Below is a race report from Laura‘s first (of hopefully many) race representing GB at the Age Group World Championship on the 22nd October 2012 in Auckland, New Zealand. Pictures of her competing can be found by clicking here to access our Facebook site.
So I’m now one week after the biggest race of my triathlon career and have so many things to reflect on. The race was TOUGH. That came as no surprise but I’m not entirely sure I was prepared for the ferociousness of the field and the difficultly of the course. That aside it was an experience I will never forget and it’s left me hungry for bigger and better things next season.
This race was a first time effort on a lot of accounts, my first World championships, my first race abroad and my first sea swim. All of which undoubtedly took their effect come race day. Although the notion of travelling half the way round the world sounds romantic, I take my hat off to the pro’s because it’s hard work. The jet lag was a killer and your body doesn’t know what time of day it is, let alone how to start working hard! The hype and the nerves were more prominent as all of a sudden you’re racing with your name and your county emblazoned across your chest (yes very cool) but also terrifying. There is no hiding who you are and where you’re from! And finally, the sea! Its official, I’m not a fish and I don’t like waves or tides! It brings a whole new dynamic to a swim and one that I DEFINITELY need more practice at!
After my near drowning experience in the water it was onto the mammoth transition area. Thousands and thousands of bikes meant transition was long, 0.7 km each time according to my watch! Just what you need… I was swift through transition and ready to start “hunting” the girls down on the bike. It was a great course, a few hills, a few technical turns….right up my street. I made some good ground during the cycle and finished up with a top 5 bike split for the day.
Last and definitely not least was the run. I entered T2 in 5th place for GB ladies. I knew some of the other girls were stronger runners so I had to dig deep. The course was a good honest 10k, flat and accurate which meant that 2 girls overtook me but thankfully I managed to overtake 2 others so I ended up 28th overall and 5th GB girl in my age group. Top 100 overall and 11th fastest GB lady! Not a bad start to my international racing.
Its difficult to sum up my emotions following the race, such a mixture of feelings and thoughts. Initially, an overwhelming sense of relief, relief that I’ve made it unscathed! That I presented myself on an international stage and didn’t let myself down. It was far from the perfect race but I gave it 110% and have walked away with valuable lessons to take to next year.
Appreciative for all my friends, family, coaches and sponsors who continue to show support for my dreams. The invaluable advice of Jon and Paul who continue to provide me with the structure, planning and attention to detail that allows me to train consistently and injury free. Their advice and belief in my potential spurs me to strive ahead and leaves me hungry for more.
Motivated to better myself; 2012 has been a big step up for me in terms of racing, training and realising what it takes to be good in the increasingly competitive world of triathlon. I have learnt a lot about myself and my body. I’ve learnt that I can do things that I never thought I would achieve. I’ve realised that my body has a good solid engine (thanks Jon). That mental strength is just as important as physical strength and that less can sometimes be more! Yes Jon and Paul, your nagging has paid off! I get it…. It’s not he who works hardest but definitely smartest!
Excited! Excited for 2013. This year sees the world championship final coming to London and there is nothing that I want more than to perform well on my home stage. I’m excited about embracing my winter training as I know this give me the strength and fuel to come back next year fitter, faster, stronger and better!
Roll on 2013!