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Mooseman IM70.3 Race Report

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Mooseman IM70.3 Race Report

There is certainly nothing exciting to report on after my first race on this tour. Luckily I wasn’t expecting any fireworks, otherwise I might have been disappointed at the outcome, but it would have been a good confidence booster to get off to a better start. But instead of heading straight to Boulder, Colorado where we’ll be based for the next 3.5 months, and spending 2-3 easy weeks adapting to the altitude, and then going to check where my form is at, I figured it would be nice to have an early hit-out, even if it meant getting ruffled up a bit. There’s nothing better to motivate you to get your ass in gear than to taking a beating.

From years of travelling to overseas races, I’ve learnt that my body doesn’t cope well with travel. Whether it’s the jetlag or 28 hours of planes, trains, and automobiles, doing a race within a week or two of arrival has never gone well (this is one of the main reasons I’ve always travelled to Hawaii a month in advance). To compound the travel issue, I don’t do cold well, never have, never will. Give me 40degC over 10degC any day. So when I arrived at the race start with the thermometer at a balmy 8degC, I knew I was in for a “wonderful” day.

On a positive note, I swam well (probably because at 16degC, the water was the warmest place in New Hampshire), which considering the way I was feeling, made me happy. I struggled at times to hold the leaders feet, but was never in danger of getting dropped, and actually thought I was onto a good thing here. But as soon as I exited the water and stripped from my wetsuit, those thoughts vanished.

Trying to get my frozen feet into my cycling shoes ended in disaster as the shoe unclipped from the pedal heading down a slight hill at about 50km/h, which meant stopping, turning back, getting my shoes on while stationary, and getting going again. By this time the two leaders on the bike where long gone, and I never saw them again. I battled on in the freezing conditions, but my legs just never found any rhythm and I struggled up every one of the many, many hills. Thoughts of calling it quits for the day crossed my mind many times, but I managed to convince myself that no amount of training can replace race experience at this level, no matter how badly the race was going. I lost many minutes to the leaders on the bike, and got caught by another strong biker, Tom Lowe, at 70km. Thankfully, I eventually had someone to pace off and take my mind off all the negative thoughts, and the two of us entered the transition together in 3rd and 4th, 7 minutes off the leaders.

If I thought the bike was bad, well the run was worse. Heavy, dead legs, saw mw battling through what felt like the longest 21,1km of my life. I’m quite sure I’ve had training sessions that have been faster and more comfortable than today’s race, but I still had to keep pushing as hard as my frozen body would allow me to go to hold onto fourth place, as Zack Ruble in fifth, was gunning me down.

It was great biking by eventual winner and runner up, Maxim Kriat and Paul Ambrose, that set up a comfortable race for them, and I‘m sure we‘ll see more of each other as the summer goes on. As for me, that was probably one of the hardest races I’ve struggled through in a very long time, but on the bright side, they can only get easier from here.

Annah Watkinson - Race Report IM Brazil 2017

After a great first year racing in the professional category in 2016, I was amped for the 2017 season. Feeling stronger and fitter and more in the "right head space" - I had done some great training over December spending many many many (and many more) hours on the bike - I loved it. My swim was starting to click, I was starting to understand the phrase "feel the water", and my running was strong

READ ONAnnah Watkinson - Race Report IM Brazil 2017
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