My first age group European championships in Lisbon, which was on the Friday and I arrived at the hotel on Tuesday, giving myself plenty of time to settle in. I registered and racked my bike on Thursday making sure I was well prepared for race day. The setup for the race was brilliant and we were lucky enough to have the transition area under cover, which would have been handy if it was raining, however it did help to keep bike tyres cooler being in the shade.
Race morning brought perfect weather, not too hot and little wind. My race started at 11AM so it’s was a perfect time for me, meaning I could wake up at a normal time and not 4/5 am.
The swim course was fairly technical however I ended up with a pb (10:15), despite having my goggles kicked of at the first turning boy. Coming out the swim, 39th overall in my wave I was ready for the bike leg as I knew it was a fast time trial course. By this point the wind picked up and there was a fairly strong tail wind on the way out. However I didn’t push too hard as this can be a fatal mistake when returning into the head wind. On the return leg I started to pass more people, knowing that my plan was working. I came off the bike in 9th position overall.
On the run my legs felt good coming off the bike, and was on the shoulder of 4th position for my age group.
Lisbon was a great experience and a brilliant weekend for the OffthatCouch Britcon team with Jordan putting in a brilliant performance to take bronze in his age group, despite him recovering from a running injury as well. I would like to say thank you to Steve Clark for keeping me motivated and pushing me and also Britcon for supporting the team.
I was very excited for this race as it is one of the best triathlon venues in the UK and also my first elite race. I did not know what to expect and set my self a target of not finishing in the last 10.
Is was a great day for a race and a few hours before the before I found out that Alistair Brownlee was racing, bring it on! Lining up in the swim seeing Brownlee In the Corning of my eye was a strange knowing I was in the same race as him. The swim was a fast course with only two turns. As the field was fast it helped me to perform better as I was hanging on the back trying not to get dropped. I manage to complete the swim in 9:50 which was another pb. I got into transform after the long run from the lake and managed to beat a few people out of transition that I exited the water with, which gave me a clear exit of transition.
Out on the bike I was on my own for the first 5 minutes. After putting in a big effort I managed to catch a group of around 8 that were about 40-60 seconds a head of me. We worked together through out the bike catching and dropping a few athletes. Coming off the bike I was feeling strong and the bunch ride helping to save my legs by working together.
I had another successful transition and was feeling good on the run, I knew that the course was long and fairly hilly however i felt strong, the first lap I was running well and had none of the athletes who I was cycling with near me. The second lap of the run another athlete over took me and I managed to get on his shoulder and I hung on at his fast pace until the last 500m. I managed to place in the top 30 overall and 5th junior and having one of the strongest races so far.
After riding the bike course the day before I knew that the course would suit me. The picturesque hilly course round the Great Orme was a fantastic route the the triathlon.
After racking the bike on the sea front I was in my wetsuit and ready for a 10:15 start. We entered the sea and it was surprisingly cold as it had been warm over the weekend, it was calm and sunny however there was a warning for jelly fish in the briefing which put a few people off
Coming into transition I could see that there was a group a head of me. I rode straight off and went straight for the climb, I passed most of the people that were ahead on the swim however I carried on and didn’t form a group. At the top of the climb there was another athlete that looked to be going well, we decided to work together and after one lap we thought we were ahead of the race. After two laps of a hard climb and a fast decent I was ready for the run. I came out of transition on my own and I wasn’t 100% sure of my overall position. The run was an out and back along the sea front, I reached the turn point and no one had come past the other way, thinking I must be the leader. Running back down the sea front I was determined not too ease up and ran hard, with a strong crosswind. As I approached the finishing like there were crowds of people either side forming I finishing shoot, which added to the great race and the atmosphere. I managed to cross the line with the Age group win and overall win, which qualified me for the under 20 World Championships in Mexico