Tuesday, 2 July 2013

European Youth Relays Championship

On Sunday 23rd I travelled down to Eastbourne to meet the teams for this year’s European relays. This year’s is very different to last year due to Great Britain taking two teams for both the boys and girls races having an A and B team. First we had a team meeting where we learnt about drug testing and staying healthy on our trip. We were given the following words to use and focus on  during the camp and what it was about:

Attention To Detail

In the afternoon we had a training session in the pool followed a team building activity of bowling. Early Monday morning after swimming we boarded the bus and off we went, through the tunnel to Calais and on to Holten in Holland.
The race was on Thursday 23rd  so this gave us time to get used to the climate and check out the course. Well this really wasn't that hard as it was the same as England, windy and overcast. Cycling there was good as they have brilliant cycle paths but everywhere is flat, flat, flat and did I say flat. The one thing that stands is they are mad about cycling.

On Wednesday it was course rekey day, with the bike course flat and a square and a short 5k I considered the bike leg as a pure time trial. The run was just as interesting, out and back and flat but the swim was possibly going to be the more exciting. Due to me going 2nd leg I had a 40m downhill run and dive into the lake off the pontoon. This was tricky as if you were too quick when you dive you will hit the water and possibly just flip over which was demonstrated by a French athlete. After you got the dive right then it was a straight hard swim to the buoy and back.

Finally race day came and our youth girl’s race was at 4.30pm. I was competing in the A team and our order was Grace Cook first, me second and Sian Rainsley third and team B was Sophie, Leah and Elizabeth. Individually we set up our transition and warmed up. The first leg competitors were introduced and called to the start with the sound of heart beats booming out of the speakers before the starting hooter went off. Grace had a good leg and handed over to me in 3rd place, 30 seconds behind the French and 6 second off Switzerland . After a good swim I exited the water in 2nd place 15 seconds behind the French girl.  Out onto the bike I knew I had a chasing pack of around 4 athlete’s working hard but I was able to hold the gap and closed the gap on 1st place to 6 seconds going into transition. Unfortunately my transition was once again not my fastest. On the run I was unable to close the gap but had one of my best runs of this season and I finished with a 10 second gap between me and the French handing over to Sian in 2nd place to finish off. Sian had a brilliant swim but  was caught in the final stages of the bike due to a group  having worked well together to catch her. Luckily Sian had more in the tank to finish the run in 3rd place to bring home the bronze for team GB.  Our B team finished in 4th place around 20 seconds behind the A team.

The next few days were quite relaxed, containing easy training and watching the U23’s racing. Well done to all who raced and Lois Rosindale who took 1st in the Women’s U23 race.

This opportunity has been one of my best due to the race environment, GB teams and the organization of the coaches and their patients. I would just like to say thank you to my team mates and the coaches also all the support I have had from The Bike Yard and Jaguar Academy of Sport. 

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