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TWENTY-SEVENTEEN

March 10, 2017

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5 Weekends of Racing, 5 different Countries, a 26th birthday and a Change!

July 17, 2018

 

 

Before I get in to any race recapping, I think it is important to mention I will be making a change from training under Jamie Turner and the ‘Wollongong’ group. I have grown enormously as a person and athlete over the last six and a half years and made some amazing friends. Change can be scary and I want to thank Triathlon Australia for giving me some support during this time but most importantly my people (mainly family & some close friends around the globe) who have listened and given me their honest opinions. I am excited to be working with Mick Delamotte and his crew at High Performance Tri and I am looking forward to see what this change can bring!

 

Saturday 2nd June - Pasai Donibane Basque triathlon

 

A race venue I had heard so much about that even with a big racing block coming up I couldn’t help but drive the 1 hour to the coast not far from the French border with my training partners Charlotte McShane and Ryan Bailie for a Saturday afternoon race. Like most Basque races, you tend to climb a mountain or two on the bike and are assured an enthusiastic crowd lining the old town while you run around in race bathers!

Climbing mountains isn’t my strong point so I always question why I enter these races but I never regret my decision. My confidence really grew on the descent, so much I over-cooked one hairpin and fishtailed my way into the rock wall before I hit and came off. Luckily it was a gentle crash and I came away unscathed, bike intact and went on to finish the race!

 

 

 

Sunday 10th June – Weert, Netherlands ITU European Cup

 

I have travelled to the Netherlands a couple of times before but this year was different in that I was going to stay with Maaike Caelers and her family who are locals to this city. I’ve often been told homestays are always enjoyable and I can’t thank Maaike and her lovely family enough for looking after for me for the days leading up to the race!

This was a standard distance race with the 1500m swim in a warm clear blue lake, a 40km bike into and around the city and the 10km run also around the city. I finally produced a swim I knew I was capable of and I could back that off with a solid bike leg. In the final 200m of the bike my hamstrings cramped up like I have never felt before and I thought my day would be over. I came into transition very cautiously and thankfully as I headed out on to the run my body felt ok. Still not a run to be proud of but again I saw some progress so I came away relatively positive.

 

 

 

Sunday 17th June – Dunkerque French Grand Prix

 

Old Dunkerque…a race I am yet to master although I went into this year with a fresh mindset and eager to improve on previous performances. Cold water meant a wetsuit swim and I found myself being bashed around and in awful positions at the first buoy. My rough swim set me up for a rough day leaving me to finish in only a slightly improved position on last year. Disappointed in myself but more so for my team Issy Triathlon, the weekend with the team is always an enjoyable one and I’m so glad to be involved with Issy!

 

*Monday 18th June – My 26th Birthday

A travel day & some other factors made it possibly one of my roughest days of the year so far but I have a great group of girls in my group who spoilt me and made me feel special! This is the closest I get to family on my birthday as I’m always on the other side of the world at this time of the year!

 

 

 

Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th June – Pescara, Italian Grand Prix

 

A very quick turn around from arriving into Vitoria-Gasteiz Monday morning and leaving again Wednesday morning to make my way to Italy. This trip came about through my Deddaciai bike sponsor Sabino. Each year he plans for some athletes to come to race in Italy which is a great opportunity to catch up with him as well as his family on a business and friendship basis.

The original plan was to race a sprint distance triathlon on Saturday morning where there was the opportunity to qualify for a super sprint distance final held on Sunday morning. Although Friday night torrential rain hit this coastal town and the windy held through to Saturday morning resulting in filthy and choppy water. To be fair, I don’t think this happens in Pescara often as the surf lifeguards are equipped with rescue boats that look somewhat like row boats – they definitely wouldn’t be useful along Wollongong’s beaches! So Saturday’s race went from a triathlon to a duathlon to the final decision being to cancel the heat and go straight into a sprint distance final Sunday morning! This is one of those days where you learn to adapt as an athlete!

Sunday morning the conditions were significantly better so we lined up to race. To be honest I felt flat through the whole race and it didn’t help getting caught up behind a crash on the first U-Turn where I lost contact with the group and from there I wasn’t able to get back in the ‘race’. I finished again pretty disappointed but I know plenty of areas I need to address which I look forward to doing after this block of racing.

 

The Italy trip was a great experience with some of my favourite people and I’m also very grateful to another triathlete Verena Steinhauser and her partner Simone Mantolini who took me in a few days after the race as I was flying straight to my next race venue Wednesday morning!

 

 

 

Friday 29th & Saturday 30th June – Poznan, Poland Super League Qualifier

 

I was very tentative signing up for this race as Super League is such a high calibre event and in a format I have not experienced to its full extent. A few of my training partners were involved in the first series and I saw the chance to see what it was all about so I took it!

Unfortunately, I didn’t race how I would have liked to and was not able to qualify for the Super League Championship series. The weeks leading into Super League and the weekend of the racing I was quite distracted with some other issues and emotionally drained.

I would like to thank the Super League team for welcoming me and I honestly believe this is a huge step forward for triathlon and hopefully I will be able to be a part of this series in the future!

 

 

 

Thanks for reading and my advice is to remember to say thanks to those people who are in your corner no matter what!

 

I have less than a month left in Europe and I will be making the most of this sunshine!

 

Grace

 

 

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