This race was one of my major goals this year, and it was satisfying to pull it off and perform when planned.
Penticton Canada, was the race destination this year, to hold the first ITU Multisport festival World Champs, which included Duathlon, along with Aquathon, Long Distance Tri, and Cross Triathlon.
Penticton was not what I expected of BC Canada at all! I had envisioned lush green forest surrounding me, mountain backdrops and wild bears looming not too far away. Penticton however is more the desert of Canada. Still very pretty, but warm and dry with wineries and drier folage, based beside Lake Okanagan to replace my lush forests I had in my head.
But when it comes to racing this suited me just fine. I am an Aussie after all and hot and dry weather is in my blood!
I dropped in late to Penticton from my training base in the USA, giving myself just over day to get settled. Friday morning was the bike recon and seeing this course only gave me a confidence boost and a smug smile. It was hard...like really hard! a 6 lap bike course with a huge amount of climbing every lap. I knew then and there that this race would be a battle of attrition and strength. You could only win this race if you were strong and could hold your own. I had not expected the course to be so tough prior to arriving, but the training I had done in the weeks lead up had prepared me exactly for this type of course regardless.
Race day came and I was feeling good. Not amazing I must admit. But it was go time so it didn't matter anymore whether I was ready or not!
The girls field was small, but not short on quality. We had some very quality runners in there, past World Champs, and I knew I would have to be smart in this race.
What most people don't know, is that my running prep had been next to nothing. Unfortunately 5 or 6 weeks out from the race I rolled my ankle and was unable to run. No, very not ideal for a Duathlon World Champs! I couldn't even walk let alone run for a while. I managed a couple of key sessions prior to racing to get me as race ready as I possibly could under the circumstances. I had maintained my fitness other ways, and full kudos has to go to my coach for ensuring I kept my fitness up through this period. Whilst I was dummy spitting about being unable to run and prepare for this race properly. He ensured I still never missed a beat on the fitness front regardless to how unconventional it may have been.
So yes I was nervous about my run form. I was confident I was fit and strong, but I had honestly no idea how fast I could run or if my running legs would be on fire, or fall in a heap. All I knew is that I would have to be smart.
The first 10km was hot on the pace. Clocking in a 33.30 first ten km! The pace was being pushed by Sarah Dossena and Emma Pallant. I had expected to see these girls running hard, and one by one we whittled down to a group of 3 by the end of the first 10km. Perfect. A small group was best for this course.
I had a great transition and was out on the bike first and straight up the first of the long climbs. I was feeling pretty comfortable so kept pushing up the hill, expecting the 2 girls to jump on my wheel. Half way up the climb I still had a gap, and it was only increasing as the hill went up. So I made the decision to attack and go for it! It was a big gamble so early on in a race to go off front solo knowing it would be a 40km TT! A little scary. But under my circumstances and prep, I made the decision to go. Sometimes to win something big you have to do something big. So I committed to a TT effort, and it was the best decision I made that day.
Everyone would be tired after that bike, you had to be, it was the nature of the bike course, and after building a sizeable gap to 2nd and 3rd I was able to run the second run comfortably without any pressure, and without any risk to the great position I had found myself in. I was happy just to get the job done on the second run and be gentle on my poor run legs that just survived the biggest belting I had given them in a while!
I am ecstatic to claim my second World Title, and to represent the green and gold on the world stage once again.
Big congratulations to Margarita Garcia Canellas from Spain, and Emma Pallant from Great Britain for second and third place. Everyone earns their keep on that course.
Lastly a big thanks to all those that make this possible. Coach Cam, my supportive sponsors, those that help with my physio, massage, gym, local tri community, aussies and all those who cheered on the course. Thanks! Trisutto, my training buddies, friends that keep it real, those who take an interest and for all the well wishes, its all appreciated. Family and of course mum and dad that always ride the highs and lows too.
its a team effort.
Thanks to Delly Carr and Wagner Araujo for capturing the moments below too!