Just over one week ago I packed my bags and my bike and jumped on the plane and flew to Europe for the 4th time of racing and as always I was so excited to be back in Luxembourg with my 2nd family and of course to race in some of the best places in the world.
The week leading into Kraichgau 70.3 went really well, I had no jet lag or problems getting settled in thanks to my home stays Corrine and Willi who every year do everything they possibly can to make you feel safe and welcome in their home!
I was pretty pumped to be heading back to race Kraichgau, I raced here in 2016 and came away with 2nd in 18-24 AG but I was very frustrated with my performance and felt like I had something to prove and to make right.
The course is extremely hard as the region of Kraichgau is known as "The land of a thousand hills" and I honestly think we see 999 of them on the bike and the run!
The race started in the beautiful Hardstee lake where the water is extremely blue and its a pleasure to suffer for 1900m in. I had my best ever swim in a 70.3 distance although I didn't feel so great in the water I exited in 3rd place and in a time of 26.41 this to me was a win in itself to see the improvement after so much hard work in the water really makes me happy.
Out onto the bike it pretty much goes like this.. you ride on flat very fast roads for 10km and then you spend the next 80km either going very slow uphill and then very fast down hill! you have to go through some crazy villages with cobblestones and Germans screaming at you! It is honestly one of the coolest experiences I have had, the Europeans love triathlon and this community go above and beyond in supporting all the athletes racing!
I felt really strong on the bike and for the first 45km I was by myself watching my Heart rate and power carefully, I was holding roughly around 255-260 Avg watts while I was alone but at the half way mark I was caught by 3 very strong cyclists and took this chance to slot myself at the back of this group and let my Heart rate lower for the second half of the ride. We all worked together very well, pulling even amounts of turns, I felt really comfortable on all the hills but did struggle through the technical sections and Europeans are so good when it comes to handling a bike and I am probably one of the worst!
I was off the bike in 1st place in 25-29AG and rode 5 mins faster then 2016 which was my major goal coming into this race I was really stoked. Bike time (02.25.31)
I had a fast transition 2 and was out onto the run hoping to hold my lead until the end. I love this run course as it is really hilly and hard which is good change from the generic flat and fast triathlon run course. I had Willi yelling at me in the crowd saying my lead was 2.5mins which was pleasing to hear but I still knew I had to run the best I could. The run course is 3 x 7km loops so you get to see everyone quiet often which I like. It was awesome to share the run course with some of the best triathletes in the world and to see Jan Frodeno absolutely destroy the pro race is something I won't forget. I ran the first lap really hard and was hoping to hold that pace the whole way through and work my way up to Overall age grouper, on the second lap I started to suffer a bit but still felt in control and by the last lap I just wanted to get to the finish line and be done with it all! haha.
I finished the 21.1km run in a time of 1.23.01.
I was so happy to win the 25-29 Age group in a time of 4.19.31 and to be 3rd age grouper overall was something I am really proud of. I have a pretty easy week now to recover and then I will build into my next race on the 17th of June at Challenge Heilbronn. It is going to be a very similar bike course with plenty more hills to come..
A really special to my home stay and family Willi for giving up his weekend and most of his training to come and support me and do whatever I needed pre and post race, I can't say how much I appreciated it and how easy he made my whole weekend I am extremely lucky to have him and Corrine in my life.
Thanks to my sponsors for all their support Peak Fitness Huskisson, Raine and Horne Huskisson, Julie and Gray Parkes, Innovate air and electrical, ASPORT, Just go driving, Elite Energy, Wildginger. Thanks to my coach Nathan Miller for everything he does for me and most of all thanks to my Mum and Dad for always being my number one supporters.
Thanks for reading,