Early season success with a gold medal at the Euro's
With all my training complete and my bike safely packed away it was time to head over to Israel for the European Triathlon Championships. This was my main focus for this season so my nerves were running high, and it didn’t help being seated next to the Swiss elite team on the plane. After a long flight and a 4 hour coach ride we got to Eilat – awesome sunny skies and not too hot for which I was grateful but the wind was absolutely relentless.
In the few days leading up to the race I did a course recci, the swim was nice in the red sea, a rare opportunity for a sea swim without a wetsuit. Then off for a ride with the rest of the GB team, couldn’t help but throw a couple of race pace surges in to test my legs.
After an early pre-race dinner I got an early night and tried to sleep – tried but failed as 2am rolled by before I could get to sleep. 4am; alarm goes off and time to get my carbs in for the race so porridge it is, then sip on sports fuel leading up to the race.
Bike racked and run shoes ready, I go to the athlete holding pen. All of us were pretty nervous but all weighing each other up. Onto the start grid, on your marks….. HOOTER, delayed reaction from myself meant I got left behind by the guys next to me in the water and as a result was near the back when I exited the water. I managed to gain a few places in transition 1 as I frantically sprinted through. Onto the bike and I gulped as the headwind was absolutely hammering us, so got my head down and pushed as hard as I could, getting a nice boost from passing people as a result. At the turn round point I took the lead and so was riding scared thinking someone would come crashing past me soon but with the wind on my back I was surprised to hit transition 2 on my own. This lead on the bike gave me enough breathing space on the run, even though my legs felt foreign to me, I managed to hold on for the win. I crossed the line in absolute disbelief and I still don’t believe it even with the gold medal sitting round my neck.
So this was a good start to the season so let’s hope with more hard work and continued great support from Bio-Synergy I can carry it on.