Saturday, 22 September 2012

Tongyeong World Cup



After a long plane flight from Europe and arriving 7 hours ahead of the time we have been living at for the past 5 months, Korea awaited us for the last 5 days of our overseas trip. I have heard many things about Tongyeong especially the range of food choices and the lack of things to do. I am more than happy to live off rice and tuna for a few days but I was more worried about how long it’s been since my Olympic distance triathlon. Tongyeong does offer adamant facilities to swim, ride and run pre race.

An early start to race morning, I wasn’t feeling that well. Tired, change in eating times and nerves all settled in. The water was a fresh 20 degrees, a few degrees colder than a few days before. With only 26 girls starting, it was a small field to contend with. My first lap of the swim was an absolute shocker and I was stuck behind people and getting caught up in mid pack madness. Exiting the first lap, I was further back than I should have been and I knew I needed to make my move up or my day would be over. I started making my move through the field and making sure I was near the front few. Exiting in 4th there was plenty of girls around to make a pack for our ride.

I don’t really remember when the two girls got up the road as that few seconds they had out of the swim gave them the opportunity to. The group and more importantly myself should have worked harder in that first few km’s as they were just gaining time on us so quick. I suppose from then on the group got complacent and let them go up the road.  The ride was far too easy for what it should have been. A few girls should have pulled their weight more or choose to sit at the back as this affected our effectiveness of catching the two out the front. A few attacks were pulled but none worked as we were all pulled straight back up.  I enjoy courses that are undulating with hills as it suits my style of racing. The 5 lap course went fairly quick with the two up the road gaining a minute 10 on us over the whole ride. We basically gave the race to Nicky with both hands and I knew it would be hard to catch her with such a lead.

Coming onto the run with the heat and humidity, I had to be smart about hydration and how fast I was running. The first 5km felt really comfortable running with Czesnik of Poland. Having only done sprint distances over the past few months it felt unusual having two laps to go. The run course was interesting with lots of corners and sharp turns. I could see 3rd and 4th in the distance and it felt like we were slowly catching or keeping basically the same distance. Within the 3rd lap, Czesnik started to put some time into me, having a very strong second half. By the last lap, it wasn’t much that separated us all but I knew I had a comfortable 5th place.  5th is the best I have finished in a World Cup but this race showed more than ever that I just gave the race away so easily. I am happy there were a few confident aspects out of the race but otherwise I am looking forward to Auckland World Championships in 3 weeks.

Thanks to Triathlon Korea for putting on such a great event, Michael Barwick for massaging me without the right equipment ( a bedside table does the job J ) and Jamie Turner my coach for looking everything that we needed to race as elite athletes this weekend.

 

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