Alanya ITU World Cup - Last Race of the Season

Last race of the season… I can’t believe it’s that time of the year again! Time to put up the feet, do all the things you’ve not had the time to do during the season, and let everything that you’ve done during the season sink in… and there’s a lot of that to do for me this year!

On the weekend it was time for one last race – and even though training beforehand had maybe gotten a little hard mentally (believe me, when you win U23 World Champs and Elite German Champs within a week it’s not the easiest to go straight back into the racing mindset…). But there have also been quite a few occasions where I headed out and thought “damn, I really love this sport”. I’m now definitely happy,  that I did head over to Turkey to race though!

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The weather on the days before the race was pretty hot with 30 degrees and the sun beating down – I came back from every run with sweat streaming down my face, thinking “this race will be fun…”. Then Saturday morning came and the sun was hidden behind clouds and 90min before the start it started pouring it down – looks like we had somehow managed to get the seemingly one day of the year with thunderstorms and rain! Luckily the thunderstorms cleared before the race though and we were actually able to start!

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With the thunderstorms around, the swim was definitely also a lot more choppy than it had been the days before! Luckily, I’m not someone who gets seasick, but quite oppositely really loved all the waves. And when I came out after the first lap, I was actually in the front group! Like, I came out right next to Rachel Klamer! Seeing as I am someone whose second half of the swim is usually quicker, I have to admit that I was quite excited. It’s great to see some of the thinking/work I’ve put in my swim paying off and seeing improvements. Even though I got slightly “lost” in the waves on the second lap and ended up coming out of the water between the first and second pack, I’m still happy with the progress in the swim. The first lap on the bike, I then cycled all by myself… quite frustrating I have to admit, but the front pack didn’t seem to want to come any closer. So I ended up waiting for the second pack to catch me – and out of all the frustration started trying to get the group organised and work together – I had seen the front pack, I knew they weren’t that far off! And about half of the pack realised that and was keen to get their heads down and work for their own results – thank you again to everyone who did do their fair share of work! 

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So after we had caught the lead pack, it was all about trying not to crash… and my god, I was scared I’d fall over quite a few times! But almost all of us managed to make it into T2 in one piece and off we went for a fast and furious run… I wasn’t too happy with how I felt on the run, maybe my legs were just in need of a break – the season has been a long one. After a lap and a bit, I had to let go of Maaike Caelers, I just knew I wouldn’t be able to keep up with her pace for another 6 and a bit km… So then I was left in a little running pack with Vendula Frintova, Yuliya Yelistratova and Audrey Merle – the first time ever in an actual pack on the run for me, quite an experience to be constantly pushed. In the end, I didn’t have the fastest sprint legs when it came to the home straight and ended up in 4th place. Am I unhappy or disappointed about that? Haha, no way! I might have “lost” the second place in the last hundred meters, but hey, I won a 4th place! (But I’ll still do some more sprinting practise over the winter :P) And a 4th place in a world cup isn’t too shabby! Definitely happy with that end to an amazing 2014 season – a year I’ll never forget!

© Sophia Saller 2016. All rights reserved. Impressum