Worthing Triathlon is possibly one of the hardest triathlons I have ever completed!
The waves on the sea swim were so big we were being thrown over the other side of them! Many dropped out due to the horrendous conditions - I think about 30 women didn't finish. We were like rag dolls in the water, being thrown around over every wave. It was hard enough trying to spot the buoys, but trying to swim in a straight line was even harder!
Once we had finally navigated our way back to the shore, it was just the bike and the run left. At this point I thought, 'it can't be that bad, the swim was the hardest part'. Oh, how wrong I was! The bike course consisted of uphills and downhills, but not many flat sections! So by the time I was on the run, my legs were pretty useless really! The wind didn't help - it was like taking 1 step forward and 2 steps back!
But after the race, I realised that I had actually enjoyed the race, good parts and bad parts.
(The big slice of victoria sponge cake at the end wasn't too bad either!!)
iI know I'm a bit late posting but having entered only my 2nd standard distance, I did not hold out too much hopes of getting on the podium of the British champs let alone qualifying for 2017 Europeans....but that is exactly what I have just discovered.
I entered the Liverpool Standard distance more as a training race, to see if I had improved any.
But on the day not only did I have a mechanical problem (a bent derailleur which is pretty close to breaking and extremely expensive as it is a Sram red!) so didnt have all my gears on the bike - but my legs just did not want to work!
I suppose it is to be expected as I haven't had a break and it has been a very long season - theyve held up well so far,, but I had no power on either the bike or the run.
Amazingly I managed to hobble home into 3rd U20 gaining a bronze medal and a qualifying place next year. Woohoo!
Very happy with the result. Hopefully the legs will be in better shape for next year.
(Prepare for a very soppy blog!)
As the 2016 season draws to a close, I have time to step back and look at my achievements this year, and that is when it hits me just how far I have come.
Only 2 years ago I was terrified of the bike. After 6 years of competing in the children's triathlons, and many crashes on my bike, self-esteem issues, and being bullied within the sport, I hung my triathlon shoes (and helmet!) up and didn't touch my bike for 2 years. It wasn't until Perry came along and convinced me to start triathlons again that I actually washed the cobwebs of my bike and used it.
Now 2 years later, I am the British Sprint-Distance Triathlon Champion, National Aquathlon Champion, third medallist in the British Standard-Distance Triathlon, 3rd in the European Aquathlon Championships and 5th in the European Triathlon Championships! And all achieved in one year!!!
It hasn't been an easy ride - Perry and my parents have had to put up with my roller-coaster of moods, and have had to pull me out of my multiple periods of confidence issues throughout the 2 years, but their support has never wavered. It has been 2 years full of both physical and mental training. I even think that without their help and understanding, I wouldn't have the guts be writing this for all the world to see. I had never really told people about how my experience in the children's triathlons had effected me so much until about 6 months ago - since then, I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders, and I can finally move on properly.
However, without Pedal Potential and Sovereign Play Equipment helping me HUGELY for 2 years, I wouldn't have been able to move on and become the Triathlete I am today. Triathlons is a very experience sport as you have to essentially pay for 3 separate sports! Pedal Potential and Sovereign Play Equipment have helped to lift this burden off my parents, and also myself. It has always been a nagging thought for years that they work so hard for me and never think about themselves, so to have the help of these two companies has eased my mind immensely.
And of course, my biggest supporters: my parents. They haven't just been my supporters for the 8 years that I have competed in Triathlons, but they have supported me from the minute I was born. From helping me take my first steps, to teaching me how to swim, to travelling every corner of the world taking me to competitions, their support and help has crafted me into the Triathlete that I am now. There isn't enough words in the dictionary to explain my love for them, but I'm hoping that I show them every time I race for them.
If you had asked the 13 year old me who stopped competing in triathlons that I would have all of these achievements in one year, I probably would have laughed in your face. But now I believe that anything can happen...
I've heard people say that London Triathlon is the biggest triathlon in the World, but after going to Chicago last year and seeing how huge that was, I thought they were just exaggerating... How wrong I was!
I was stunned into silence the second I walked into the London Excel Centre when I saw the many stalls of the expo, and then the transition that took up more than half the hall!
(Just so you can see, this is only HALF of the transition - it's like 'Where's Wally' but with bikes!!)
So trying to find my bike when coming in from the swim was difficult! But as I had a good swim and came out 4th out of the 250 in my heat, I didn't have the hustle-and-bustle of other people trying to find their bike.
The bike course was a mix of technical slaloms (and that was just to get around the other competitors!), sharp corners and some pretty windy straights. Other than that, I felt pretty good on the 20k. Having now done a 40k in the standard distance, It actually felt quite short!
The run was probably my favourite section, not because it was the last discipline (that is always a bonus) or that I had done a good time, but because the atmosphere was AMAZING!! The spectators were a constant line of positive energy throughout the whole course, the BOSE sound system pumping high tempo music helped keep my cadence up, the marshals were faultless with their efficiency of handing out water and cheering us on, and the rest of the competitors were always cheering each other on.
The last I looked, I was placed 5th female overall in the whole race of 588 people - pretty good seeing as I was the youngest there!
Overall, my experience at my first London Triathlon was fantastic and I would love to do it again! See you next year London Triathlonut . But standard for me next year, gotta beat my dad again! :)