Lately, whilst warming up, setting up transition and just being in the atmosphere of racing, I can't help but smile to myself thinking "Finally! This is what I've been missing all these years!" Finally, I'm lining up on start lines with no ailments, no injuries, just a body that's ready to do what it's told! This results in a very good state of being on the start line. A mixture of calmness and joy, as cheesy as that sounds. And really, that's about it! I don't feel so happy anywhere else as I do at a race. Which means it's been a pretty good 2 weeks for me then!
Last weekend was the first bigger race of the year, the ever famous Mooloolaba World Cup. It's known for being a gritty course, hard from start to finish. Between the surf swim, the wind, the 16 hills on the bike and 8 hills on the run, it's sure to put you in your place early in the season. This year was a little different though. It was for one, a sprint distance and they also changed the swim to the calm (shark infested!!) canal and took the hill out of the run. So it was definitely a less daunting first race but it was hard not to feel like it was missing it's essence!
I had a good start to the season overall. I had a great swim, exiting the water in 3rd. As much as I tried, a break away on the bike just wasn't in the cards and so, it came down to the run. I felt alright and was able to hold strong for 7th place. A result I was pleased with given the depth of field and the time of year. Also, big performance from the friendliest of friends, Ellen Pennock who ran her way to 4th spot! Ya, she's 21..watch out!
After the race I drove down to the Gold Coast to stay with good friend and Aussie team member, Ashleigh Gentle. I had such a nice time with her and her family and was spoilt rotten!
It was a quick turnaround and off to NZL just a few short days later. I arrived in the friendliest town I've yet to come across, New Plymouth. This is my 3rd trip here and certainly won't be my last! I have the most lovely homestay I could ask for and am feeling right at home!
The World Cup here last weekend was another fabulous day. The weather was perfect, there was a very strong list of girls which felt more like a Championship Series than a World Cup! Once again, I had a surprisingly good swim and exited the water 2nd. The bike course was hilly and technical and a group of 13 of us (i believe) were able to stay away from the rest of the field. I had a pretty shocking T2 and started the run last of my pack. I really wanted a chance to run with "the big girls" so to speak so I made my way up to them and hung on for as long as I could. This was for about half of the 5km run. I ended up crossing the line in 5th spot behind some girls that I'm very pleased to be in the company of! So that was a great day for both me and for our Canadian team. Both Paula Findlay and I finished inside the top 10 in the women's event and Kyle Jones finished 8th in the men's. 3 top 10's ain't too shabby! :)
Our youngest team member, 19 year old Tyler Mislawchuk, in his 2nd ever World Cup was doing a fantastic job when his day was cut short by a crash in front of him at the tail end of the bike ride. He fared the worst and ended up in hospital with a broken jaw, teeth and stiches in his chin. The good news is, he is out of surgery and healing up nicely. What a trooper! He's going to be a name to watch out for in the near future, that's for sure!
Here are some photos of my Oceania trip thus far:
Lot's more adventures to come! Back to Noosa next week then Cape Town, Noosa once more and then Tokyo and home!