So…. 2011 hasn’t exactually started of the way I wanted it to go.. With a bit of a mess up at SA triathlon Championships finishing 3rd U23 and 9th Elite. Travelling from Cape Town Thursday 31st March and arriving in Antalya-Turkey Friday 1st April, the trip was smooth as butter and I travelled with Marie Rabie the whole journey J “Marie placed 12th”
Staying at the Club Hotel Sera was amazing! You can’t go wrong with a 5 star host hotel J My mindset for the event was great and I was hoping for a top 20, or just to gain some ITU points to move up in the ITU “international triathlon Union” rankings.
Day before race day, and the heavens opened!! Temperature dropped by 10degrees and the forecast for the following day would be rain-rain and maybe a Storm or 2…
No problem, I LOVE hectic weather and can take on anything mother nature has to throw at me. Race day dawned and I awoke late, Just like the Spanish do! Staying in Madrid for the following week with Daniel Rodriguez and the Spanish tri team, was a good idea to get to know them before the race!
The race venue was situated +-40 minutes away from our hotel, and thus all the athletes needed to catch the bus and put our VERY expensive pieces of machinery into a Truck…. I reckoned the price of all the bicycles was probably worth around 1-2 million Rand and this would mesh together while the truck swayed from side to side! But thanks to sponsors, wasn’t to bothered…. Thanks Axus 🙂
Arriving at the race venue and the weather was holding, until I went for a warm up run… Then the clouds burst and started to rain cats and dogs!!
Asking a Ukrainian athlete for their towel, I was soon into my new race suit and TYR wetsuit. Was quite funny seeing 30 triathletes getting changed in a resturant… New baby oil, swim cap and goggles on, and I was down to the rocky beach for a swim warm up… Boy o boy was it choppy as the wind was pumping at about 45km/h making sighting for the bouy a nightmare , never mind fending off other animal traithletes in the process.
Swim warm up done and I was ready to battle the Mediterranean sea like the “ Venga Boy “ did.
Starting #15 this was SHweet, selected my position on the starting grid and we were under starters orders….. BANGGGG!!! And we were off…
I will admit, this was the most hectic swim I have done before, HANDS DOWN , left goggle got a smashing in , was swimming on bodies for about 100meters and all the way, there was not even a bouy in sight!
Soon we started to settle a bit and we were at bouy 1 .There were about 50 people decided to skip the bouy and move onto bouy 2 ha-ha. So I did the same hoping not to get DQ’d.
Towards bouy 2 I was in the front pack and swimming well, but towards the shore I lost contention of the font pack. Coming out of the water and moving back into the CRAZE Sea I had some work ahead of me… Swimming to bouy 1 again, even breathing was a challenge and I saw that I had lost about 30-50 sec on the leaders already “hard to judge when you only see them for 1-2sec’s before water rises.
Coming out of the swim I knew my race was going to be a struggle, and the last 100meters of the swim took a life time, with my stroke going out of the window!
Into transition and the sad sight of only about 10 bikes, this was going to SUCK. A fast transition thanks to baby oil on legs, wrists and neck allowed me to get out fast and on the wheel of Etienne Diemunsch “FRA” who is a very fast runner indeed.
First 5min on bike and I felt like my switch hadn’t been turned on yet. I was ready but my body couldn’t react to the fast pace at which the 2 athletes in front of me were going.
Feeling helpless and slow, I waited for the pack behind me to catch me and decided to work with them, but even this was a mission…
Onto last 3 of the bike, and thoughts of stopping came to mind , as I was +-5min down on the leaders and soon after this thought I got a Puncture! WONDERFUL! So the walk back, of 3km, with the other athletes watching me, didn’t go to well with me, and the rain starting to pelt down didn’t help the mood… Being the beginning of the international triathlon season for me ,I had high hopes , and I guess I should get my ASS into gear and swim myself into a coma!….
Next event 9th April “next weekend” ITU European Cup Quarteira – Portugal and I hope that my mind and Body recovers from this 2nd bad race of 2011…. Not sure what is going on, but I will solve it!
Till next time, little lesson I learnt this year…. Never stop, even when you have got to where you want to be, there can always be some way to better your best!! Leaving it when you have it will result in you losing all the hard work done….. BE smart, focus and never settle for OK/Average, be different.
Till next weekend Sunday,
Peace , Rich*