A week ago we arrived in Kitzbuhuel to compete in the AG European Triathlon Championships 2014.
Once settled in, I met up with fellow RP athlete Sarah Jepson to do some specific preparation including a swim, bike and run recci. The bike course was awesome with some climbing and descending on decent roads!
The biggest surprise of the trip was the unexpected arrival of my husband Julian, who came to support me on race day. This undoubtedly gave me more inspiration to perform well and execute what I have learnt over the last couple of years with RP.
Race Day arrived and I was SO excited as I was looking forward to racing this amazing course as It had everything.
The Hooter went and I had a good swim start staying close to a number of people. Throughout the swim I kept the pace consistent and steady and did some good sighting to make sure I didn’t lose any time. This is important as I lose most of my time during the swim.
Having completed a decent swim (with a PB), I ran into T1 a bit too enthusiastically passing my bike by a few metres. The sounds insignificant, but this type of error can cost you both physically and psychologically. After this I exited transition mounting my bike as quickly and as smoothly as possible.
I felt strong throughout the bike course, particularly on the second lap. I put more effort in as I knew where my body was and how I was feeling. I also made up a number of places, which is essential for me if I am to get a good position on the run.
In T2, I got my shoes on quickly and set off running at an easy-ish intensity. Any faster and I would have been in trouble later on. The run was slightly undulating in parts, which is deceiving. Once I found my rhythm I stayed with this until I was ready to increase it very slightly. During the last 3km I was aware of a Girl in my age group who was pursuing me. She was clearly a strong runner, as I hadn’t spotted her before. At this point I thought, ‘This girl is not overtaking me’, I could feel her getting closer and as the gap between us shortened I was determined to not to let her beat me. In the last 800m I had to pick it up a bit more. I glanced round and was then confident that I would beat her. Suddenly I could see the blue carpet and I ran as fast as I could over the line finishing 12th in my age group (40-44) and 5th GB girl over the line. I was very happy with this, as I really didn’t know where I was going finish in the race.
The highest point was the freedom I felt throughout the race and the challenge to win. It is an emotional experience and the close friends and family who take the time and energy to support throughout compounded this, it’s was genuinely humbling.
Andy Crawshaw was a perfect companion to share this experience with and I am sure he will remember this as a special Birthday.
Fellow RP athlete Sarah Jepson, and myself, executed the type of race we were looking for, which at the biggest race of the year really does make you very content after all the effort you’ve put in.
A special thank you to Racepace for the coaching that enables us to compete in such a productive way. It was an incredible experience & one I’m proud of. (Victoria Kollard)