Wednesday, 26 October 2016

ITU Olympic Distance World Championships - Cozumel, Mexico, October 2016 - Val Place

posted by COREtriathlon's Val Place....

This year is was not about going long, but getting faster-so after 2 Ironman races in one year an Olympic should be a piece of cake!
Qualifying race for the world champs held in Mexico was at St Neots in May - having been for 1 dip in Haysden Lake the week before I knew it was going to be a very cold swim 12 degrees but luckily one of the warmest days, so after a breathtaking swim it was nice to jump on the bike and warm up immediately 1st time on the tt bike and it felt good. 
Run went well and I was gaining on 2nd place 20seconds behind.
Qualified 3rd so job done and now I had a focus.
Cozumel:- booked with Nirvana who sourced fantastic accommodation and organised transfers - booked flights and grabbed a bargain.

I had the chance to do the world aquathon champs which is a great warm up race 4 days before standard tri. 
This was 2.5k run- a dive into the ocean off the pontoon! (Not dived since I was 10)-1k swim then 2.5k run again this went well and managed 5th place.

It was very hot and learnt that I would need to hydrate well wear a hat and use ice to keep cool when I do main race. 
Sunday morning -race day up at 4.30 early breakfast.

Headed to transition put water bottles on bike ( 2 needed as it was hot) pumped tyres and out by6.30am 
Race start was 7.50 and it was announced that there was a strong current and swim may be shortened. 
No wetsuits as water was 27 degrees. 

Swim was tough - current strong was hoping to be out in about 25-27 minutes so was shocked to see 35 minutes on my watch! 

T1 was fast and I was off on the bike it was flat and fast and I was soon overtaking lots of ladies and men by halfway I had finished one bottle of energy drink so topped up and  got back to pushing hard on the bike averaging just under 23 mph -I was happy with that and entered t2 passing another USA athlete in my age who I recognised from previous races seeing her on many podiums. 

Running was so hot and was not going to be fast. Making good use of the icy water I filled my hat and kept my head cold 2nd lap and was still passing athletes collapsing, walking and generally wobbling ! I felt fine and started to pick it up not my best 10k but finished standing and felt fine!
Lots were taken to medical for  iv fluid suffering from heat stroke and dehydration.

Checked results to see I had come 5th in the world and 2nd Brit just 17 seconds behind 4th. Was thinking when looking at the athletes in my age group that 10th would be a good achievement as 2 athletes had a podium at Kona last year and another couple had won medals at itu events previously. So very happy with 5th. And more important I had a great time and a great holiday and met some great people. 

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