During the 12 hour travel day poor Claire has to pay more at customs as she has a British passport, the control guys says ‘because she English she pay more’. As you can imagine Mark does not let her away with this and she is reminded a thousand times over the weekend. Friends back from turkey tell Claire its 50degress, and so we drink lots. It’s not as bad as they make out and when we get there a strong wind across the lake greets us- happy days (but it’s still 35 degrees).Before we make it to the airport Mark has already lost his sunglasses. But in his defence he had done some organising to get us there with the bikes in a 7seater.
With 2 days to prepare we make friends with the race referee over midnight food. Then local police woman in charge at the next days who joins us for Turkish pizza at lunch, then local bike shop owner (to borrow a seat post and saddle cos I accidently forgot it, woopsie). At the pasta party we make friends with the Turkish television guy and so we have met the entire town, we are treated like celebrities by everyone.
The race underway and Claire gets a great swim, out 3rd and me 9th I think. A lead group of 2, Claires group and me with some Ukrainian who sits on my wheel and will not help me at all. After another lap and me screaming at this Ukrainian a group come up from behind with the Canadian Murray, who Chris said mite.
So I stick on and do my share at the front, we catch Claire’s group quickly as she says they did not work together. Still I do a bit at the front (I shouldn’t have bothered as only 4 of us did). A good transition and I feel like my belly will explode on the run with all the water I drank gurgling around. I pick off only 1 runner from our group and the Canadian runs herself into 2nd. I finish in 7th running better on the second and third lap than the first but unable to make it up to the others. At least 3 of the girls in front of me didn’t do a turn at the front (at all), another lesson learned- fresh legs. Claire finishes in 9th, excellent.
Some girls are lapped DQ’d or DNF for one reason or another. But we are happy and get massages, changed and watch the men’s race with our jobs done.
That night we celebrate along with some of the other teams as we have been invited to a Turkish wedding!
Another long journey home and back to the hard slog.
Next stop Croatia- Split ITU, and now I got company in Claire! ITU turkey