Sunday, August 24, 2008

Olympic response from my coach John Hellemans

"Hello all,
well, Andrea delivered, 8th in a star studded field. Her goal was to get in the top 10. The race was very close with no real splits in the swim and bike. Her transition from the bike to the run was lightning fast and very cleverly done. We had agreed that she would push it hard for the first 3 km on the run, but when I saw her running stride for stride with Emma Snowsill for the first kilometer I have to admit that I got a bit worried, but she tuft it out and latched on smartly to anyone who tried to pass her for as long as she could, she is a real competitor, still ran 35.48 so very good especially under the hot conditions (29 degrees). Debbie had a solid race for 10th. Samantha was disappointed with her race, 16th, did not have a good day.

After the race andrea was very happy having achieved her main goal. For me, as her coach, she has been a delight to work with towards the Olympics.She has been responsive, understands what is required and has been totally prepared to do the work. There is further improvement in her yet and I am confident that she will realise that over the next few years.

After 25 years this were my last 2 races as a personal front line triathlon coach, one excellent result and a not so good one, sums up coaching really. Had a good innings with 5 world champions, 2 world championships bronze medals 4 olympians and more then a handful of world cup podiums. Mainly thanks to the quality of athletes I was privileged to work with. So I like to thank them first and foremost

Others I like to thank are:
- My family and friends, for helping me to keep my triathlon life in perspective.
- Tri-NZ ( formerly the New Zealand Triathlon Association), SPARC (formerly the Hillary Commission) and The New Zealand
Academy of Sport (formerly the New Zealand Sports Foundation) for their financial, educational and other support.
- My colleagues in coaching.
- Renzie Hanham

Yours in Sport
John Hellemans"

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Report from the Olympic Games, Beijing

Thank you everyone for your good wishes and support for the Olympics.

I loved the race! It was really amazing because With all the pressure of the Olympics, during the race I felt the best I had this year..luckily because it was the biggest race and all of you were watching. There were huge crowds at the venue too and everything was run perfectly, there wasn't a lot of waiting around and i had a good feeling in the warm up because there were so many people around. I feel really lucky to have been a part of it. I had a good swim with no problems (no fights) exiting 10th or so and right in the middle of the front pack. The bike was fast and slow, fast and slow, as the Swiss and others tried to push the pace but there was no attack big enough to be a breakaway. The 2nd transition for me was the best start i could possibily have going onto the 10km run. I ran out in 1st position feeling really strong and i pushed really hard for the first 3km. I then had the hardest part of my race when i had to settle down and not run at Emmas pace! and finish the best i could. I placed 8th, and I was awarded with an Olympic Games Diploma (which the top 8 receive).
Since Monday, i have had a week to enjoy the festivites of the Olympic Games, seeing some athletics, mountain biking and kayaking and attending a few parties too. Also i 5 x my McDonalds visits this year at the village, since i'd only had it once this year. And finally i have the Closing Ceremony tonight, actually 15 minutes until i need to be ready..
Hope to see you all soon, although i'm not on the NZ team plane home, because i fly back to France on Tuesday to finish the season and I plan to return home in October.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Build up to Olympic Games 2008

Hello everyone,

NOW I am excited! I have less than 1 month until the Olympic Games.

The Kitzbuhel World Cup in Austria last weekend was my last preparation race. I finally put out a good run this year running 34.52 and finishing 4th, winning a sprint finish with Liz May of Luxemburg.

I have had a consistent amount of training since World Champs. From Vancouver I headed to altitude in Font Romeu, France for 3 weeks where I spent a lot of time with Merja Kirvanta from Finland, John and Rob Creasy. I raced a french club race 3 weeks ago in Beauvais and now i'm spending 3 weeks at the NZ base in Limoux, France.

I travel to South Korea on Saturday for 12 days to acclimatise before flying to Beijing on 15th August. I will be outside the village, staying at the Triathlon venue for 3 nights before the event then moving into the Olympic Games village for 10 days and I will be at the closing ceremony.

WOMEN Monday 18th August 10AM
MEN Tuesday 19th August 10AM


Monday, May 26, 2008

World Cup Madrid


I just finished the Madrid World Cup. The last 2 years it had been a really good race for me and i'd really enjoyed the race but not today -it was freezing cold and wet.
I stuck to my plan, i was in the middle of the bike group, and ran better the second half of the run. I don't know what happened in the swim though, i got smashed around every bouy and came out 30 sec behind. 4 up the front broke away at the top of the first hill, but i didn't catch the group until the 2nd time up the hill on the 2nd lap. Then the bike was absolutely freezing, then i crashed on the 6th of 8 laps. I was right behind Chmet from Italy when she went down and i slid down right into her. I picked myself up and caught the group again on the 7th hill but i didn't feel good at all. The bike wasn't that hard though. Then on the run i was freezing and i couldn't breathe on the first lap, at between 2.5 - 3.5km I walked a bit and breathed then i could run again. But i didn't feel totally free running, i think it was the mostly because of the cold, i had that funny tight chest feeling. I finished 20th-the last of my group. Pretty bad, but i could finish so i did. There were a lot of people who pulled out because of the cold. More so in the mens race, it was crazy to watch, the guys were shaking on their bikes after it started pouring down and thundering, 36 pulled out - 30 finished.

I'm off to the World Championships in 2 weeks time in Vancouver.

Bye for now,

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Living in Séte

I'm now living in Sète which is in the South of France by the sea.. It's around 25 today, always sunny.
I returned back into some light training a couple of weeks ago. The biggest thing I noticed was it was really hard to swim. I raced in the final of the French Grand Prix series in La Baule 2 weeks ago which is a sprint race. In the 750m swim i exited the water 1min 20 from the lead which is quite a lot. There was a silly boat in the middle of the course which i got confused with but still, I was a long way back. I managed to get into the main group doing a lot of work on the bike, but there were still 7 girls up the road going onto the run. I finished 8th, running ok. So overall, my French club team - Beauvais, finished 2nd overall this season, behind Poissy, the same result for us as last year.
I managed to swim 3 times before heading back up to Brittany for the Lorient World Cup last weekend. It turned into a running race, when 17 girls came together at the front on the bike. I had my best transition, going onto the run 4seconds infront. But quickly Lisa Nordon from Sweden overtook me. Behind her, I was running with 7 others and on the last lap I got tired and couldn't push anymore, so finished 9th. Still ran really well considering I've just done easy and steady running.
This week, I'm still recovering. My chest was really sore after the race, from breathing so hard! Now I have 4 weeks to train for the last World Cup of 2008 in Mexico.

I plan on returning home to Christchurch on 7th November, just in time for a What Now apperance on the 9th :-)