Racing at the European Champs

June 11, 2016

THREO girl Emily Patch has been out racing in Lisbon recently, for the 2016 ETU Sprint Distance Triathlon European Championships. We know we have a lot of THREO customers who are competing as GB age-groupers or aiming for age-group qualification, so we hope the brief race report below provides some inspiration.

 

Emily Patch - 2016 ETU Sprint Distance Triathlon European Championships

The Swim

Finally race day (Friday 27th May) was here and as with every other race, the day started with a bowl of porridge.  

The weather was dull and pretty windy but luckily there was no rain which had been forecast. I got to the race at 8:45 (for an 11am start) and set up my transition before going to the swim start. We had to be in pens 30 minutes before the start so I sat on a wall, drank a bottle of water with High5 summer fruit energy powder in and tried to calm my nerves!
 
At 10:20am I started to get ready by applying some baby oil on my wrists and ankles, getting into my wetsuit with some body glide on my neck, taking a High5 X'treme IosGel, using my Asthma inhalers, putting my timing chip on my ankle and finally adding my swim hat and goggles. Ready to go!

By 11:00am we are all in the pen waiting to get into the sea, whilst I was shaking with nerves but excited to get in and give it my all. A race official quickly went through the swim route and we all rushed into the sea. We were squashed in between two yellow buoys and I tried to get myself in a good position before the gun. 

 

And then we were off! It was very crowded meaning I got swallowed up and spat out in the crazy swim start. Swim starts aren't my strong point but I was determined to be in front pack on exit and so positioned myself on the left side and spent the whole swim overtaking people. I felt good and was happy to make it out at the back of the front pack with just a steep ramp out the sea and short run to transition.

The Bike

Pulling my wetsuit to my waist, when I got to my spot, I just had to pull my wetsuit off to go in the basket next to my bike with my hat and goggles. Then helmet on, bike shoes on and sunglasses on. A short run in cleats over the cobbles and I tried to stay on my feet. 

Once on, I pushed down on my pedals as fast as I could and with a nice backwind I did the first 5 miles in 12 minutes. It was great to race on closed roads on a nice road surface.

Soon I was at the roundabout and half way through the bike course where I turned back on myself. It was good to see competitors on both sides on the road so you could see cyclists all the time. 



The route back was definitely a lot harder with the headwind and I suffered a big drop in my average speed but I gritted my teeth and made my legs hurt all the way. 

The Run

It was a simple clip out and another run in cleats to transition - trying not to fall off over the cobbles as I went. I was pleased with my bike and happy that I pushed through the tough bits and was looking forward to giving everything I had left on the run.

After racking my bike and slipping on my trainers, it was just the 5km run to go. The weather had warmed up and the sun was out, and I was grateful there were so many drink stations on the two lap course which went through the arena each lap. I gave it all I had on the run and was very glad to get into the arena for the finish which had a great atmosphere!

Soon the results were up and I was happy to find I'd come 6th in my age group, a big improvement on my 12th place finish last year in Geneva. I was also very pleased with my times, being the fastest I've done this season, so it was great to see my progress especially in such a big race. 

After collecting my bike from transition and taking it back to the apartment we went out for a well deserved celebratory meal.

Big thank you to Threo for their support!


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