Champagne Podium at IM70.3 Buenos Aires
A successful journey out to Buenos Aires for Ben and I, we really do love this City. Below I share our thoughts on the race but first I highlight our “pre race recipe” that we go through leading into races to ensure we arrive at the start line ready to race at max. potential..
- Long Haul Flight London to Buenos Aires is a good 14hours flying time, one of the longer flights you can do.. unless you fancy taking the newly launched Qatar flight from Doha to Auckland!
- Think time zones and prepare meals accordingly. I take my own food on board and eat similar foods to home. For example a bowl of oats sprinkled with cinnamon, seeds and nuts was an easy choice that just required water once on board. I also had a lovely little side helping of fresh fruit with me to snack on throughout the flight.
- Hydrate, hydrate and hydrate.. not cool to be told by British Airways staff that they couldn’t fill my bottle to the top, Pardon! In addition to my 3/4 filled up bottle each time I had my own mug, tea bags and Manuka honey and also kept an electrolyte drink close by to sip occasionally.
- Keep moving.. this was pretty hard on the way out as Ben and I had the two middle seats but once I was up and out I would spend over 45mins walking about, chatting to the crew and stretching.
- Sleep.. easier said than done on board but a little travel pillow and lavender oil works for me. Ben sticks with the beers.
- Compression socks.. CEP are pretty cool and the colours are vibrant! I keep them on for a couple of hours post flight too.
- Race briefing.. All athlete briefings we go to athletes get wound up about something.. just relax, read all the information before the briefing so nothing is a surprise and enjoy the company you are in.. we certainly do.
- Goal setting.. Ben and I always prepare a “side goal” before any race to keep my focus and avoid too many pre race nerves. The side goal is always achievable and sets us up for a strong overall race.
- The day before.. No alarm just sleep for as long as needed unless there are pre race commitments. This is also a no fibre day. Some training but this is dependent on our training leading into the race. Before Buenos Aires it was an easy run that I swapped for more sleeping and a pre race effort session on the bike.
- Race morning.. I get up, shower, poodle about a bit then Ben gets up to get us organised and out of the door enabling enough time to get to transition as it opens. I love being the first one there.. so much more relaxing and you can really take your time running through the motions.
- Start line.. give your competitors a big shout “Good Luck” is fine haven’t tired anything else yet but you could experiment. My brother when we raced in Phuket together heard Chris McCormack shout “I am going off like a bullet!”.. it makes people smile plus it calms the nerves slightly.
I thank my coach Mark for teaching me all I know about pre race preparations that he has taught me over the last couple of years. All I have had to do is put them into practice. So to the race and getting out to Argentina to defend my title…
We arrived in Buenos Aires Thursday morning giving us three full days before the race. We spent the first day in our favourite part of the City, Palermo. A really trendy part of Buenos Aires with boutique hotels, lovely restaurants, beautiful breakfast spots and a swimming pool! The race organisers kindly picked us up the Friday morning..
We went through the motions of registration and pre race commitments and spent the rest of our time hitting the last few training sessions together and watching Delicious.. it’s a pretty weird story line but we love Dawn French.
A few pre race hiccups to sort our way through, for example the derailleur had shifted during travel on the bike and we were not able to hit all the gears.. Ben was onto this straight away and just calmly said he needed to pick up a tool when we go for the Press Conference, no big deal.
The night before the race was a little eventful. There were no taxis available to take us into town for dinner so in our “very” broken Spanish we ended up in a “big foot” truck driven by a local, zooming us into town and dropping us outside McDonalds, hilarious! Sitting down for diner that night we were told that there was no food available on the menu other than their pasta dishes.. so we found an Asian cuisine, shortly after getting our drinks we were being eaten alive by mozzies.. well Ben was I guess he tastes better! We managed to get a more discreet taxi back to our accommodation and ready to hit our final episode of Delicious.
Race morning.. I must admit I didn’t feel as light and springy as I usually do race morning but we went through the motions as usual. I biked 20mins to the race to get the legs moving and that gave me time to reflect on why we were racing and all the hard work that had gone into our preparations. First to arrive at transition, as always, and I was getting myself comfy in the number one rack. I jogged through T1 & T2 ensuring I was aware of the mount/ dismount line and any obstacles that may present themselves when feeling a little blurry later on in the day.
Race start.. I was aware of Hayley Chura and her excellence as a swimmer so I was expecting just one swimmer for sure to swim out front. With this in mind I had only one goal in the water and that was to minimise the gap as much as possible. This resulted in me swimming out front and leading the chase pack. We lost c. 100m to Hayley in the first 900m and this gap grew as we turned around the buoys to come back to transition. The gap was nearing 2.5 minutes .. ready to chase!
The bike course was three loops out and back so by 15km I would get an idea of my deficit to the front of the race. It was still over a minute at this point so heading back to where I knew Ben would be waiting for me to start the second lap I really put the hammer down to close the gap even more. 28km and brilliant I did it, the front of the race. Ben was delighted when he saw me come through first and I gave him a quick fist pump!
Laps 2 and 3 on the bike I continued to open up a consistent lead on 2nd and 3rd and coming into T2 the gap was over 6minutes to second and 10minutes to third. The run was exciting for me as I knew training suggested a stronger run split than I had achieved in Dubai. The pace was right on target for the first 12/15km and everything was feeling pretty good. The only concern was the gap was closing. With 6km to go I knew I would need to up my pace to hold onto the win.. Hayley was running too fast. I ran scared for a few Ks and then with just a couple of Ks to go Hayley was there, side by side. I upped the pace to stay on her shoulder.. the problem was the pace I was running was maxed out and had been for several Ks. The increase in pace forced me into a heartbreaking situation of not being able to hold on..
It is still eating away at me but I do take great confidence in our race and the fact that I raced to my potential. Training suggested those numbers I hit out there in Buenos Aires and I have got to be happy with that Champagne Podium!
Time now to recover strong, get a sharp block of training in and fly out to Texas with Ben to see the family and race IM70.3 Galveston wth a good friend Amy in just over 2weeks.
Thank you to Ben for his commitment and support.. we do this together and I am so fortunate, triathlon wouldn’t be possible without both of our love and excitement for the sport.
Witsup, Tri247, Eastern Daily Press and BBC Radio Norfolk thank you for sharing our race success World wide and locally, I really appreciate the support.
Race Hub thank you for having me on the team, I appreciate all the support you offer and the support from the team members. Congratulations to all Race Hubbies at the weekend.. Duncan ran a very inspiring Bath Half Marathon!
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