After two months of strenuous training, only topped by extensive beer doping, the big day had finally arrived: 17th September. ITU age group sprint world championships. I had miraculously qualified for Team GB in a race in Eton Dorney in May this year. Luckily I had become British just a few weeks earlier. That said I met quite a few Germans who were competing for Britain, I think more than for Germany!
On Wednesday evening there had been a parade with all countries. The UK, Mexico and the U.S. had the biggest athlete contingents. I felt proud to be British 🙂
My wave, female 30-34, was at 10:55am. I was sweating under my wetsuit in the blazing sun and was happy to get into the 17 degrees Celsius water. It was a deep water start and I kept in second row. Contrary to most of my races, I liked the swim in the fresh water Chicago harbour. It was clear and calm. Only the breakfast was heavy in my stomach. I need to work on my nutrition when I get back!
I exited the swim after 14:43min and ran the 360m to transition (hence the long transition time). I was already exhausted by the time I got to my bike!
The bike was fun as always. We cycled 3 laps on a closed to traffic highway, it was flat, but a bit windy. Chicago is called the Windy City for a reason, although it was nothing compared to some Lanzarote days. Even Eton Dorney can be a lot worse. I did about 43kmh with the wind and 28kmh against it. I loved the TT bike I had hired. Makes a difference. I think it might be a must-have next season 🙂
I then died on the run. I think that is where my lack of training really became apparent. I had tried to run regularly over the past weeks, but was not in good running shape, struggling to complete a 5k training run in less than 23min. At 11:55 am the running course was in full sun and hot hot hot! There was great support for Team GB from the spectators though. The run took me 25min and I was glad to cross the finish line. I drank about 3 litres straight after! Refreshed and happy I spent the next two hours cheering on everyone else regardless of nationality loving the sun at this point!
Overall, I finished in 1:21:13 in 63rd place out of 87 in my age. I can therefore safely say I am the 63rd best non professional triathlete in my age group!
This is of course far from true: at least one person is better than me: our team mate Sam who had qualified ahead of me. Shame you weren’t there, Sam!
The rest of my days in Chicago were spent enjoying margaritas and beer at the beach in the sun and dancing at night. Thanks to my friend Jon who hosted me for a week!