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Las Vegas Race Report

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Las Vegas Race Report

The days leading up to the IM 70.3 World Champs I felt pretty wretched. The legs ached on every ride and run, and I felt slow and uncoordinated when swimming. From the moment I arrived, I was thinking that this was a bad idea, and wanted to leave. But despite this, I remained focussed on the fact that this was just another hard training session and the result was not that important in the bigger scheme. Still, I never plan on doing a race to make a total fool of myself, and with the world’s top 70.3 distance athletes all gathered to do battle in Las Vegas, I was still determined to do the best I could.

Once again, the non-wetsuit swim suited me perfectly. The swim was uneventful and I comfortably swam in the back of the lead bunch avoiding the punches and kicks that is normally associated with 23 other bodies in close proximity thrashing their arms and legs. The deficit at the end of the swim was only 1m30 to ace swimmer Andy Potts, and only 30sec separated the next two dozen athletes.

For the first 15km I held back to see who the main movers were going to be, but no one seemed to want to make the first move. My legs didn’t feel fantastic, but I figured why the hell not, and off I went on my own, taking the lead. And for a while I thought my move might have paid off, but at the 35km turn around I saw the chase peloton of 10-12 guys working together to bring me back. I had about a 30sec lead, but knew I couldn’t hold off a bunch, especially since we had now turned into a headwind. I eased off a bit, and the group caught me about 10km later. Just the leader of the group past me at first, the others were content to stay behind. Then two more came past, and all of a sudden a ref was next to me, telling me “not to be stupid”. My first thought was that he was telling me not to try and ride away from the bunch on my own because it was a waste of energy, because surely he couldn’t be insinuating that I was drafting a group of guys that had worked together to catch me? After all, I was maintaining the same gaps that they were all holding between each other. A few km later, as we exited the hilly section of the course, and we were free-wheeling down one of the hills, I was shown a red card for drafting. Quite shocked, I shook my head, then, pissed off I took off, putting a minute between myself and eventual winner Alexander, and 2min to the rest of the group before the finish.

Before the run could start however, I had to dismount, serve a 4min penalty, get back on the bike and head into T2. At this stage I was considering taking my stuff and getting the hell out of Dodge, but calmed myself into remembering that I was just here for the training. So I spent the rest of the 4mins telling the ref what I thought of his decision. All of which naturally won’t help me in Kona, so already I’m probably going to be a marked man. Guess I’ll just have to ride away on my own.

Anyway, I decided to run. Sort of slowly at first, thinking I would just jog a 21km training run, but then I just cut loose out of frustration. By 12km I had worked my way into 7th position, but the rest of the guys were too far ahead and moving too well for me to make up any more positions. Ultimately my performance was pretty good on the day. I felt good (not great), and raced well for where I am in my training. It all bodes well for Kona, but as we all know, anything can happen between now and then.

Alexander was great, and was no doubt the best athlete, but on this day I was good for a podium at a World Championship event. Will I ever get another chance to be in that position?


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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