The last few weeks have been really busy with three races in about 20 days. It began on June 26th in St. Malo, Manitoba with the first junior series race of the season. As this was the first time I would be racing other triathletes from across the country, I was very nervous, and wondered how fit I actually was and how I would compare. The race started great...I had an almost perfect swim with a flawless start and soon found Hilary's feet to draft off of. Falling off her pace in the last 100 m, I was second out of the water close behind her and with about 20 seconds to our next competitor. This big lead coming out of the water was very exciting, and the two of us pushed the 20 km bike out and back along the quiet prairie road. Working hard right to transition, the chase pack still made up time on us and our lead dwindled to about 5 seconds at the dismount. I had a solid run, but not my best to date. Focusing on my own pace, I tried to accelerate when Ellen Pennock ran by me, but was not able to hold it. Although I ended up second in this race, the result was bitter sweet as Ellen took the win.
With only 2 weeks until the next race, the priority after St. Malo was to recover and prepare for the Pan-American Triathlon Championships in Edmonton on July 10th. The next week of training was tough, but I knew that in a few days I would be tapering again.
My race in Edmonton was very exciting. Although I was nervous for this race, I had a little more confidence coming into it as I knew where my fitness was at, unlike before St. Malo. I also had a very good swim in Edmonton. The start was more congested, but after about 200-300 m I was on Hilary's feet again and this time I stayed there right to the end. Having a bit of trouble removing my wetsuit and getting my helmet on, I excited transition behind my teammate Alison Hooper, who wasn't far behind us coming out of the water. The three of us worked the first of two bike laps hard, powering up the hills and holding off the chase pack. Going onto the second lap with about 18 seconds lead, we decided that working hard on the second lap to hold the chase pack off wasn't worth it. We continued to work together until the chase pack of about 6 or 7 girls caught us and I did my best to conserve energy. Going onto the run, I felt much better than in St. Malo. I held a strong pace and didn't beat myself up when Ellen Pennock passed me. I held off Mexico's Adrianna Barraza to place second and finished very proud.
Still no time to take a breather! Our next race was 6 days later in Penticton, BC...junior series race number 2. I was feeling very confident going into this race as Ellen has been the only competitor to beat me this year and she wasn't racing (a bit of a relief!). The race unfolded smoothly. I had a great swim start, worked with Hilary on the swim (I pulled the first half, then drafted her for the second half), and came out of the water just behind her. I had a bit of a messy T1 again, and started the 8 lap bike course with Hilary and Alison. Stevie Moore bridged up after the first lap and unfortunately Alison crashed while we were lapping an athlete. So the next 7 laps (1.25 km out, 1.25 km back... lots of corners!!), Hilary, Stevie, and I built up a very comfortable lead on the rest of the field. Heading onto the run, I just had to run strong and stay in the lead. It was a challenging run as we had 5 laps of 1 km, but I felt fit and ran to first.
So after these three races were over, I had to wait the official word to find out if I made the World Championship Team....and I can now tell you that I will be heading to Beijing, China in September!! It felt so good to have made the team again this year and I am looking forward to the next month and a half of preparation.
I am also very excited to race my first Olympic distance triathlon on August 7 at the Sooke Chase, and to race Nationals this year in Kelowna, BC...one of my all-time favourite race courses!
So hopefully that catches you up a bit!