Dear blog, I’m sorry I’ve been lazy and not updated after Ishagaki. I did have a wee video, but cannot upload it so ill add that when I figure out how!
So, Ishagaki. 4 flights to get there, but I managed not too bad as we arrived at night time and I slept like a baby. Tommy Evans travelled with me this time, Triathlon Irelands new cycling coach. He works with most of us, consulting with Chris on our training. We met with Gav, Emma & Ben who had travelled from Australia, and we palled about with some of the British too on some long rides around the beautiful Island of Ishagaki. The race was well organised and the people super friendly. I was invited to the pre-race press conference for the first time and so I went and answered a few questions about my season and preparations. Helen Jenkins then decided not to start after her injuries from the bike crash in Sydney. We were warned not to say anything to dramatic about the earthquake and nuclear situation as our words could easily be taken out of context with translation. But we all just passed on our sympathies and said we loved Ishagaki.
Race day arrived and the weather was mild, great for me as it can get really hot and the humidity high there. I warmed up as normal and selected the far right side of the pontoon because I had decided on the practice swim it would be best- there was a bit of current R-L. The space beside me was empty for a while and Kerry Lang took it. As a good swimmer it was good for me, I should try to stay with her. I got a good start, my wee video shows I lead for 50m! But alas my speed endurance wasn’t there and I dropped a bit coming up to the first turn bouy, got beat up and ended up in a bunch. After the first lap I made a mistake of taking the inside line and spend the first 100m swimming on-top, under and breaststroke just to breath- in the middle of people. I couldn’t get past the people even though I wanted to swim faster and could see a gap opening with Kerry out front.
A small group had a lead out onto the bike, with Kerry and a few others. Our large group containing all the race favourites (Riveros, Gentle, Udi, & a few other Japanese athletes) were only 20 seconds back, but there was no-one working together, instead people were trying constantly to break away. This worked to our advantage as it was what caught us up. As we were catching, two of the athletes in the breakaway touched wheels and Kerry Lang went down. After that there were 35 of us together and I really had to be careful, so I stayed near the front. Emma too stayed near the front and we tried to breakaway at one stage! Might as well try!.. Coming into transition I was not going to be stuck in that pack, so I took a chance and rode really hard off the front on the last 1k to try get into T2 good. I busted my legs, but got decent positioning and ran hard for the first 1k up the bridge overtaking everyone including Riveros-Diaz. But not for long, she overtook me on the second climb of the bridge, but we had stretched out the group. I was overtaken by Dalmincourt and tried to stay with her, and I overtook her again on the second lap. On the downhill I got cramp in my legs and had to run steady to make it stop. Luckily I had a gap on Dalmincourt and Niwata and was able to hold onto second without having to sprint!
Second in my first World Cup of 2011. Wooooo. As it counts for last years Olympic Points (Year1 runs 1 June 2010- 31 May 2011) It will boost my ranking again. I moved to Rank 15 in the World and hold the 11th slot in the Olympic Simulation. Wooo again. Go me.
Japan was fun, the people almost too nice (it made you feel bad), food well erm, interesting (deep fried squid taco balls) and we had a nice after race party. I even missed the 5.7 earthquake as i was on the phone and didnt notice!?
Totally happy with my race and now looking forward to the next which is a French Grand Prix race in Dunkerque 22 May, with Madrid WCS 2 weeks later on 4th June.