My very first World Triathlon Championships in Chicago, Ilinios after only returning to the sport 1 year ago almost to the day and being up against the best Triathletes from around the World - I am very happy to have come 33rd!
However, it wasnt my best triathlon race. I went over there with a chest infection and that combined with the very humid heat of 31 degrees - I suffered with my breathing. Even my inhalers didnt help but I struggled through to the finish and gave it my all. I could not have given more and I am happy with my performance of the day.
I think all us British participants suffered in the hot weather of Chicago! 31 deg celsius is totally different to our normal twelve-degrees Celsius that we are used to training in and I think the athletes from the hotter countries; Mexico, Australia, NZ, USA, Cuba etc fared better than us in the heat. Even 2 of our athletes collapsed with heat exhaustion, so a very difficult race.
The swim was in the lovely warm Lake Michigan which was 18 degrees on the day of the race; I therefore decided that I would swim without my wetsuit. I was one of only a handful of girls to - and they were all GB athletes! It gave me more freedom for the long run into transition.
We swam 750m (although reports afterwards have suggested it was nearer 825m) parallel to the wall until we got to the stairs leading out of the lake. However, the start of the swim was like a boxing match! We weren't given much warning when we were in the water as to when we were starting, so hardly any of us where ready for when the horn went off!! Due to that, arms and legs went flailing everywhere trying to get a head start and I ended up getting a fist to the eye making my goggles squash my eye! :')
The run from the swim to first transition felt like it went on forever, but it helped me as other people had to run the 400m with their wetsuits on (which is very hard by the way!) whereas I didn't because I swam in my trisuit without my wetsuit.
It was then time to find my space in the huge transition that held over 1500 people in it!
Luckily, being in the youngest category, I was on the end of a rack so it was easier to see my space, but I feel sorry for the people who were in the middle of it all!!
Apparently Chicago is called the 'Windy City' not because of the wind, but something to do with politics. Well, whoever said that is stupid because I definitely felt the wind on the bike! I didn't realise how windy it was until I was going head first into it! However, the bike course wasn't very technical which benefited me a lot more than a technical course would have, so I guess I can't complain that much.
The run was where I suffered. I don't know why, maybe it was the chest infection or the heat or maybe a combination of it all, but my legs were dead by the time I got to the run! However hard I tried, my legs did not want to wake up and move and my chest felt so tight. But I found a sudden burst of energy in the last 200m and had a sprint finish with another GB girl and beat her across the line to get 4th GB U20 girl.
However, having spoken to people after the race, many people said they felt the same, but it was infuriating to know that I can run faster than I did then and that is the one major thing that I feel let me down the most.
I guess it just means that I have to work harder for next year, and using the Trisutto technique (my new team!) that Perry is going to enforce, I hope that I will return to the Worlds next year in Mexico in better form and with a years more experience under my belt..... that's if I qualify of course!
The venue of Grant Park was beautiful. Well spread over a very large area (which made my mum complain as she had to run from one discipline/area to another the long way round to get her photos - she says she did her own 5k run!) and the support and help from the Volunteers were top class.
The GB team were there for each other, lending out wheels, helmets and any other equipment that was broken or mislaid and even though I was competing as an individual - I felt part of a Team.
I will make it my mission to make it to the World Championships next year - and go smash it!
I would like to take this opportunity to thank a few people for helping me to get to compete for my country in my first World Championships:
Firstly, I would to thank Pedal Potential for continuously supporting me financially to get to Chicago - I literally wouldn't have been there without their help!
I would also like to thank Sovereign play equipment for their financial help towards races and also for helping me with equipment - the DryRobe really helped when I was in the middle of the city and had to get changed into my trisuit!! :')
PAS Professional Athlete Supplements is next to thank because without their supplements (ie. tablets, energy drink and recovery drinks) I'm sure that I wouldn't have been in racing shape leading up to the competition and I'm sure my chest infection would have been a lot worse.
And Kelly Bullis for keeping me in tip-top condition with all the massages - I think you deserve a massage yourself especially your poor hands having to work on my 'solid legs'!
And to all my friends and family (you know who you are) for donating to my GoFund me account to help me get to Chicago in the first place, without your help all of you I certainly would not have been able to afford to go.
And finally to my mum and dad as without them sacrificing what they have, I woudn't be where I am today - living my dream! xxx