Thursday, December 24, 2009

I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!
At this time of year, from November to February, I like to relax and be a bit lazy and concentrate on rebuilding my health and fitness for next season. I have been training around 25 hours per week for the last 5 weeks with an emphasis on swimming. I train mostly alongside Laurent (actually mostly on his wheel) and sometimes with other triathletes with Pole France in Montpellier.
On the 29th November we ran the 20km of Montpellier. The course began in the centre of town, in La Comedie at 10am (French time!;)). 1441 runners began up a narrow way towards the West and looped around the North of the city. The course winded through the streets, weaving around the city's two centurys of history notably from the Roman Ages and finishing through the Military Base and back in La Comedie. I ran at 15.90km/hr and finished, first female, in 33rd place scratch in 1hr 15min 27sec. Laurent ran up front and finished 2nd running at 18.83km/hr in 1hr 3min 44sec. Pretty good after a 25hr training week. In December, we went to Paris twice. The first for an Adidas day (pictured - with hair and makeup) and the second trip was for my club, Beauvais Triathlon.
My first winter Christmas begins tonight in Sète. Then on the 29th, Laurent and I will fly from France to New Zealand and celebrate New Year's Eve on the opposite side of the World in summer in Christchurch.
I sign off my 2009 blog with a video, made by Laurent, of our season.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Hello NYC

Over a year ago, there was a small chain of events that somehow ended up with me saying "YES I will run the 2009 New York City Marathon".
Laurent's brother decided he wanted to run. He asked his Dad if he wanted to run it again, he had run in New York 20 years ago in 1989. Then his Dad asked if we wanted to run. All and all we said yes, not knowing in what state we would be in at the end of our triathlon season. So here Laurent and I are, i
n New York City after both our great seasons, 6th and 3rd in the World in 2009. We just had a small break and restarted running 2 weeks ago. Our stay is for 9 nights with the France Marathon Club package. I am registered to run as: Andréa Hewitt - France.
We arrived 5 days before the 1st November event. And we didn't just sit in our hotel room waiting, like we would normally do for a big race.
The first day, we spent all day shopping, we walked from 19th st to 56th street up 5th Avenue. We also swam at the Bally's gym pool, ran in central park and the other days we ran on the treadmill at our hotel's gym.

New York's Time Square where we saw Mamma Mia on Broadway.
I was race number 17385 which put me in the middle of the green section of the first wave starting at 9.40am. I was pretty close up front, because after the starting gun it only took us 1 minute to run over the start line, we ran straight onto the Verrazano bridge off Staten Island.

I prefer to call it a long run rather than a race because the pace I was going was not my normal race pace. The longest training run I do is 2 1/2 hrs, so to run almost 4hrs was a struggle. I ran alongside Laurent's Dad, not worrying about my pace and not thinking about my time. I finished in 14 thousand and somethingth place out of the 45000 or so competitors. (3hrs 57min 51sec)
The crowds were huge. There were singers, cheer squads and even a whole orchestra at one stage which gave the race an awesome atmosphere. One thing that surprised me was that the course was not flat at all. There was either a slight up or downhill throughout the entire course which got pretty steep over the Queensboro bridge. My final 6 miles were very slow. I walked a bit and met randomly people to talk to. I had a silver fern drawn on my face, so I received some kiwi support which took me through to the end!

Looking back to New York City from Liberty Island with Laurent(left) and his brother Arnaud.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

2 Magazine covers in 2009

Triathlete - Italy, September/October

With my new Italian bike - Milani.

Multisport - New Zealand, July/August

Winning the Madrid World Championship Series race in June.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

After the final race on the Gold Coast

Now a run through of whats been going on since I claimed Bronze in 2009 in the ITU World Triathlon Series.
I spent 4 extra days on the Gold Coast after the race. We went to Sea World, Byron Bay and had my nephew, Dylan's 1st birthday in Broad Beach with my family and Laurent, his mum and his brother who came to Australia to see the World Champs. From the Gold Coast, we flew back to France (Sète) where I did a small training week to prepare for my 2 last triathlons in 2009.
I raced in La Baule in the final race of the French Grand Prix Series (French club racing) on 26th September where I had a pretty good race. I exited the water in the top 5 and felt strong but not fast, the whole race. I had lost my top end fitness from my week off training and with the long travel, but I managed to be still in with a chance right until the final sprint.

