IM WA - race report
What an epic experience! I was feeling really good going into the race and was excited to test the legs.
Lining up with the other pro females on Sunday morning was brilliant! It is slightly odd to be stood next to ladies I have followed in triathlon for the last few years, and I definitely felt like a bit of an imposter. The start is definitely a bit different, I wasn’t really ready to run down the beach and into the water, and need to practice my running and diving into the sea. I managed to keep with a group for around 1500m but lost feet as we headed towards the second lap, and it was then a long and lonely swim. I am pretty disappointed in my swim - in training it has been going pretty well post Kona so I was hoping to be 3-4 mins quicker than I ended up being.
Through t1 and as I went to jump onto my bike I nearly came straight off as my back wheel was jammed. Turns out I had put the wrong tyre on which as I had pumped it up more was jammed on the hydration system - so I had to spend some time taking some air out and generally fiddling around. It continued to rub a little bit for the first 40-50k but at least I was moving!
I was then really enjoying the bike - I caught quite a few of the ladies within 60k and could see I was gaining on some of the top 5 with all the out and backs. I really enjoyed the fact that it was completely individual especially on the first lap - no men around to get tied up in, and I could just get on with holding my power and racing my race. Then with 30k to go my back tyre punctured. I managed to get gas into it reasonably quickly, although had to keep it fairly low pressure so as not to rub. It lasted for 15k and then went completely flat, and as I was out of gas I had to roll in on my rim. There were some interesting corners I nearly stacked and it was frustrating to lose so much time in that section when the legs were feeling ok.
Through t2 and I was relieved to be off the bike!! I felt great running, and settled into my Ambitious pace for the marathon. The first 2 laps were great, legs felt amazing and I thought I could still be on for a reasonable overall time. Then on the 3rd lap a knee niggle flared up again and I had to do a fair bit of walking to stretch it out.
I wanted to pull out many times on that 3rd lap, and it was a real mental battle to keep going. Fortunately I managed to get moving slowly again, and I knew how disappointed I would be to dnf my first pro race.
The support was fantastic - lots of ladies I had met at the Witsup breakfast gave me amazing cheers.
Crossing the finish line was great - whilst not the result that I was hoping for in terms of being able to show where I’m at, it was good to see how different pro racing is, and hopefully the next one I won’t have some of the mechanical issues I had this time.
Can’t wait to step up my game post some chill time over Christmas, and see what next season brings.
Thank you everyone for all the amazing support - it made a huge different in keeping me going through the tough moments.
All photos - Witsup