ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championship, Las Vegas

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Swim 4k, Bike 130k, Run 30k

My journey to the world championships began a few years ago after being inspired by fellow Hereford Age Group Triathletes who were representing Great Britain.

When we arrived at the venue we were told the swim was cancelled due to air temp of 2’C, which was mighty cold. The event changed to a bike and run which was not great news for me but OK. I would expect to do better in the swim than the bike but better still in the run.

The bike started as a time trial with just 5 seconds between riders. Amazingly lots of experienced athletes sprinted off on their bike with no regard to the 76 miles and 3500 feet of climbing that lay ahead. From 30 miles I started catching the early pace setters.

The bike course was in Lake Mead National Park which was beautiful and spectacular. By contrast the run course was in the city of Henderson, built up and alongside coned off traffic. An out and back lap of 4.5miles with 2 miles up and 2 miles down. The first two laps felt good but the last two were hell. I just kept going, gritting my teeth, steeling myself whilst hoping cramp would not affect me. I ate and drank all through the run and boy was I relieved to see the finish. I have never felt so exhausted nor felt such deep muscular fatigue, soreness and pain.

I was very satisfied with my result. The swim would have been interesting but it’s hard to imagine being more tired than I was. My time (06.34.09; bike: 04.03.42, run: 02.26.54) should be good enough to qualify for next year’s event  which is in Spain in July so I will have to give it another go, all being well.

Thanks to Mike Blenkinsop and Bill Berry, for making training so varied and interesting, and of course thanks to Liza, Toby, Oscar and Lucy for supporting me throughout.

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