The results were - all finishing within a few seconds of each other.
Anja Dittmer GER 1st
Carole Peon FRA 2nd
Andrea Hewitt NZL 3rd
Jodie Swallow GBR 4th

© Photos : Jonathan Metge

My team, Beauvais triathlon, won the overall 5 race series. We had finished 2nd the past 2 years I have raced but this year we were dominant with a stronger team - Huge Felicitations!

The following week I had 4 days back in Sète with no training. Then I went to Gruissan, a small windy town near Narbonne, trained for 2 days with the Beauvais Triathlon girls and raced on Saturday. We came together for the last time in 2009 for the Coupe de France (team time trial). I was joined by Hollie Avil, Anja Dittmer, Delphine Pelletier and Charlotte Morel, an all round solid team and as only 3 are required to finish together at the end, we swam and biked as a team then split up on the run and I crossed the line with Hollie and Anja. My favourite part of the race was when we passed the Beauvais mens b team on the bike, which I will remind Nicolas of always. We won the race, we got our advantage on the bike with the fastest bike split and were the only girls team to go under 1 hour for the 750m swim / 20km bike / 5km run. My 2009 Triathlon season was over..

After Gruissan, I took a break with Laurent for 2 weeks. We went to Paris for 2 nights and Laurent took me to see Versailles. The gardens are amazing, stunning and so huge, our legs were dead after seeing the beautiful Trianon Estate, so we paid for a ride back in the petit train. In Paris we stayed in the new BLC Design hotel. As we walked into the hotel, it was a bit blinding. I had never seen a place so white before. Everything is white, the walls, floor, reception, everything inside the rooms including every piece of furniture, all.
After, we returned back to Sète by train then we drove to Italy. We stayed with a friend, Guillaume in Piacenza, who works as a french baker. He took us to Brescia and Milano (which is Italian for Milan - names are different in Italy which we found confusing, as we got lost in Genova for 30min. I found out that it's difficult to navigate with a French map when most of the place names aren't spelt the same).
We spent the the last night in Gallarante where I visited Milani Cycles. I had the opportunity to see the complete range of Milani bikes which is really something, from top level carbon bikes, to their top steel bikes and their original city bikes. They miss nothing, 100% care is taken right down to the small details on each bike's paint finish. I will ride the new N109 in 2010. The actual colour of the N109 design is grey/white/red but I chose to custom my bike's colours to violet/white/black. I just have a short wait, it will take 6 weeks to make. I will have my new Milani before I head back home in December.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Podium in the 2009 World Championship Series

I have put together my best season of triathlon. I raced the most consistent I have ever raced. If anyone asked me at the beginning of the year, my goal was to finish on the World Championship podium. And yesterday I achieved it with a 3rd place finish in the Series.
The Gold Coast final race did not go the way I had hoped though. I had a good start in the swim, but I followed the wrong feet after the first bouy and I was taken off course for a bit before returning on the right track and then right in the middle of the group. I was dragged further back by the close swimming of this pack and eventually there was a split and I was in the 2nd pack starting the bike leg. We were only 20 seconds behind the 7 leaders but at the beginning there was no structure at all to work together to begin the chase. The most frustrating of all was the fact there were 4 New Zealanders together but we had no tactics. Each of us were individuals out there. I was the most vocal I had ever been in a race. I got so annoyed each time someone rode up near the front and sat 2nd or 3rd wheel and was not prepared to pull through. Anyway, the group worked together at odd times throughout the bike and we managed to be just under 1 minute behind as we entered T2.

