It is done, my first ever ITU race is over. And I am happy to say that I got 10th place!!!
Here is the entire story:
Friday morning I finally booked my ticket (thanks to JR and Carrie who encouraged me that this race will be a great experience for me). On Saturday morning I went to Masters swimming to practice some diving, because most ITU races are dive in starts. That was a lot of fun, I think there should be dive in starts in every race. Then I was off for the Group ride but only did 2 hrs of it, then a transition run.
After a few loads of laundry, packing, bike boxing, stressfull times:-) I went to the airport flying out of Flagstaff.
The airplane was super tiny and the steward kept telling us not to sit in row 5. ROW 5? What is wrong with that one? Someone asked...He said (literally): Someone puked all over row 5!!! Mhhhhhhhhhhhh...so we actually had to take a detour over Winslow to Phoenix because of all the Thunderstorms...in our little propellor machine. But we made it. The Phoenix Austin flight was rather quiet. I was picked up by my hostfamily and then it was all about preparing for the CAP TEX TRIATHLON, the ITU part of it:
Sunday was the pro meeting. I felt a little out of place between all the big names and their outfits full of ITU logos and countries. I found out that if you start at ITU races you have to have a uniform with your name, country and the ITU logo on it...mhhh...mine= no logo, no country...and not my name:-) I was lucky enough that I was allowed to start, but had to promise to get a uniform for the next ITU race.
We had an 11 am start, which is nice because you get to sleep in:-) BIG PLUS. But then it is hard to decide what to eat. After some breakfast I went to the race. My front tire was flat and the valve wasn't allowing more air in...GREAT!!! Luckily Mellow Johnny's bikeshop gave me a wheel (in ITU you have wheel support:-), but it was a training wheel instead of my super light race wheels.
We went down to the water and got introduced, one after another we hopped into the water. I was introduced last, hopped in (after all my diving practice it ended up being a deep water start), swam towards the start line, but they already blew the horn...WHAT? I was like: I am already a slow swimmer, especially for ITU and then they even get a head start. But all was fine, I just swam the best I could, unfortunately had to defog my goggles once, got out of the water NOT IN LAST PLACE. But it definately needs some work as Hayley Peirsol was out of the water at 17 min, me at 23:-)
The 5 laps of the bike course were to the Capitol and back. I pushed really hard but was in no mans land. There were 2 large groups in front of me, I tried sooo hard and they came so much closer, but was not able to catch them, so I had to TT it all by myself (every lap I got so much closer even though they were 5 or 6 people and I was alone). My bikesplit was very fast, I was going so fast that I was not sure if I would be able to run afterwards.
The run was surprisingly good. 3 laps aka 3.33 km. I passed 4 people, one after another. It felt good. I ended up running a 38:20. It was super hot and humid out there. I got water at every station. Everyone was suffering so much.
In the end I got 10th place at my first ITU race, even got a check and some World ranking points:-)
It was sooooooooooooo fun and I will definately do some more ITU races...after I get my official suit off course. The bike and run are great, just have to keep working on the swim. I am sure it will come around.
Tomorrow will be my trip back to Flagstaff, back to a dry adn cool climate:-) Next race up: BOISE 70.3