2013 Holten ITU Sprint Triathlon Premium European Cup

So today I raced my ver first Senior international race – guess that means I’m slowly getting old? :) 

On the day before the race, me and my dad got up at 4am to drive all the way to Holland and be there in time for registration and race briefing – luckily there was no traffic so we made it in good time, but it still took us over 7h. Once the race briefing and dinner was survived, we literally fell to bed and slept straight away!

In the morning, the alarm from our neighbour's room (and another one 5min later) woke us up – which made our lengthy discussion about when to set our                                                        alarm for a little irrelevant! 

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Once race suits and bikes were checked and transition set up we were ready to go! I’m not going to lie – I was nervous! And I’m usually pretty good with nerves! It just hit me out of nowhere for some reason. But when I was finally at my position on the pontoon, I had a little time to calm myself down – in the end I had nothing to lose and only experience to gain!

And off we went! The swim was pretty brutal at times! So much fighting going on – but somehow I managed to avoid any major battles and found myself in the first pack after the last buoy! That definitely calmed me down – just race your own race and concentrate on yourself is what I told myself!

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And it worked! After T1, I found myself in the second pack, with a few Australians and just off the first pack. And luckily the Australians wanted the same thing that I did – catch the first pack! So we worked together and caught them after maybe 5k. There were only two girls off the front - Danne Boterenbrood from Netherlands (the later winner) and Celine Schaerer from Switzerland - but I was in the first pack. It felt strange, since I didn’t really expect that, so I just decided to forget about that and focus on the here and now. Ellie Salthouse from Australia and Agnieszka Jerzyk from Poland (who came 2nd in the end) were putting some good work in on the bike and kept everyone on their toes! I stayed towards the front as much as possible – I felt good and wanted to make sure that no one decided to try to head off without me (and trust me, it seemed like a few people tried repeatedly!).

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Just before T2, we came really close to Celine Schaerer. The run was just about going and I was running as hard as I could (the legs were starting to get tired). After a few km, everyone seemed to have settled in and the people behind me didn’t seem to gain anything on me (it was more me gaining time on them), but I also didn’t seem to find any more power in my legs to close the gap to the two girls running a good 30m in front of me - Margit Vanek from Hungary and Anneke Jenkins from New Zealand (they came 4th and 5th in the end). I wasn’t sure, but thought I have to be at least close to the top 10 (I would have been happy with top 20 in my first senior European Cup!). When I finished and was told I’d come 6th, I was actually close to tears! :) It felt like the hard work I’ve put in – the hours of training during and just after exams (like heading straight from my last exam to the swimming pool!), as mentally and physically tough as they were – had paid off! So with a big smile on my face, we then started our 7.5h journey back home!

© Sophia Saller 2016. All rights reserved. Impressum