I thought the run course would be draining with the long straights and the fact that you were able to see the girls out on the road in front but I actually enjoyed it. I ran in a group which caught Sarah Groff USA and then just at the finish I caught Jess Harrison FRA. I ran 35.07 for the 10km and finished in 8th place. I had no energy in the sprint, my legs were going as fast as they could so I was pushing forward with my arms. It was 2 hours of complete effort. And I found out as I was escorted to the interviews that I had done enough to keep my 3rd place ranking.
I was the bronze medalist of the 2009 World Championship Series, calculated with the following races:
31st May 1st in Madrid (photo finish - I won by 0.03 of a second!)
21st June 6th in Washington DC
12th July 3rd in Kitzbuhel (Austria)
22nd August 2nd in Yokohama (Japan)
13th September 8th in Gold Coast (Australia)

Overall 2009 World Championship Series Points:
1. Emma MOFFATT AUS 4340
2. Lisa NORDEN SWE 4130
3. Andrea HEWITT NZL 3462
4. Daniela RYF SUI 3187
5. Helen JENKINS GBR 3173
6. Sarah HASKINS USA 3139
7. Juri IDE JPN 2477
8. Magali Di MARCO SUI 2422
9. Jessica HARRISON FRA 2365
10.Annabel LUXFORD AUS 2191

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Yokohama World Championship Series

I had a strong run in Yokohama positioning myself up front in the race but I didn't manage to finish on top this time. Lisa Norden SWE surged with 500m of the run to go, this is when I realised that I didn't have another gear in me. I finished in 2nd just in front of home country favourite Juri Ide JPN. The final 300m straight felt like ages as I had blown my legs before that.
We raced in very hot and humid conditions which made the race very tactical. There wasn't the usual fast pace out of T2, it was who could hold themselves together for the entire 10km run who placed best in Yokohama.

[Cute pictures of the opening ceremony]

I swam wide left to the first buoy like I had done in London since I chose the far left starting position. But Yokohama was different, I had lost my straight down from altitude feeling and the fastest starts came from the japanese competitors in the middle of the line up. I exited the first lap in a good position but as I dived back in for the 2nd lap of 2, I was swum all over and hugged so close by another competitor who was trying to get maximum draft off me. I was dragging her along so slowly that I dropped from the feet in front of me and when Juri Ide swam up beside me, I stopped and went directly on her feet just to get some peace. The final 500m of the swim was so much easier.
On the bike, there was never any stress. I sat in thinking it is better to save my legs for the run because when you expend all your energy there is no chance of recovering and cooling down in this heat. The pace wasn't very high after the first few laps anyway so it was smart to sit in the group.
I decided I didn't want to be stuck behind people while getting to my bikerack since it was at the far end of transition like in Kitzbuhel and London, so at the end of the bike I positioned myself in the front row riding into T2.

As soon as I got onto the run I felt the heat wave. My favourite parts of the course were the drink stations, even though I was yelled at by another competitor for knocking over 2 bottles before finally grasping the 3rd bottle in my slippery sweaty hand. From the coverage I have seen, my running form is back after I had a small crash last week before London. My front wheel went into a crack in the footpath and I crashed hard on my side (clumsy I know).
My 2nd place in Yokohama now confirms my 3rd place current World Ranking. I will be wearing number 3 in 2 weeks on the Gold Coast for the final of the World Championship Series on Sunday 13th September.

