The bike course was 8 loops around a beautiful park, with a challenging hill on each lap. There was a Specialized prime line at the top of the hill, with $500 up for grabs on each lap. I had no intention of going for any of them, but I was feeling great leading up the first hill and thought I may as well try. I stood up and went for it with another girl in a Tour-de-France style sprint to the line, slightly dramatic, and I actually got it! That never happens! I was in the same situation on the 2nd lap so I went for it with Lisa Norden, and just barely got it again. A solid swim and 2 bike primes to start the race, I was actually having fun! I knew that some strong runners including Emma Moffatt were in a chase pack about 30 seconds behind us, so I worked hard with the other girls to maintain our lead. The hardest part for me was the technical and steep descent, where I got super nervous and put on my breaks every time, leaving a gap to the girls in front of me. I felt bad for everyone who got stuck behind me! I’m a major wimp on down hills.
I had a decent 2nd transition compared to my usual dead last exit, but Andrea Hewitt took off like a rocket. I slowly reeled her back in and we were soon caught by Helen Jenkins. I was working hard but I felt in control and I knew that I had another gear in me if one of the girls decided to surge ahead. I was happy to run with them and try to make a gap on the last 180-degree turn towards the finish. This didn’t go exactly as planned, as Helen stayed with me right until the blue carpet. I managed to keep a small lead on her, looking over both shoulders all the way to the finish.
I’m more excited about how well things went DURING the race than I am about the actual result. It’s a big confidence booster to know that I am able to come out of the swim with the leaders and be strong on the bike. This course didn’t leave room for any mistakes on the swim, bike or run, so I’m thrilled that I was able to put together a smooth and successful race.
I’m so appreciative of all the support that I had this weekend, from Bobby and the Specialized crew (who replaced my cracked bike frame within 4 hours after I arrived!!), Patrick, Kyla, Kim, John, and the whole ITU and organizing committee who put on such a fantastic race. I could not be in this position right now without the help of these people and so many others!
I’ve just arrived in Kitzbuhel, where we’ll train for 2 weeks before the next race on June 20th. I’m looking forward to the change of scenery and this is certainly a beautiful place to be.
Thanks for cheering for me!