Battling with some illness from the week out of race day I was a bit unsure if I’d make my way to the start line on Sunday for the race, after hitting the worst point of the chest infection/cough the day before. After an almost silly amount of lemon and ginger tea I was feeling a bit better come the morning of race day and was ready to go out and give it all I had.
From the start there seemed to be two distinct groups, one going left and one going right, or straight to the buoy it appeared from where I was. I unfortunately ended up getting caught in with the group heading off course to the left, and swimming the extra meters off course certainly didn’t help me. I exited the water in 50th position and was one of the last to join on the large chase pack. During my pre-race training it was my cycling that the illness was effecting the most, strangely, I was struggling to get in a deep breath without coughing so I’m not sure if it was just me suffering or not but the first 10km of the bike was hard! From there it got better, but the 20k still seemed to go by extra quick and before I knew it we were dismounting and off on a hard and fast 5km run.
Both Mario Mola and Richard Murray were in the same group as me so I knew I had to go with these guys to salvage the best result possible after being 40 (ish) seconds down of the lead group. Mola had some T2 difficulties so we didn’t see him at all on the run but I was on Murray’s feet and holding for as long as I could. After just 500m in I could see the gap to the tail end of the front group had reduced massively, and I thought we were going to really run ourselves into the pointy end of the field. Coming back round the grandstand to start lap two of two I was starting to yo-yo off the back, but was fighting hard to stick with Murray as I knew it would be better to have someone to run with for as long as possible over running solo chasing. Murray eventually broke me and ran himself into 5th position with a 14:12 5km split, and I managed to get myself up into 11th place with the third fastest run time of 14:23 (Mola 14:22).
From where I started the ride and my position on starting the run, I was really happy I was able to finish up with a pretty strong 11th place by the end. I’m now stepping into a big training block with some lower key races before racing Hamburg WTS and then the Rio test event in the coming months.