I got back in the air last week on my way to Europe with a quick stop off in China for one of the races in the ITU World Long Course Championships which proved to be a good move, giving me a bit more confidence in my form before Europe.
I reluctantly left home at 5:30am on Wednesday and with several connections and delays arrived in Weihai 30 hours later. With a couple of days before the race I had heaps of time to recover and I actually felt fresher than I had since I started my new program with Brett four weeks earlier.
Race day came by pretty fast. With a later starting time we got to have a sleep in and after our introductions hit the water at about 9 in the morning for our 3km swim/80km Bike and 20km run.
The water was so cold it was on the borderline of being shortened to 1500m or cancelled all togeather. Somewhere around 15 degrees.. We ended up racing the 3km course broken down into 750m laps and I managed to stick with the lead pack of about six guys. What I didnt know at the time was that one of the guys had raced away by himself and had about a minute gap back to the rest of us.
The bike course was seriously tough and technical with strong winds making it hell the whole way. It was so tough that I almost rode the entire 80km without seeing any of my competitors. It was’nt until the last half lap that I caught one of the guys in front of me, a young russian guy that I thought was suffering bad from the hard bike, then as I came into T2 I caught the race leader, Kieren Doe to find myself leading the race comfortably. I thought if I could just hang in there I would have the win for sure! After the first 5km loop I felt good and had a clear gap back to second which was now the young Russian kid that I had passed on the bike but it was’nt much longer and I started to lose all my efficiency and speed and slowed down fast. Pretty quickly I was back to second place and struggling to hold onto that. Coming into the last km 3rd place caught me and we both had to serve a time penalty together for not putting our helmets in our boxes when we came into transition, I got out a little earlier but still could hardly get my feet moving and Kieren sprinted straight past me for second place leaving me to take third wondering what had happened. Hopefully it was just a combination of just not enough km after injury and the heat that affected me as my hydration and nutrition were both fine.
Although I had a bad race I got a good result, hopefully when I have a good race I will have an even better result!