Wednesday, 20 July 2016

2 Races In 2 Weeks

July so far has been a very busy month with racing at the ETU Junior Cup Holten on the 2nd  July, then my birthday on the 8th and finally racing in the BananaMan Triathlon at Eton Dorney Lakes on the 9th.  So, it’s been a busy couple of weeks but enjoyable. Here is how I got on...

Holten ETU Junior Cup.

You would think being in Holland that this course wasn’t going to be very interesting but it turns out it was the complete opposite. The course was a pontoon start with a single lap 750m loop, then into T1 which was next to the lake. The bike course was a 6km ride into town which then included 2 loops of cobbles, a climb (the only hill I have ever seen in Holland) and some sharp turns. We finished the bike in town so that involved a second transition area, which is quite unusual. Finally the run through the town and out onto a gravel track and back in through the stadium.

With a strong GB field the swim was going to be fast one. I had a good start making sure I didn’t get into any trouble. When heading back to land I wanted to be as close to the right hand side as I could as it was much shallower water, which meant I could stand up quicker and my exit to T1 would hopefully be faster. It was a clean sweep for GB exciting the water with the top 6 athletes out the water all team GB. I had a great transition jumping on my bike in 3rd place, which made up a pack of around 13 girls; the group was slow to get working with the GB girls trying to push the pace with a few attacks but nothing sticking. Going through the town I tried to attack on the cobble section but I had no luck so I decided to save some energy for the run. Coming out of transition I was in second place and onto the run (the weakest of the three disciplines for me at the moment).  With the chase pack close behind I ended the run in 16th. I have lots of positives to take from the race and I can see lots to improve on. Then it was time to go home and prepare for the race at Eton Dorney the following week.

Eton Dorney Banana Man Triathlon

This is a course I have raced many of times, and I would highly recommend this event organised by Human races to every one of all ages. The races vary, from kid’s racing scootathlons to races of Olympic distance.  Lidl had supplied a free tasty barbeque with drinks for all competing and supporting and any donations supporting Cancer research. A very nice treat for after racing.

The junior girl’s race started at 9.50am, nice and early. I had a strong swim coming out the water in joint second. I made sure I focused on myself in transition and with a great jump on and getting my feet straight into the shoes I was off and chasing down the girl in front.  After the first 5km loop I was on my own in first position and I knew it was going to be a hard windy ride. With a chasing pack of 6 behind me, I had to dig in. For the first 3 laps I managed a gap of up to 45 seconds but it was tough I was now struggling. My last lap was the hardest and very windy, behind Kate Waugh and Sophie Alden had broken away from the chasing group and were working well together.  I entered transition two around 20 seconds in front. As soon as I got on the run my legs were hurting. Kate soon caught me and went striding past, but I wasn’t going to give in. With around 3km to go Sophie appeared on my shoulder, I played it tactical and used her to block the wind that was sweeping across from the lake. She soon caught on and all through the run we were swapping sides neither of us wanted the side nearest the lake. With 100m to go we were shoulder to shoulder, matching each other’s stride, it would be down to my first sprint finish of the season. We both kicked at the same time but today Sophie was the strongest. Overall I was pleased with my race and as always room for improvement.

I now have 4 weeks till the National Championships at Liverpool, so time to get my head down and work on what I have learnt so far this year.

Thanks to Giant Liv, Jaguar and Sports Aid for all their support.

Megan McDonald

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