Blythe Fourie

After lots of travel and only a day to get used to the lovely Mexican heat I was ready to race the 16-19yr old age group world championships.

The swim was in clear blue water with plenty of fish around. The swim was rather rough as lots of my competitors all wanted the same line so there was much pushing and shoving. I worked hard but was slightly behind the main group of girls. As I was getting close to the shore the waves and current made it quite hard to swim quickly as they seemed to drag me back a bit!

I left the water and then ran 500m to my bike. I was smoothly out on my bike quickly and got into a small pack and we began working together to go faster. Just before half way we caught another pack ahead and a group had caught us from behind so most of my age group had become one huge pack! After the half way point I was able to relax and not do quite as much work so I could prepare myself for the run.

I went out onto the run in 5th place; immediately I could feel the heat so I had to run at a pace I knew I could hold. At about 3 kilometres in I was overtaken by a Mexican girl, I was starting to feel a little bit funny with the heat so I couldn't stay with her. Around 4 kilometres I saw a New Zealand girl just ahead so I knew if I held my pace I would catch her - and I was right! Once back in 5th place I was able to hold 5th all the way to the end - which at that point I was very glad to see! Once over the line I had to lie down as I was very shivery, but, with the help of some officials and water and iced towels I quickly recovered and was able to appreciate I was 5th place and the first non Mexican of my age group!

It was a fabulous race and a wonderful experience to go half way round the world to race in paradise.