Find out how she got on in the heat of the Balearics.
Where – Santa Eulalia, Ibiza
When – 29th April, 2023
Position – 11th
Best bit – in a much larger field than last year, I was the 3rd Brit home meaning automatic qualification for next year
Worst bit – had to miss my usual warm weather training camp so had to acclimatise quickly
What I learned –
This off season I made the decision to change coaching teams and now race for Matt Bottrill, training has been a huge step up and combined with my final ACCA exam it hasn’t been a relaxing affair! I also had to miss my usual warm weather training camp so I was bit nervous for Ibiza!
The field was huge, last year my category consisted of 13 athletes, the majority of which were from the GB team. The start list this year contained 33 athletes across 10 different nations, a proper world championship!
After a smooth flight in, I was greeted by 27 degrees and not a breath of wind, ideal conditions for someone born and raised in Aberdeenshire…
Course recce’s followed and the excitement began to build. The city centre run was full of twists and turns and was followed by a flat, non-technical bike course with only 2 laps (phewf!). My legs felt good and pasta was in plentiful supply!
Luckily, the temperature dropped to a balmy 24 on race morning and as I stood at the start line I began questioning why I do this to myself! The gun went off, and a few steps in I remembered I do it because there is no other feeling like it.
The first run went to plan, my run was strong and I put a good distance between myself and some girls I knew were a bit stronger than me on the bike.
Onto the bike and I pulled a big turn on the front with an Australian girl to try and keep the gap from the chasing pack. Unfortunately, the chasing pack were much bigger, worked together to pull us back in and I soon found myself in the middle of a big pack hurtling downhill at circa 44km/h. Yikes!
Despite the multiple language barriers between the 10 of us cycling together, it was pretty clear when someone wanted you to move over.
As is the case with draft legal courses, crashes are the norm and there were several casualties passed as we navigated the course, I was pleased and slightly relieved to see the dismount line and get onto the last run.
I knew there were a few people I could catch so I set off on my hunt and caught them about the 1km mark. Ideal, I thought, until I realised, I now had to keep them behind me for another 1.5km. It doesn’t sound that far but when your “eyeballs out” it feels like a very long way.
The blue carpet lined with palm trees and supporters signalled the finish line and was a welcome sight. I managed to hold position and finished 11th of 33 and was the 3rd Brit home, which means automatic qualification for next year. I was delighted but it is now back to work as the triathlon season kicks off and Hamburg awaits in July!
I would like to say a massive thank you to Thomson Cooper who have successfully supported me through my last exam and sponsored my triathlon season again this year. It simply wouldn’t have happened without them.