European cup Alanya 2018

Well, where can I start. Turkey was a very interesting country to say the least. From its beautiful rocky-mountains to its extremely warm and blue sea.

ETU cup Alanya wasn’t something that I had planned as a back-end season race but when opportunities to race and gain points arise you’d be mad to turn it down.

I few things to factor in before I start explaining how my race went. We raced at 3:30pm (mid heat of the day). It was 33 degrees and 60% humidity and there wasn’t a breath of wind in the air. “Cry me a river…” is probably what you’re thinking but my god was it horrific.

This race unlike most of the others I had been doing was an Olympic distance (1500m swim, 40k bike, 10k run) It was double what I’m use to. Considering this I had trained well and was feeling in the best shape possible.

The race begun with 67 competitors from countries all over the world. It was a beach start. The standard heart beat music played just before the claxon went off. We all stampeded into the water, luckily my extremely lanky body worked in my favour, I was able to run an extra 5 strides further than the shorter competitors this put me into the front 10 swimmers instantly. I remained in this position for most of the swim apart from losing a couple of positions towards the end exiting in 14th.

T1 went nice and smooth. I was out onto the bike and into the front group. The pace was almost instantly injected from the start of the bike which really shelled the field out. Considering I was already in the red from the swim I really struggled over the first 5k. Once I caught my legs and recovered I knew it was a battle of nutrition. I smashed down a 750ml bottle and 3 gels in 45minutes. My legs were feeling good but my stomach on the other hand wasn’t… At this point I wasn’t concerned as it was giving me no pain.

Into T2 and onto the run, nice and smooth transition caused me to come out onto the run in the top 10. I had been giving strict instructions not to go out too hard on the run. I’d set off at what I thought was a very respectable speed. Probably around the mid 16/5k pace. Running onto the next lap with everything still seeming to be going well until I hit the hill second lap and then something bad happened…

SH*T WENT SOUTH… literally!

What I was experiencing was a large dosage of Turkey Tummy. My stomach had gone in to a horrible cramp which meant it was unbearable. I wanted to keel over and lie there till the morning! Luckily, I managed to somewhat limp around to the finish of lap 2. Focusing on tensing my butt cheeks more than the actual race itself was the point I knew I had to pull out. Which was a real shame as I was sitting in a very solid position for my debut ETU cup.

What caused this to happen? I’m still unsure. It could have been the mystery meat that they were serving at our shady all-inclusive. Or my body rejecting the amount of water, electrolytes and gels that I had piled into it. In addition, heat does wonderful and weird things to people so chances are that also played a factor.

Unfortunately, it’s not always a rainbow smooth pathway to the top and often things do go wrong. It’s really important that you keep your head up and make the most of a bad situation. In this instance, I know that I have what It takes to race with the best in Europe over the swim and bike disciplines and now it’s time to head back to Cardiff for a very large winter with the NTPCW and come back much faster, much stronger and much smarter for the 2019 ITU season.

Now it’s onto the SuperLeague triathlon Jersey this weekend. I am sooo excited for this race on home turf. I’ve got my sights set on one of 5 remaining Golden tickets left in the mix. If you live in Jersey please please please come down and cheer me on. I’m going to need all the support I can get out there this weekend.

Thanks for taking the time to read this!

Until next time x

Alanya .png

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