1 Lisa Norden SWE
2 Andrea Hewitt NZL
3 Juri Ide JPN
4 Liz Blatchford GBR
5 Annabel Luxford AUS

Friday, August 21, 2009

London World Championship Series

I am now in Yokohama, Japan for the last round of the World Championship Series before I head to the Gold Coast to prepare for the final race. I don't like to talk about my bad races, my 9th place in London was below the result I wanted. I swam well but the bike was frustrating as people over a minute and half behind caught up because there was no structure working at the front. The London bike course had a lot a bumps in the road and dangerous corners. There was a crash involving 6 or so which happened in a chasing group. The transition area was layed out as a single line of bike racks, so there was chaos in T2 as everyone cut each other off to get to their bike rack. I tried to stay on the very outside as my rack was number 1 at the front but there were still people who wanted to go on the outside of me going into transition. Within the first km, the run spread out and I ran in the second group with Sarah Groff USA, Anja Dittmer GER and Daniela Ryf SUI for most of the run. I didn't have any leg speed and I had no sprint so I finished 9th.
I flew straight from London to Tokyo then Yokohama is 90min drive from Narita Airport. We arrived on Monday to adapt to the time change but I still woke up at 3am this morning for 2 hours before getting back to sleep.
It is forcast for 32deg tomorrow and it's very humid. There are only a couple of girls who didn't race last weekend, for all us others who did we have to overcome the tired legs and the jetlag for tomorrow. All is looking good though, after some physio from Thierry I am on track for a better result.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Training camp in the French Pyrénées


I just returned back from a Sunday long ride. We managed to get a group of 16 together to ride from Font Romeu to one of the highest climbs in the French Pyrénées, Port d'Envalira, 2408m! I am spending 25nights here in Font Romeu at 1800m to prepare for the 3 final races of the Triathlon World Championship Series.

Training is going well, I have had no hiccups. I am enjoying my 4th training camp here in as many years, so everything has got more familiar each year. This year I am training with another NZ triathlete, Kelly Bruce. We are swimming at the Altitude Training centre, CNEA (Centre Nationale Entrainement en Altitude) but living in a apartment in town in Font Romeu. We trained 24 hours last week and this week 22 hours. My partner, Laurent Vidal, has been keeping a close eye on me and tells me to slow down during some sessions because he plans them to be easier sessions. Another good reason to have Kelly here to train with because she always trains at a good pace. And he's right to worry because there is nothing worse than getting tired from training at altitude.
We have visited some beautiful places in our first 2 weeks including the beach at Collioure, the best restaurant in Prades and the Caldea mineral pools in Andorra la vieille. Laurent knows the Pryénées really well because he had a family vacation here every year for a month when he was young.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

3rd Kitzbuhel World Championship Series

I had a great run in Kitzbuhel to finish on the podium in 3rd place which moves me up to 2nd in the World Championship series rankings. The 4th round of the World Championship series turned into a run race as over 40 girls entered transition 2 together.
I exited the water in 13th and from the beginning of the bike I was comfortably in the front group. The bike was a leisurely pace which was nice as I managed to save my legs for the 10km run. I didn´t have a good transition as I was right in the middle. I saw a horrific incident where the danish girl flew off her bike into the barrier. I ran my own pace for the first 1km in about 6th position. Unlike my last race, I ran a pace I felt I could hold and when I needed to I could react to surges and continue to run up the field. I never saw the front of the race as Emma Moffatt ran amazingly again away from the rest of us. With 1km to go I was running with Kathy, Nicola and Helen for the 2nd to 5th positions. With 500m to go Nicola increased her pace and opened up a 10m gap. My legs couldn´t go any faster but I ran as fast as I could to keep close and managed to run into 3rd place with a run time of 35.16.
1 Emma Moffatt AUS
2 Nicola Spirig SUI
3 Andrea Hewitt NZL
4 Kathy Tremblay CAN
5 Helen Tucker GBR

Also, Mr Celeste Milani drove from Milan to Kitzbuhel to personally give me a custom handmade Italian Milani bicycle, a black and red N107. Milani is a family business since 1927. The entire production of Milani bicycles is in Italy where they make their own carbon, their own design, build and paint the bicycles with a 15 person team. They also have a range of bikes - Milani for Maserati , so they really are the Formula 1 of bikes!
Yesterday, the day after the race, I went up the Hahnenkamm by Gondola and saw the famous downhill ski race course. The crazy decent takes less than 2 minutes to race down where they pick up speeds of over 100kmh after 6 seconds of leaving the top. I took the most scenic way down, by parapont. We flew over the small town of Kitzbuhel and had a safe landing in a field. He let me steer a bit but then he decided to spin round and round, not as relaxing as the nice floating feeling the rest of the way down.
Now I fly back to France, where I can't wait to start riding my new bike. Although, I have a week of recovery now before friday when I will head up to the French Pyrenees for 1 month of altitude training. I will be preparing for the London World Championship series in Font Romeu with Laurent Vidal.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Congratulations Laurent + thanks for the podium dance!

