ITU London World Championships
Race report September 2011
Nerves were high but preparation was good and a heavy rain shower just before the start cooled us all down not to our delight. The swim set off and my British Competitor James Smith was level with me and try as I did to pull away from him I couldn’t do it until the last 100m coming out of the swim first in my category…just. First transition was slick and onto the bike for six laps round the edge of the Serpentine in Hyde Park. Slippy road surfaces made the corners treacherous but I kept good control and legs burnt on the uphill gradients. Keeping count of the six laps is not the easiest thing to do under race conditions but the importance of this is paramount and so running through the lap count in my head as a mantra was necessary. Second transition done with trainers on now and a sprint off still leading my field. At this stage with no swim problems, transition or puncture problems the run section is a case of keeping up the speed for me and there is nothing wrong in looking over my shoulder.
Coming down the ‘dog leg’ of the course I saw my German competitor Sebastian coming up and we gave a sportsmanship ‘high five’ as we passed each other. Head up now and continuing on the course and feeling confident I suddenly realised with 1.5K to go that the guy I was catching up was the South African (Chris Wagner) from my category…I was in second place! This situation I have practised many times in training and many times in my head. Catching him I then paced just behind him to catch my breath before I passed him at speed and kept going (he had been ‘Thunderstuck’!)…I could hear his pace quicken but I could also hear him grunting to keep up and knew he wouldn’t last long. Eventually he gave in and with less than 1K to go I knew I could push it more and exhaust all my energy. Coming down the final straight I grabbed the Union Jack held out by my brother, heard the crowd cheering and saw my family waving as I ecstatically punched the air in triumph to cross the line and win the Gold Medal.
I later found out that the South African had only completed five laps of the bike course and was consequently disqualified. (anything can happen in triathlon!)
Exhausted from the whole weekend of travelling, events and nerves I have taken an extra day off training but am now back on track and preparing for the World Championship Final in Beijing on the 9th September.
Thankyou very much for all of your help, support, guidance encouragement etc etc. I do appreciate it all and do not take any of it for granted.
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