Wow what a race, what a day, what a weekend and actually what a year! It’s been quite a whirlwind. Having mainly been a runner for the love of it, I only really got into Triathlon last October. I work with Triathletes and they wore me down over the year to give it a go! I started with two local Sprint races and then an Olympic here in Dubai, I really enjoyed them, they went well and then I thought ok let’s give Dubai 70.3 and Oman 70.3 a shot! I qualified at both races coming 4th in my Age Group in Dubai (4:54) and 2nd in Oman (5:10). Qualifying for the World Championships wasn’t really on my radar to be honest so it was an amazing moment to find out that I had.
Fast forward to 7:08am on Saturday 7th September 2019 to the beach in Nice when my race was just about to start. We didn’t know until 5am if it would be wetsuit or not as the sea temps had been high until that point, they called it wetsuit. I was lucky to be the first wave after the Pros started at 7am. Therefore getting on with the race, less waiting around and less people out on the course. The sea in Nice was beautifully clear, for us rather choppy that day so swim times were slower than we wanted, mine included but it was case of move on and say hello to the Col de Vence!
I’d been unwell for 3 weeks before the race so getting to the start line was a bit touch and go. I managed to hold food in for the three days leading up the race and tried to conserve as much energy as possible in those few days when there is so much going on around you. As I came out of the swim I knew I needed my body to dig in somewhere to take on the bike and the run. The first 10km out of Nice was flat so it was time to rehydrate and be ready to hit a steep climb just after 10km. From then on it was climbing to the top of the Col de Vence which was at about 40km into the ride. I was keen to manage the climb and not totally smash my legs for the run. The views were incredible, however I didn’t really give them the credit they deserved! From the top it was crack on with a technical, steep, fast descent. My priority was to finish the bike in one piece. Luckily I did. Once down the descent it was back to the 10km flat back to T2, also time to get some fuel in ready to hit the run.
For me the run is my ‘favourite’ part of a triathlon, the swim and bike are done and it’s just down to my trainers and run for my life. However it’s also the time to dig in again as everything starts to hurt, the mind can get dark and there’s still 21km to run. The first 10km lap I managed to keep a sub 4:30 pace. The 2nd 10km lap felt brutal and however much I shouted at my legs they couldn’t get back to the 4:30 pace so I finished with a time of 1:39 averaging a 4:44 pace. I was however pleased that my run time was only 1 minute slower than the Dubai 70.3 which is totally flat and actually 3 minutes faster than Oman which wasn’t as hilly.
That moment crossing the line was amazing, I was very emotional and found a little spot in the Athlete’s village and had a good cry! It was relief, elation and exhaustion. I was so happy with finishing in one piece and with a result I was delighted with. I completed it in 5:52 which got me into the top 3rd of all woman of all Age Groups. Relative to my Dubai 70.3 time of 4:54 it indicated how the climbing of the bike course added the time. Of course there’s lots of room for improvement always.
Racing a tough and challenging course amongst incredible athletes from all over the world in such a beautiful location with incredible supporters is something I will cherish and never forget.
A big Thank you to all those who supported me leading up to the race and during it.
- 500ml Secret Training Mix
- 1 x Secret Training Energy Gel
- 1 x 800 ml Secret Training Big Energy Watermelon
- 1 x 500 ml Secret Training Big Energy Watermelon
- 1 x 500 ml on course Energy drink
- 1 x 500 ml on course Water
- 2 x Secret Training Berry Energy gel with Caffeine and Betaine
- 1 x Real Fruit Energy Gel
- On course water and Coke at aid stations