1st Triathlon Bundesliga and German 2014 Championships in Hanover

After two and a half days at home, trying to get used to the idea of being a U23 World Champion, it was already time again to head off to my next, and penultimate, race of the 2014 season. After being woken up softly at 5.30 am by my mum (by turning on the bright light in my room…) we headed to the airport to fly to Hanover. This time, my mum came with me – the first time since Hamburg that my mum actually got to see me racing live – and it was really nice to have some one-on-one time with her.

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I have to admit, that up until about three hours before the race on Saturday I wasn’t really in any sort of race mood – it probably had something to do with the fact that the last big race had only been 6 days ago… Because the race wasn’t actually until 6.30 pm and there was PLENTY of time in the morning. Roland and I decided to try something I hadn’t done before – do a swim in the morning before the race. And it seems like that was actually a good idea! Unlike last weekend where I didn’t feel good in the swim and felt like I was stuck at one pace, I actually felt like I was swimming well this week! And after the second buoy I realised I was just at the back of the front pack! Like, there were only a handful of people in front of me! I was pretty happy and considered smiling at the spectators when I swam past them (but then decided to focus on the race instead, in the end there is more to a triathlon than a swim…).

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But after the joy of the swim, it all didn’t go too smooth for a while. My sunglasses had half fallen out of my helmet in T1, so I had to put them on separately; the elastic band on my right shoe had ripped, so instead of jumping right into the shoes, I had to stand on them first and then get in – and while getting into my right shoe, the shoe unclipped and I was suddenly holding a shoe in my hand! I somehow managed to get on the bike and in my shoes at some point though – and then had to put in a little sprint to get back to the front pack. But it didn’t end there… at the first turnaround point, Laura Lindemann crashed right in front of me! And because I didn’t want to fall myself or ride over her leg, I stopped, unclipped both shoes and went around her – luckily I managed to somehow sprint back to the pack again! Luckily that was all the excitement of the bike over with and the rest went relatively smooth with no one else from my pack crashing on the wet roads.

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I then got into T2 in a small pack of 6 – a minute ahead of a bigger chase pack. I actually managed to get out of T2 with the front girls and then ran with Rebecca Robisch and Andrea Hewitt for the first 2k, before Andrea and I ran away from Rebecca. There was so much cheering going on along the course, that the running turned into a lot of fun! And even though Andrea Hewitt outsprinted me again (this time I was only 2s behind her though, so a little better than in Duesseldorf :P) I was the first German across the line and hence took the German Elite and U23 title! Wow… three titles in one week!

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And then the other three girls in my team put in solid performances as well to secure us - the Kiwami team TV 1848 Erlangen - a 3rd place on the day and hence a 2nd place in the 1st Triathlon Bundesliga 2014! Amazing!

When I finally got to bed that night, it took me an age to get to sleep. So much had happened again… so many thoughts circle in your head and they just don’t want to shut up! 2014 has been one fabulous year and I’m struggling to put it all to words – probably because I’m still struggling to get my head around it all! But now there is one race left this year – a world cup in Turkey in three weeks’ time – before some in my eyes well-earned rest. And then it’s back to “normal” life in Oxford – which I’m actually really starting to look forward to again.

© Sophia Saller 2016. All rights reserved. Impressum