Virgin Active London Triathlon 2013

The London Virgin Active Triathlon is probably the biggest triathlon in the UK – there’s basically constant racing going on all the way through Saturday and Sunday! Having done this race last year, I thought it might be nice to give it another shot this year – as a nice and fun race a week after the German Championships. The day didn’t start being too much fun though: after having spent the night before celebrating last weekend with my family a little and a long tiring week with not enough sleep most nights, getting up at 6.30 am was a little bit of a struggle. But somehow we all managed to succeed – even my dad, who took about 25min longer than everyone else ;)

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I thought once we were there, it was all going to be nice and relaxed. But somehow someone didn’t like that plan! I was first told, that my Planet X wheels are not allowed in draft legal races anymore according to ITU regulations and that I had to get others to race on. Luckily we had my other wheels in the car. Then, I had to sort out another problem. I wasn’t given any race number tattoos! Having seen different people, I was always sent somewhere else, but then finally someone had some tattoos! Just not mine as it turned out… (mine was apparently cut up because someone else had forgotten hers and needed new ones…) But even that was sorted in the end and I got some made-up race tattoos – 40min before the race. The swim assembly was 20min before the start, so I had a mere 20min to put a hell of a lot tattoos on and warm up.

The swim was good fun – there wasn’t that many girls in the race, so I had enough space to actually swim and not just fight! That meant I was spending more time pushing the pace than just trying to swim ;). So I exited the water with two other girls in a time that was only about 30s slower than the fastest guys time and then ran up to transition. The run up to T1 is really long – probably almost 1 km! During that I managed to drop the other two girls and headed out on the bike on my own…

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The bike was just going for it and making sure I wasn’t caught… The other two girls were working together, but I managed to put some time between them and me – even though I could still feel my legs being tired from last weekend! So I knew the run was going to be fun ;)

And so it was – when I headed out on the first lap of the run, I wasn’t feeling great, but just kept going not trying to push myself too hard, especially at the beginning. After the first lap, I was told that I had two minutes to the second girl, so it was pretty much just about finishing that second lap – and I was glad when I was finally over the finish line and could sit down! Congratulations to Sarah Hodgson and Kate Curran, who came 2nd and 3rd!
It was a great race though, and I definitely really enjoyed it! And it was quite nice to be racing completely pressure-free, especially since it gave me the freedom to experiment and take risks (like cycling all alone right from the beginning) that I would otherwise probably not have taken!

My legs will get some well-deserved rest now though, before I will properly start training for worlds. And the next race won’t actually be until two weeks before London – the German U23 and Elite Sprint Triathlon Champs in Hannover! So a little less of the whole racing stress for a while and more time to get stuck back into training and I’m actually really looking forward to it.

© Sophia Saller 2016. All rights reserved. Impressum