Off the back of a podium finish in the Mooloolaba World Cup and some solid training I was excited and ready to make my World Tri Series debut at the Auckland leg of the series. I was stepping up into the unknown, having not raced at this level before, so I had no expectations on myself to get any particular result. I was here to experience, and get a feel for the racing of the WTS and the level I need to exceed in the future. So skip to the end, and I finished 38th. Certainly not a great result, but remember I wasn’t here for results. I was here to race in my World Triathlon Series debut and that I did, it wasn’t pretty, but the first is now out of the way and now I’m ready to take all that I didn’t know and use it to improve and get myself into the sort of position that I am actually capable of at the moment.
With everything completed as per usual with pre-race routines, we were lined up and selected starting positions and the race was underway. I got off to a pretty good start for the first 200m at least. There were two formed groups from the start, one to the left and one to the right, and then there was me and a few others somewhere in the middle. When the two groups came together around the buoy I got caught up in the fighting and ended up second best. And by second best I actually mean 3rd last, I went from a great position in the top 20 to that, before I could take in a breath of air... literally. I tried to compose myself and get back in the game, focusing on everything I could to finish the swim up in the best position I could from there, without much success. I’d lost the feet of the good swimmers and would be playing catch from then onwards. Anything can happen in a race and unfortunately this happened to me on arguably one of the toughest bike courses on the circuit to makes it even worse. It’s really not a great feeling to be running into transition and seeing just five bikes left, and it’s not something I’d like to experience again. I rode hard and with some help caught up to the next group in front after lap one, eventually making our way again up to the next group. This is starting to sound a bit positive, and I was at least recognising the names of some of the riders in the group which was something, but we were still two minutes plus down on the lead pack, really not an ideal situation. With not many contributing to the pace I found myself off the front of the group with two others including training partner Brendan Sexton but eventually finished the ride back in the group and onto the run.
A transition ‘mishap’ with my unset glue holding my orthotics had me behind in the early stages of the run and the extra effort in the swim and on the bike was taking its toll, my legs were smashed. I was doing all I could to get the most out of my first WTS experience but I was very glad once it was over.
I’ll be taking things a bit easy for a few days before getting back into the swing of things in preparation for my next race and the beginning of my overseas triathlon season.