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Archive for February, 2013

Erin Baker Trophy Olympic Tri

Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

God I’m shattered – but thought I’d write a quick blog as I want a day off racing, training and computers tomorrow and just spend it with Lola!

I’ve just got back from Taupo (which is a 6 hour drive from our house) and a really busy weekend of racing and encouraging others.

This weekend was my first time racing an Olympic Distance Triathlon since about 2009/2010 I think.

As I’ve said before the plan is totally speed driven at the moment, Brett is getting my top end back before we start worrying about going long. And to be honest I feel faster than I have since maybe 2008/2009 at the moment.

This weekends race had me excited from the moment Brett told me I could race. As he said in one of his emails Erin Baker really was (in the Docs words) a “Hard Arse World Champion” so I was really motivated to have a good hit out and prove I’m on my way back.

Kinloch is a beautiful spot on the shore of Lake Taupo. The village is around 20 km’s North of Taupo itself, the little village / town has a marina, a couple of shops and less than 1,000 houses all dotted around the lake.

Most of NZ’s High Performance ‘Elite’ were there this weekend, along with a team of Aussies, as it was also the Oceania Sprint Championships and Tri Tag Relay race too.

My race started early on Saturday and the girls went off 5 minutes behind the boys.

I quickly went to work in the swim and by the end of the 1,500m I’d put 90 seconds into 2nd place. The only person to beat in the swim was the eventual second place male who put just over a minute into me.

The Doc has said he is going to tweet something that will change the face of triathlon this weekend – well honestly I hope he doesn’t share the one piece of swim equipment that I’ve been using since beginning our relationship…as honestly if you saw it you’d think “never” but for something so simple it really has turned my swim around and I’m swimming as well as I was the year I won the ITU World Cup in 2008. I hope you have it patented Doc!

Onto the bike and my only goal was to stay on the aeros on my P3 for as long as possible. The bike course in Kinloch is quite tough…infact it’s VERY tough. You climb out of transition, a false flat follows, and then it’s 3 more climbs before the turn. 2 laps of 20km.

By the second lap I was catching a lot of the males and this is probably the only part of my race I’m disappointed with. I ended up playing cat n mouse with a few guys whose ego wouldn’t let me pass, but that’s racing and I need to learn to deal with that. In fact maybe it’s my ‘ego’ that’s the problem….

My run – although not where I’d hoped is probably a good reflection of where I’m at. You run on grassed sand dunes for around 600m of the 2.5km lap, and there’s an exceptionally steep footbridge just before transition too – so a 39-minute run was light at the end of the tunnel after the last 6 months work.

I won the race by around 8 or 9 minutes I think, and would of finished 5th in the men’s race too.

My favorite part of the day though was being able to donate my prize money to the local organizing club Tri-Sport Taupo – with the proviso that they spend it on the development of their youth triathletes.

We spent 3 weeks in Taupo at the beginning of January on a bit of a ‘training holiday’ and the club was good enough to let me go along and do some of their training races. The kids they’re bringing through have talent and I was really stoked I could give a little back yesterday.

Now….

I think I may get my ‘wings clipped’ by the Boss for this – but I ended up backing up my win yesterday with another race today.

We had the Oceania Sprint Teams Tag Relay in Kinloch today, and Tri NZ fielded a full Elite squad of 4 teams.

Some youngsters I know wanted to give the race a go to see where they’d sit amongst the elite – and they asked me if I’d race with them.

A chance to race against the best we have in New Zealand….what could I do?!

Out of the 9 teams in the event, going into the 3rd leg that I was racing we were in 7th out of the 9 international teams.

Now I don’t say this lightly – I had hell of a swim and passed 6th place and put a further 20 seconds into the girl.

Onto the bike (which I’d borrowed that morning as I don’t own a road bike so had never ridden before) I held my own.

But my run really did give me a ‘glimpse’ of the light that Brett has continually told me is at the end of the tunnel. In terms of time I was within seconds of girls finishing in the top 16 of ITU World Champs Series events….6 months after giving birth.

So I’ve come away happy and ready to get stuck into a full build toward an international event now (If the Doc doesn’t sack me for racing an event I shouldn’t of!!!)

So it seems I’m almost ready to make a full return to racing. Thank you so much to Team TBB and all the sponsors for standing by me through the last 12 months.

It was exactly 12 months ago that Brett contacted me now and said I was one of the most talented and yet most underperforming Ironman athletes out there. And it was 12 months ago that I had to tell Brett I was pregnant and although really grateful of his offer would need to decline as I wanted a healthy baby and that was number 1 priority at that point in my life.

But Brett kept me fit and healthy through pregnancy, was always supportive as were the teams sponsors, and now I plan on giving back from this end.

Bring on the next race…..but time for some sleep first. ☺

Sam.