I had to be at Wirral for 12:30 for the race briefing, however my race wasn’t until 3:15! So after just managing to get to Wirral at 12:25 (after some dodgy sat nav navigations) I had 3 hours to check the course out and ‘rack’ my bike up. We (dad and I) spent our first hour checking out the course and picking up the occasional tent pole on the grassy bike course! Then, as transition cleared up, I went and got my bike. There was no racking so I had to lie my bike down- I was quite worried because I thought it might snap my elastic bands as I was trying a flying mount with my shoes on my bike in this race!
After sorting everything out it was time for my race, I had plenty of time before my race to have a catch up with the other T3 athletes! We got called up to our lanes with 14 athletes and only 6 lanes 2 lanes would have 3 people in it. So obviously,as is my luck, I was in the 2nd lane of 3!
We were told ‘ the first length (out of 12) will determine who will lead then you swim clockwise’. So I positioned myself on the right hand side of the lane so I could tumble turn and go straight back down if I was first. This would have worked a treat if the 2 girls behind me hadn’t been swimming side by side. I pushed off unaware that I would go head first into another athlete. Unfortunately she then pulled out of the race. I carried on swimming knowing that I would be losing valuable time. By the last 4 lengths I was a length behind, although this wasn’t great it shows I’m improving as usually I’m a 2 lengths behind!
There was then a long run from the pool to T1, I had my tri belt and trainers lined up for me to put on. In the heat of the moment I decided not to bother with my trainers as I knew I was a bit behind the pack and I knew my feet would be fine. I got into T1 3rd ( after being about 8th out the pool) but because I just had to put on my helmet and grab my bike I got onto the bike course 2nd!
My elastic bands and shoes worked really well and it saved me loads of time! I was really happy because I wasn’t sure if I would managed to find my shoe, because it was my first time doing it in a race situation! After half a lap of the 6 lap race I got myself into 1st. I was pleased with my ride because I managed just fine on the grass and I even created quite a bit of distance between myself and 2nd place.
After a clean dismount I was out onto the run. I was comfortably ahead and as I am still recovering from a sprained ankle I knew not to push too hard.
I am really happy with the way this race worked out and I know for the future if I ever get in a lane of 3 to push off the wall deep to avoid collisions! (Blythe Fourie)