It has been a busy but fantastic few weeks since I last put finger to keyboard, with plenty happening with work, training and racing!
On the athlete front, there has been plenty of changes and many races; France, Switzerland, Hungary and Spain to name a few. Perhaps the major goal of the season for most of the athletes travelling to Europe, was to make the Australian Team for the ‘Grand Final’ in Beijing in 3 weeks. The team has three levels; Juniors, the Under 23’s or the Elite team, depending on age. So, with all teams selected just over a week ago, the pressure has been on recently to race well, with so many excellent athletes vying for selection.
Last weekend I went to Tiszaujvros, which is in Northern Hungary, to work with the Australian team at a World Cup race. This race has a deep history, as it has been going for 15years and is embraced by the community with open arms. The town is very much an industrial town, which apparently does not have much else going on the rest of the year. The locals make a huge event of the triathlon, with a week long party and fair in their main square. This happened to be directly across the road from the transition and and finish line. Our hotel was also directly next to the finish, which made it very easy to be in the action, even when I was treating the athletes in the room – a different place to work… watching a triathlon and fun runs evolve with the windows open and deafening music to – boot! Not the typical cubical style treatment room!
It was great to meet and work with a few athletes whom I had not treated before, as they live at the other Australian base, Aix-les-Bains. On the back of the history of the triathlon, the town had an amazing sports facility, which included an indoor 25m pool, an outdoor 50m, a surfing ‘wave’ pool and an excellent run track. This was great, as I was able to get some good training done there and in the trails surrounding the town whilst I was away.
The racing went well for the athletes, with the major race being at a World Cup level, as a result there were some of the worlds best racing. There was some great results from our junior athletes and solid results from the seniors. One of the highlights of the weekend, as I mentioned, was the atmosphere. The backbone of this was the commentator – who literally did not stop dancing and yelling into the mic for a good 6 hourson both Saturday and Sunday… In 35 degree heat. He was accompanied by a dancing alligator, with swim goggles on, who held the ‘lap’ signs. Something that is difficult to describe, but one of my highlights of the weekend , was the commentator doing the ‘lawnmower dance’, with the alligator making out he was collecting the grass behind him, all the while right next to a world cup triathlon…. Only in Hungary!
I now have 3 weeks until my 70.3 Worlds race, which, as I knew it would, has crept up very quickly. I am feeling great and really pleased with how training has been going. The heat which we will race in has now become less of a novelty for me and more of a reality. Vegas has only had one day below 40 degrees in the last month, which dipped to a low 39… So the hope for a ‘cooler’ day is out. Consequently I have been doing lots of my training in the heat in an attempt to get used to the temperatures as much as possible. I leave for Las Vegas in 2 weeks, which will be a highlight to see Megan after almost 10 weeks away, where she arrives the same night as me into Vegas! Cannot wait. We then have a week there prior to the race to try to acclimatize. I think she will acclimatize by sitting by the pool, where I will be out on the bike etc! My parents are also coming all the way over from South Australia, which will be fantastic to see them and spend some time at a place they took my brother and I when we were kids. I think plenty will have changed, along with the eyes I will see it through. I am hoping that I can put together a race which represents the preparation that I have put in and if this happens I know I will be very happy.
I hope everyone is doing well and training safe and hard.
Until next time, from a man who secretly one day wants to dress up as an alligator with swim goggles, over and out