World Duathlon Championships – the end goal of 2013.
The build up to the World Championships could have not gone any better and racing in Ottawa, Canada was an amazing experience.
The 2012-2013 season was a totally new experience for me with having a coach (Andy Mackenzie @dare_2_become) and a structured training pattern throughout the year. Andy built me up gradually during the season with the main aim of performing well at the World Championships. As this was my second year of competing I was bound to improve from 17th in last years World Championships, but by how much was the big question.
Obviously I wanted a podium, who doesn’t, but at that level anyone on the start line could be capable of a medal and racing the other side of the Atlantic meant that there was a high class of athlete there! The Americans and Canadians are both strong countries!
Knowing how much work I had put in over the year gave me a lot of confidence and the support from friends, sponsors and of course Andy was amazing.
Race day was a bit of a blur if I am totally honest. Breakfast, packing bag, dressing and putting the headphones on was the order for the morning. Finding a quiet place to sit and prepare sounds easier than you think, so finding the nearest disabled toilet and locking the door was my plan (and it worked)! Once warmed up and prepared it was time to make my way to the ‘holding pen’ (love how they make athletes out to be animals) and then onto the start line!
Once on the start line it’s time to forget about all the stupid thoughts; is my bike racked properly? Have I left my helmet in the right place? Which way do I go in and out of transition? Just remember, you have done this hundreds of time before, now is NO different!
It was hot and windy on race day and the whole race was tough and fast, setting off like a herd of gazelles as usual! I have to admit, the first 10k for me was not good (if I had gone faster would I have medalled?), but knowing this I had to go hard for the rest of the race to make an indent into a poor start in my books. I wasn’t feeling comfortable at the end of the run but once on the bike it changed. I put the hammer down and I began winding in the athletes ahead of me!
The wind didn’t help but the bike course wasn’t the most exciting of courses. An out and back along a dual carriage way on the edge of Ottawa; however you cannot complain about the road surfaces over there! Something the Brits could learn from! Pot holes? Think I counted 1 or 2 on the course. It didn’t look like a mine field!
Coming off the bike I was next to the athlete who eventually finished 4th, highlighting how close the top few were. You slowed by a second or two and that cost you places. The last 5k was a case of pacing myself and digging in.
This year’s race was an amazing improvement from last year. Finishing in 7th place 10 places better than last year and against some very quick athletes was an achievement in its self. Could I have done better if I had run harder in the first 10k? That does not matter, what matters is that I improved and felt good while racing and was able to control my race rather than just run and ride without an aim.
So, the end of 2013 occurred and funnily enough I was hungry for more, but as I crossed the finish line in a respectable 7th that was the beginning of 3 weeks of total rest! Andy and I discussed 2014 and the aim was to start hard and finish harder! Upping everything this year and really pushing myself to my limits and with the aim of a podium in the World Championships in Spain this time round. Another exciting year and another year of hard graft.
I have completed my degree and I am now a fully fledged paramedic so this year instead of balancing training with university I will be balancing training with working on the road doing 12 hour shifts. The body will certainly be tested this time round.
To sign off for 2013 I have to say a massive thank you to all my sponsors; ColourMyKit, Compressport UK, Proto-col and Total Fitness Bath. I also have to say hello to a new sponsor for 2014 and one that will certainly benefit me in duathlons and running races and that is Skechers. Having foot wear sponsorship will be a massive help and especially having such high quality trainers is amazing.
Follow all my sponsors on Twitter and Facebook and me @RoxyRoxburgh