Date: Friday, May 1, 2009
From Helen Roach - one time feral is still racing competitively at recent ITU World Championships:
I actually had a really good prep for the worlds, probably first time ever I went into a major race with no illness or injury. I was using the aquathon as a hit-out before the main event, but at the same time I thought I was probably a better chance of doing well in that given my lack of cycling ability. As expected, the first run was very fast and I had no idea of my age group placing because all the women started together. The swim felt horrible, it was like I was in slow motion and couldn’t go any faster. But I was passing a few people on the way back and when I started the second run the crowd was a bit thinner. In the back of my mind I was thinking about Saturday and was tempted to save something, but then I thought “$#^$* it, this is a world championship too” and kept hammering. It was a good thing I did because 3rd and 4th places were only 6 and 10 seconds behind me, so if I’d eased up I would have been out of the medals. Pretty happy with the silver.
Now as you know, I’m not 24 any more. Consequently I was very stiff and sore for the next few days and was dreading having to back up on Saturday. Another 24 hours would have been nice. Anyway, I swam ok (not great) and came out of the water with one of my main aussie rivals. The two of us rode hard but legal the whole way, until she dropped off a bit in the last 5km. Absolutely flogged myself, and when I came into transition the commentator said I was first in my age group. I knew I wasn’t, because I had watched one ride away from us at the start and I thought there were probably more up the road. But I was right up there. Then I started running and immediately knew it was going to be a hard slog. I could still feel the effects of Wednesday’s aquathon, combined with a hard bike. I ran OK considering, but several women in my age group ran past and I couldn’t do anything about it. Finished 8th.
I still have the long course worlds in Perth in 5 weeks, so that should suit me better. 3km swim, 80km bike, 20km run is right up my alley. Back on the bike today for a 100km ride, felt like hard work after all the short stuff I’ve been doing lately.
PS Caught up with Jackie Hallam at the race, her hubby was racing in the sprint tri. Her little girl is full of beans, I wonder where she gets that from ;-) And Dellis Egan (formerly of Griffith, used to do tris when she lived in wagga) came to watch as well. So there were a few familiar faces around.