Marsha (@Marsha_RGA) here, one of the RG Active Coaches from the SW London/Surrey branch of their Coaching Company. I thought I would let you all know briefly how my first ever experience as part of ‘Team GB’ went at the recent World Triathlon Championships in Budapest, Hungary.
I hope you are well and have enjoyed good seasons racing, training and achieving your personal goals. My season started off well and just when I thought my season was over and I was settling down to some R&R on holiday for the summer I received ‘The Email’!!!!!!
At first I didn’t believe it, both John and myself had only been able to race one of the three qualifying events for the Championships and after a tough race in awful weather at the Little Beaver Triathlon we resided to the fact qualification was never going to happen?….But it did!
I received the email confirming I had been selected to race for Great Britain Age Group Team in the Olympic distance Event. After reading it more than a few times I called John (@RGActive) to tell him the news. I was sooooo excited, and very soon got out of holiday mode and back into competition mode to start preparing myself for what was going to be my first ‘World Championships EVER’!
The date now is Monday 12th September 2010, it is Monday morning after racing the World Champs yesterday morning and I want to write this blog entry whilst everything is still very fresh in my mind. I returned from Budapest last night into Terminal 5 at Heathrow and went straight to bed, so I have had a good night’s sleep and although aching all over I sit here now a very happy athlete.
I have just returned home after competing in The ITU World Championships in Budapest Hungary and what a fabulous weekend I had! John (@RGActive) and I traveled over to Budapest on the Wednesday and thanks to the team mechanics Simon and Dan we didnt have to worry about my bike as they brought it over on the team van…wahoo!! Once we were sorted in the Hotel we went and met up with our wonderful team managers Malcolm and Jasmine who were always there to help and lend support, especially to newbies like me.
The next day John and I went for an easy run down to the course for a look around and a few kodak moments. After that John (@RGActive), Carol (John’s mom) and my new friend Rachel went to the swim start to get in a very cold lagoon and look at what was in store for us on Sunday. The lagoon was about 14 degrees and very cold. John met up with a friend, Glynn (@lennythelion), from the UK who was also competing in the Olympic distance on Sunday.
Friday we registered and started to get our heads around that we only had 48 hours before race day! It was also the most nerve racking day for both Rachel and I as everyone started arriving that day. It was all becoming very real. My boys Taylor, Mason and Taylor’s beautiful girlfriend Sophie came out later that night to be my support team along with Carol… it was perfect!
Even though I didnt sleep very well Friday night I still got up at 6am on Saturday in the pouring rain to go and lend my support to the para-athletes and the sprint races. It was a very emotional morning as I watched fellow athletes who had disabilites far greater than my tight hamstring battle on in the dark, cold lagoon just off the Danube River.
Rachel and I racked our bikes on Saturday afternoon in the muddy field of transition and then went out for an early dinner and straight to bed.
Sunday finally arrived and I was ready to go! My taxi picked us up at 6:30am and we were in transition by 7 getting last minute details taken care of. Rachel discovered her back tire had punctured overnight so swiftly she went to find the mechanics to get some assistance. That left me to wipe down my bike from all the rain that fell Saturday night and try to keep all my stuff dry and mud-free.
Apart from my goggles filling up with water in my left eye I had a nearly perfect race. The swim wasn’t as cold as it was on Thursday which was a relief and I was able to get a PB of 29:00 mins. The bike was the most fun consisting of 3 dead turns, 3 loops and lots of people cheering, another PB for me at 1:03!! Then onto the run which I ran conservatively at the beginning, felt good, then started to push harder once I was over the bridge. I was able to grab a flag from my friend Andrew on my way into the finish while trying to chase down an american lady who looked like she could give Paula Radcliff a run for her money!
Unfortunately I did not catch her but I had a strong finish and was very happy with my time of 52 minutes.In total my time was 2hrs 31mins 15secs and my position was 37th in my age group a new PB!!!.
Lots more work to do and lots more things to learn, but all in all a great race and a wonderful day with my family. Thank you all for your support!!
To see all of the results from the weekend’s races : CLICK HERE
To round up it was a fantastic experience. The weather could have been better, I would do some things differently looking back, but that is why we do the sport of triathlon. Very rarely will everything go to plan and you have the ‘perfect race’ so it is always driving you forward in the hunt for ‘perfection’. I have only fantastic memories of my first major Championship and these memories I will treasure….. you only get one ‘first time’ at anything so always make it positive.
I look forward to seeing you all soon at an RG Active session or race over the Winter months…
Keep fit, stay healthy and do everything wearing a SMILE! Marsha