The season has started! This past weekend I competed in the Mooloolaba World Cup, placing 35th in my season opener. This was not exactly the start I was looking for, but it did its job by shaking off all of the cobwebs from the off season. Coming down from altitude and a colder climate had its challenges, and it showed with my flatness on the run. Even with the sub par result, I still had a blast racing on one of the toughest courses on the circuit!
The morning of the race was pretty relaxed with a 1:30pm start. I rolled through my warm up and check in, and before I knew it I was on the line waiting for the start command. The first race of the season is always a nerve racking experience, especially when they play the famous ITU drum bit for a few minutes before the start. Finally, the horn went off and all 75 of us ran down the beach into the surf. My run did not last too long. A few meters into the surf I tripped and found myself dolphin diving to try to get back in the group. I was a bit worried about the beach start because of something like this, but it ended up not being a huge problem. I was able to get up into the first group and be one of the first feet before heading back in. On the way back in I was able to catch a bit of a wave and come out of the water in one of the top few spots for the long beach run to T1.
Coming out of T1 I found a good wheel, got my feet in the pedals and looked around to see if we had a break. It turned out we had about 15ish people in our group with a small gap to the rest of the field behind us. Unfortunately, our group did not work well together. After trying to get the group going for a lap, it looked like it was not going to stick, so I sat up and waited for the catch. After that, it was all about positioning and staying out of trouble. I tried to stay invisible for the next few laps, and on the last one I made sure to go to the front for the last time up the hill to get into position for the technical run into transition. It was not difficult to stay near the front, and only had to put in a surge or two to hold position. I came into T2 about 3rd, and was ready for a quick run after feeling pretty solid on the swim and bike.
I was 2nd out onto the run, but right from the start I could tell it was going to be a bit rough. I felt tight, and from there on out. I tried my best to hold it together, but today was not the day. However, it was awesome to see my fellow USA teammates tearing it up on the course. That helped me stay strong and get to the finish line.
Now the plan is to refocus and sharpen up for Auckland WTS coming up on March 28th. I am excited to race on one of the courses that I think suits my abilities the best. My training has been based around this type of race: Olympic Distance, mild weather, and a strength course.
As always, thank you to all of my sponsors!