found out that I got a 2 minute PB on the 5k run and the 9th fastest run of the whole day!
What a year it has been! If you had told me at the beginning of this year that I would be British Triathlon Champion, National Aquathlon Champion, 3rd in Europe for Aquathlon and 5th in Europe for Triathlon, I would have thought you were crazy! Not because I couldn't do it, but that I didn't believe I could. However, over these past 6 months, I have grown both physically and mentally, and I now know that I can achieve whatever I want.
On Saturday, I raced in the English National Aquathlon Championships in Leeds.
Although it wasn't my best race and the organisation of the race wasn't very good, the whole experience was really nice.
The swim was 750m in the Waterloo Lake of Roundhay Park. The start was totally new to me because we were asked to walk along the elite's pontoon and lower ourselves into the lake. So instead of a bunch start, we were all in a line holding onto the pontoon!
The run was set in the beautiful surroundings of Roundhay Park, and its typical that transition happened to be right at the bottom of a hill, like a valley, so instantly you knew that the run was guaranteed to have hills in it! For someone who stopped doing cross-country 2 years ago, I hated the run course! But, once I finished and reflected on the race, I actually quite enjoyed attacking the hills and by the second lap I was on a roll and found my stride.
I didn't know where I had come until the medal ceremony as there was no results, and as one of my friends had come first, I waited to see her get her medal.
While I was standing there eating my ice-cream (not really a good post-race snack but it was better than a burger!) my name was called out as the National Aquathlon Champion! I was totally shocked that it didn't even register until my dad took my ice-cream and told me to go and get my medal!
It felt so good to stand on the 1st place podium and Im so glad it didn't turn out like the British Triathlon Champs.
Within the space of 3 weeks, I have become the British Triathlon Champion and the National Aquathlon Champion, so roll on the European Champs... Im ready for you!!
As you have probably heard (as I have posted it all over Twitter and FB!), I got some pretty big news last week.
When I competed at the British Triathlon Championships a few weeks ago, I was told I had got first place, then they changed it to third place, then when I went up onto the podium, I was second. It was all a bit confusing, but I was delighted that I had come 2nd.
Then whilst I was in Portugal, I met the girl that had 'beaten me' into first place. However, she hadn't competed in the British Triathlon Champs at all and had informed British Triathlon of that fact when she had heard (thankyou to her for being so honest).
.................................Therefore I am the British Sprint Triathlon Champion.
Finally, after weeks of waiting, I have received my medal. Granted, receiving it through the post wasn't as grand as standing on the actual podium, but I am SO happy to have the honour of saying that I am the British Triathlon Champion 2016!
So after months of gruelling training, all the hard work paid of last week in the European Triathlon Championships in Lisbon, Portugal.
Some people say that they love the build up to the race, but I never really enjoy the suspense. I hate the feeling of the nerves when I see how big the transition is, or the fact that registration is 2 days before and bike racking is the day before.
But even though I was nervous during the days before, the day of the race was different: I wasn't nervous. You could say that it's because I had nothing to lose, or that I was overwhelmed by the whole event, but it wasn't. I knew that I was ready for the race, and that I had done everything I could to do the best I could. And because of that, I had nothing to be nervous about.
The actual race went really well. The water for the swim was a comfortable 18 degrees Celsius, and although it was a bit of a boxing match at the beginning, I settled into a good rhythm and stayed with the front pack for the whole 750m.
The bike course was probably one of my favourite courses because they shut off a whole motorway just for us to cycle on. Although quite windy and open, it was so much better than cycling around little side roads for 20k. It felt good to just have open roads ahead of us and also be able to see our competitors on the other side of the road.
The run was along the river front where people having their Friday lunch in the little cafes could sit and cheer us on (the difference a crowd of cheering spectators can have on our performance is massive!).
I didn't know where I had come when I crossed the line, but I was happy with my performance. I knew I had done all I could, and finishing 5th in Europe just made the day all that much better!!!
I want to say a massive thankyou to my sponsors Pedal Potential and Sovereign Play Equipment. Without their endless support, I wouldn't have been able to go to Portugal and compete in that race, so I am forever grateful.
I would also like to say thankyou to Perry and Trisutto, because without their training and support, I mentally wouldn't have been capable to do that race.
And finally, my parents, because without their love and support, I don't think I would have the confidence to say that I am proud of myself and my achievement, and all my hard work is nothing compared to theirs. Thankyou:)