An awesome race today for my boyfriend, Laurent Vidal, 3rd in the Kitzbuhel which moves him up to 3rd in the World Championship series rankings. My race is tomorrow, and after seeing the wet conditions today and all those nasty crashes, I am happy to be racing on a different day. My form is good and I'm in good shape, so we'll see tomorrow...

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Hy-Vee World Cup

Another 6th place finish. I had a great race yesterday but I couldn't finish it off properly. I swum well to exit with in the front bunch but found it frustrating that everyone wouldn't take their share of the workload to keep away from the chasers. Although we finished in a group of 8 going into the run, I was still disappointed because it wasn't enough time to stay in front and it could have been. I felt really good during the bike and going onto the run, so I did what I could and ran out strong with Emma Moffatt (AUS). I actually ran 3min 13sec for the first km, so fast and strong. I dropped off the lead pace in the 2nd lap and the next 5km when I was running by myself, I just had that feeling like my body was shutting down and I was too tired to push. My leg turnover slowed and I slowed considerabily. It was humid and hot and windy, all together made it the toughest race conditions. At the 8km Emma Snowsill ran by and then the others. I finished with a 38.18 run, 2min 40 behind Emma Moffatt who won the $200000 US prize.
In the mens race, it came down to an exciting sprint finish with Simon Whitfield crossing the line first in front of Brad Kahlefeldt, Jan Frodeno and Kris Gemmell. SO close, it was epic!
Today is the Triathlon World Team Championships, a new event which we hope will be included to the London Olympic Games. I am in the NZ team with Kris Gemmell, Sam Warriner and Bevan Docherty. The distances are 250m swim, 7km bike and 1.8km run. I am going off first and I will be tagging Kris. The water is about 29deg, warmer than a pool and blue sky out.. more sun burn to add to yesterday's.Another 6th place finish. I had a great race yesterday but I couldn't finish it off properly. I swum well to exit with in the front bunch but found it frustrating that
everyone wouldn't take their share of the workload to keep away from the chasers. Although we finished in a group of 8 going into the run, I was still disappointed because it wasn't enough time to stay in front and it could have been. I felt really good during the bike and going onto the run, so I did what I could and ran out strong with Emma Moffatt (AUS). I actually ran 3min 13sec for the first km, so fast and strong. I dropped off the lead pace in the 2nd lap and the next 5km when I was running by myself, I just had that feeling like my body was shutting down and I was too tired to push. My leg turnover slowed and I slowed considerabily. It was humid and hot and windy, all together made it the toughest race conditions. At the 8km Emma Snowsill ran by and then the others. I finished with a 38.18 run, 2min 40 behind Emma Moffatt who won the $200000 US prize.
In the mens race, it came down to an exciting sprint finish with Simon Whitfield crossing the line first in front of Brad Kahlefeldt, Jan Frodeno and Kris Gemmell. SO close, it was epic!
Today is the Triathlon World Team Championships, a new event which we hope will be included to the London Olympic Games. I am in the NZ team with Kris Gemmell, Sam Warriner and Bevan Docherty. The distances are 250m swim, 7km bike and 1.8km run. I am going off first and I will be tagging Kris. The water is about 29deg, warmer than a pool and blue sky out.. more sun burn to add to yesterday's.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Washington - World Championship Series

