ITU WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 2018!
Lead Up ~
At the start of 2018, I signed up to Project M, to be coached under Nathan Miller. I had written 2 goals that I wanted to achieve in the upcoming year. Winning the Elite Energy Series for my age group, and potentially qualifying for Australia at the World Championships to be held on the Gold Coast. At the time, I didn’t believe either of these where going to be achievable. To my surprise the next 8 months would see both of these goals go from a dream to a reality. Getting my opportunity to make the age group team for 20-24 representing Australia in the Standard Distance. Many days with early starts, or feeling under the weather, grinding through sessions seen my first time training properly through winter. I was very thankful to have like minded athlete’s, training for similar events to keep myself honest, pushing through fatigue periods leading up to the big race!
Race Week ~
Driving up with my Old Man, we arrived at Broadbeach where we were staying on the Wednesday. That afternoon, I was able to get a brief scoping of the bike course and see exactly where the turns where, trying to visualise the race in my head. I really liked the course and was looking forward to the event come Sunday! Thursday morning seen an introduction of the swim course, getting a feel for the water and turning the arms over. Watching the other athlete’s complete their Sprint distance race, got me so pumped for my event! The Atmosphere was Electric on course! My day was finished with a short & sharp run set, before heading to the team dinner with the crew! Saturday seen the Pre-Race Spin on the road leading to sea world, and a short run off the bike! Racking my bike in the afternoon, and watching the Elite women tear up the course, Ash Gentle putting in a killer performance to take the win!
My Morning started with plenty of pre-race nerves. Heading to transition with my spare rear wheel, as the officials had banned disc wheels the night before. This had added an additional hurdle as I had to change my wheel over in the morning and my rear brakes where not set up correctly. Transition was rushed, and involved my mrs running back to the car to take my other wheel back. Quickly threw my stuff all on the floor, and proceeded to the bag drop. The swim start was a good 25-30 Minute walk, and I decided to run my warm up to the start with what time I had left. Luckily enough, as when I got their, everyone in my age group was already piled into the loading pen, waiting to enter the water. With the quickest attempt ever of putting my wetsuit on, I was in the water waiting at the start buoys.
The Event ~
The swim started out fast, and I tried my hardest to sit with the large pack for the first 300M buoy in the water, before settling into a rhythm and finding some feet in front of me. I found the swim very hard to sight, and a couple of times, had veered away from the pack, but pushed to re-gain contact. This swim was the first time ever that I had exited the water with a pack, I had found myself at the back of the 2nd pack, and looking ahead as I ran towards transition a bit overwhelmed!
Into transition was where disaster struck, and nerves got the better of me, kicked my helmet slightly as I was putting my shoes on then, quickly proceeded to sprint off with my bike, only to realise I didn’t have my helmet on. The run back to get it resulted in me having one of the slowest transitions of my age group which I was gutted about.
Out onto the bike course, with a more determined than ever drive to make up for my stupid mistakes, I rode above my threshold for the first 20KM Lap, with the course being fast and flat, I was really enjoying the ride. Into the 2nd lap I came to my senses and realised If i was going to have any chance of doing a half descent run split, I was going to have to ride within my means. Peeling through the field, I had moved up 9 positions to be sitting in 18th coming into T2.
One of my better transitions seen me out onto the run course, and feeling strong. The first 5KM loop I felt good, and was holding good form. Making passes on the run, and getting amped from the crowd. Into the 2nd lap and the hurt started to come thick and fast, managing a descent pace still I pressed on, and in the last 2km’s, had managed to run myself into 15th. The last 2km’s became a constant reminder to myself that I had trained for the last 8 months to hurt for these next 8 minutes, and that’s exactly what I did. With 500M left to run, I’d been running side by side with another guy in my age bracket, and he kicked, I held with him, and In the last 200M gave everything I had left to pinch 14th place. My form was completely gone, and the finish shoot photo’s didn’t leave anything to the imagination.
Cracking a new PB under the 2:05, and knowing within myself that I had nothing else left as I crossed the line was such an awesome feeling of achievement. Seeing all my family and friends out on course who came to support me and cheer me on was incredible, that race was a major highlight in my triathlon journey so far!
I would like to say a big thank you to Nathan Miller, for pointing me in the right direction over the last 8 months in preparing for this event. All the hard work I had put into my training was rewarded throughout the 2hrs and 5 minutes of hurt, pulling personal bests across all 3 disciplines! Also to everyone who kindly donated in helping me get to the Gold Coast and My Family & Mrs for putting up with me leading into the event!
Time for a bit of a cool off period before I ramp up into the 2018/19 season. After the weekends performance, I can’t wait too see what the future holds for me.
Thanks for Reading