Rapperswil 70.3

I opened my European race season with IM Rapperswil 70.3 at the beginning of June. I often get asked how I choose my races, and of course there are a variety of reasons. But at Rapperswil, the beautiful scenery and amazing spectators, particularly when running around with the Swiss flag on your bib, are unbeatable.

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Amazing support the whole way around the course at 70.3 Rapperswil

I was relatively relaxed going into the race, and really looking forward to being back on a startline after 6 weeks away from it. I had done the race once before, and been up to do a bike recce beforehand to calm the nerves a bit. So here’s how it went.

The swim was perhaps my favourite bit of the day. The gun went and I swam hard, with the aim to try and see if I could stick on Daniela Ryf’s feet. We’ve been doing a fair bit of work on my swim for the first half of the year, and it paid off, that and my new Sailfish wetsuit. A pb of 24.34 over the 1900m, and coming out just behind Daniela and with no one I could see too close on our tails.

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2nd out the water on the feet of Daniela

Onto the bike, and I was a touch slow through transition, and by the time I was settled on the bike, Daniela had flown away. The first loop of the hilly bike course I did mainly alone, with a couple of the male pros we caught in the swim floating around. I held myself back up the hills, knowing there were plenty of them, and also aware of the infamous “Stairway to Heaven” on the run.

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Out of T1 with my personal escort 

Onto the second loop of the bike and suddenly the whole vibe changed. The age-groupers were on the course and the roads weren’t quite so clear. Luckily, I had the motorbike in front trying to keep the road clear.

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Almost wanted to stop to take in the view 😉 

The nature of the course is that there are some sharp climbs, which became a real problem when there were so many people on the course not respecting the rules. There are strict and fair rules in Ironman racing, and when you are being followed by a race official, the smallest error can cost you dearly. I had to work to overtake people riding in the middle of the road on their left hand side, all without crossing the middle line. Not straightforward.

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And of course, then it was onto the run, and I was given my splits to the other girls as I made my way through transition, and carried on receiving the updates from various incredible supporters around the course. My legs didn’t feel too fresh, but I was holding an ok pace. After lap 1 (of 2) I realised that if I could hold it steady and not be broken by the 2nd climb up the infamous Stairway, then it was unlikely I’d get caught.

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Enjoying perhaps the only bit of shade on the run course

It was an incredible feeling come down the finish shoot, high fiving mum just before crossing the line.

Of course, Daniela had put in a stunning performance and arrived quite a while before me, spurred on by chasing down the boys one by one. But to come second to the current Ironman and half Ironman world Champion was quite a feat for me, and a good marker of where I stand.

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With Daniela Ryf (1st place – middle) and Skye Moench (3rd place – right) at the finish line

I had also knocked a fair chunk of time off my 2016 result across all the disciplines, thank you Mr Jürgen Zäck. To top it off, Dad finished shortly (ish…) after me, and qualified for the 70.3 World Champs in South Africa later this year, where I have also qualified for.

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As ever, thank you to all my sponsors and family for their support, through the thick and the thin, White and Wong, the Z-Coaching Phuket team, Jiakina Customized (my amazing new tri-suit), Sailfish, Revv Energy Thailand for keeping me fuelled to the final km, and of course Project Artisan Phuket.

The recovery after the race wasn’t quite as obvious, but that’s another story for another time…

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Race Report: Bangsaen Triathlon 2016  

Most people who do triathlon competitively, or any other sport competitively, or any other hobbies competitively, are likely to be very good at putting pressure on themselves.

It’s one of my fortes. In some situations it is a forte- but for some it can be harmful, and just end in disappointment.

So for my first triathlon of 2016 – my first real “test” since deciding to train full-time, I decided to not overthink it. Enjoy the experience, and see where my limbs would take me.  Continue reading Race Report: Bangsaen Triathlon 2016  

Lessons from a turbulent open water swim

Ok, admittedly this isn’t front page news: Today I had an Awful Swim Session. But, every cloud has a silver lining, and I managed to draw a few important lessons from it.

So Wednesday is open water swim morning: we all meet at the beach early to avoid the jet-skis, and generally tend to swim out to a boat or landmark for about half an hour, and then back for half an hour. Continue reading Lessons from a turbulent open water swim

Laguna Phuket Triathlon 2015

Initially I thought Chicago was to be my last race of the 2015 season, but then there was a change to plan. I decided to take some time to focus on triathlon whilst training in Phuket, and suddenly LPT 2015 was set to be a pretty incredible race for me for several reasons.

Firstly, my new training group Z-coaching calls Laguna it’s home, and thus for the club as a whole, LPT was the race of the year.For me personally, it was also the first time I had the opportunity to be on the start line with some of the top pros. And what an event it proved to be! Continue reading Laguna Phuket Triathlon 2015

External Forcing

In my previous post, I mentioned the analogy between human and Earth’s boundaries. How if we go at something full force without taking a break to recover, we’ll eventually burn out, in the same way that we’re burning our planet out.

But some deep thoughtful friend of mine threw in a wild card: what about external influences to these ‘closed’ systems with defined boundaries? Continue reading External Forcing

Sustainable Development – An Athlete’s Persepective

How time flies! Apparently it’s been over a week and a half since I landed in Phuket, and my body can certainly verify this.

After taking several weeks ‘off-season’ in Sept/Oct, with minimal physical exertion, just enough to keep the legs ticking over, training in Phuket has certainly been a shock to the system. Especially in the swimming department, where 20 km weeks are suddenly the norm. But how can I complain? I’m absolutely loving it, and every session is a challenge to me. Continue reading Sustainable Development – An Athlete’s Persepective

Chicago ITU Olympic Distance Age-Group World Championship

This race was the last in my pretty packed 2015 triathlon season. Coming second at the Deva triathlon qualified me to compete for GB in the Olympic distance age group World Championships. Continue reading Chicago ITU Olympic Distance Age-Group World Championship