Saturday, 4 June 2016

British Triathlon Junior European Qualifier

Llanelli 14th May 2016
On the 13th May I travelled down to Llanelli Wales to compete in the British Junior Qualifier for European Championship's, which will be held in Lisbon. The British Triathlon qualification was for 4 places for men and women. With a very strong field of women I knew it was going to be a tough race, I needed to get everything right on the day and be on my A game.

14th May Race day.
My race was scheduled to start at 3.30pm, a late start compared to most races. However the course would be closed from 9.00am for earlier races so I got up really and rode down and round the course to familiarise myself.  Then back for breakfast and a quick hour nap before going back down to the course for registration at 12.00. The course consisted of a beach run in to the closed dock and two laps of the course with a run out and in on the second lap. The bike course was mainly along the sea front, a flat rout with 3 turn around points, nothing technical but the cross winds coming in off the sea could make it rather tough. Finally the run was 2 laps out and back along the coast to finish.

At registration and warm up it was clear we were all there and all ready for a great race. On the start I was next to my good friend Olivia Mathias a great swimmer to be next to. I had a strong run in and I soon had a clear view to the buoy and felt I was in the front 6.  Olivia made a break after the first buoy kicking out of the turn, I missed her feet and wasn’t able to hold the gap. A group of 5 formed in front of me and although I had a good swim I exited the water about 20 seconds down to the leading 5.

My transition was quite smooth and once on the bike I soon moved in to 4th place chasing down the group of 3 ahead. I didn't really close on the front group at all but felt I was holding my own against them. It's so much easier if you can ride as a group but if you miss the pack then its head down and get on with it. The group of 3 finally broke and became 2 and I moved into 3rd place but knew I have given a lot to get there and the run was going to be tough with a much larger group coming up behind that  consisted of some strong runners. I had another good transition and off we went. I knew I had taken a lot out of my legs on the bike but was determined to hold form and have a good run. The breeze along the sea font was now quite welcome and although I gained 1 and lost 3 places I felt relatively good and happy that my leg speed and my form stayed for most of the run.

Overall I was really happy with my swim and run progress from my last race in Portugal but I know if I continue with my current training my times and fitness will improve. Finishing 6th doesn't get a qualification to Lisbon so that's a disappointment but compared to how I felt 12 months ago. I am on track. Congratulation's to Kate, Lizzie, Olivia, and Sian and good luck "do GB proud"

My next triathlon is Blenheim place. A hard course but one of my favourites,

Thanks for all the support Giant / Liv UK.

Megan McDonald  

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