Thursday, 19 September 2013

World U23 Triathlon Championships 2013 - Hyde Park, London.


This was only my 2nd World Championships; I hadn’t raced at this level since 2010 when I raced Junior Worlds in Budapest in my 1st year in the sport. Back then I was na├»ve, I wasn’t exactly ready to compete, in fact I competed then with a double stress factor, but that is beside the point. In general, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing and I didn’t do myself justice at all.

This time around now as an Under 23 athlete, I approached the race having been in the sport a few years, and learnt an incredible amount in this time.
I stood on the start line confident, in honesty something I have very rarely done, I was upbeat, and ready to enjoy myself and leave everything on the course.

My race was  at 3pm on Thursday after the junior races and the U23 women, it involved a lot of waiting about but it also allowed me to watch the updates of the early races and watch my two good friends and training partners Marc Austin and Grant Sheldon pick up Silver and Bronze respectively. It is great to see athletes from your own training group do so well, and gives you a little bit of confidence in your own training going into the race.

I was ranked 46 out of 63 athletes, I managed to get a good pontoon start near the middle of the pontoon, pleasantly surprised by getting a slot further right than I thought I might have got.
I stood on the pontoon relatively nerve free, in fact the only thing I was thinking about was the fact that they were not playing the usual ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ theme tune.

The starting horn went of and I got off to a great start, two groups formed either side of me, and I was confident in my own swimming to swim by myself instead of trying to get on feet, it paid, I got to the buoy just before everything started to merge. I managed to get around the buoys relatively civilized. I wont bore you with anymore in depth detail basically I had a good first lap but dropped a few places on the 2nd lap. Coming to the end of the swim I knew I was near the back of the lead pack and I had to empty myself to guarantee making it I was red lining the last 100m of the swim and the whole way through transition. Leaving transition and still not safely in, I put a good solid first 2km on the bike and it paid off.

Our lead pack of 21 wasn’t working overly well but was putting time into the groups behind for the 1st 20km, we got the gap up to 90secs but then people started to try and break away which in fact slowed our pace down. This along with the groups behind becoming organized resulted in the gap being reduced right back to 35secs as we entered T2.







On the run and straight away I knew I hadn’t brought my run legs with me, I guess a year with little run consistence doesn’t cut it at this level. I had needed that 90sec lead but now that it was only 35 the runners from behind were soon showing me how to run.




Finishing 35th left me slightly disappointed, as I felt it didn’t reflect the performance I put in, although I didn’t have a fantastic run, I came and did everything I came to do:- do my swim justice make front pack and have a good strong bike, I guess I cant be greedy I came a long way this season.





I still have two races left to the season, one next weekend, my 1st Senior World Cup which will be in Alicante and then back to Spain 3 weeks later for a European Cup in Sevilla.


After Sevilla I will have some time off, and then get stuck into a good winters training ready for a breakthrough season ;)

Russell.