A 6th place finish, which brings me up to 6 on the World Championship rankings.
The Potomac river served us a challenging swim. The field spread out pretty quickly because of the drift which pushed us together into the ropes of the first 2 bouys. I found the bike really tough, especially coming out of the corners and because I was in the chase group 35sec back out of the water, so we had to put in a lot of effort to get reach the front of the race. On the run, the long straight road spread the field out and by the last lap there was a gap between each of us in the top 10. Emma Moffatt (1st) and Emma Snowsill (2nd) and Daniela Ryf (3rd) all had great runs to take the podium positions.
Laurent too, had a great run, 30.29 the 2nd fastest in the mens field, to finish 7th after a group of 5 got away after the swim and built up a 2min lead coming off the bike.
Now from Washington DC to Des Moines, Iowa, for the big money World Cup in 6 days time.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

In Washington DC for the World Championship Series

It's the day before race day and I'm not sure what to expect tomorrow. There was heavy rain this morning and thunder and as a result the river water quality is below the required clear level. If there is no back up swimming venue, we will be racing a duathlon 5km run / 40km bike / 10km run.
I won the Beauvais French Grand Prix last weekend which was a sprint triathlon and ran an average of 3min 24sec per km, I will need to run a lot more like 3min 15sec per km for the first 5km to keep in touch to the front of the field going onto the bike leg.
A duathlon for the Triathlon World Championships Series!!, I'm not really sure how that works..

Thursday, June 4, 2009

1st Place in Madrid World Championship Series

What a race!.. What a result!..and what an amazing feeling! it was the perfect finish, after 2hrs and 5min of racing, the race was between 5 of us going into the final 300m. And it wasn't until the final metre that I lunged for the line and got my chest one centimetre infront. The finish was so close it took 5 minutes for the official decision between myself and Lisa Norden SWE. There was nothing more we could do but wait. I did some little jumps when we heard the official result and I had a huge smile.
I love the Madrid triathlon. I had previously finished twice 2nd here in 2006 and 2007 behind Vanessa Fernandes POR, as Vanessa has been the only ever winner here, winning 6 times.

At the start of the race I chose a position towards the right end of the start pontoon. My start wasn't great, the girls around me were similar speed off the mark but then veered away as I veered left and swam out through the middle. I reached the first bouy in 20th position and swam in a similar position in the pack for the 1500m and exited in 17th position, about 30sec from the lead.
Out front, Annabel Luxford AUS and Sarah Haskins USA managed to ride away from the chasers which I joined during the first lap. I helped with the chase and we caught them the 3rd time up the hill out of 8. I felt really good on the bike so I continued working after we caught. Although Vanessa Raw GBR was taking the biggest turns and really pushing when she was out front. She was working so much more than anyone else that I looked around to see if anyone else noticed. And I noticed the pack had got smaller, a few people had dropped and there were no other british athletes in the pack so she wasn't helping anyone, she just wanted to ride hard as she pulled out of the race during the run. The pace on the bike overall was good because we finished the bike with a 1min 30sec lead.
Going into T2, I had a clean dismount just behind Ricarda Lisk GER and we had the quickest transition 26sec and went onto the run a few seconds ahead of the rest of the group. I felt the heat straight away as my sweat was drying on my face, so every time I could I tipped water over myself. Lisa Norden took over the lead at 500m and pushed the pace for 2km then Sarah Haskins, Jess Harrison FRA and Christiane Pilz GER caught and started taking the lead. I didn't feel as though I could increase the pace of the pack so I didn't. I had 2 Spanish guys on mountain bikes riding either side of the road yelling "Vamos Hewitt Venga Venga Venga" it was cool, I had so much support so far away from home in Madrid. With 500m to go, I took the lead. The final corner was 200m away and I wanted to round it first but just as I approached the corner Lisa took the inside and attacked. I was first to follow down the 200m finishing straight. I sprinted twice getting within a metre but not passing her. It was only in the final 15m I (switched the mongrel switch) put on my hurt face for the last steps and closed the gap. We crossed the line so close to each other neither one of us knew which way the decision would go, but looking at the picture I had the best lunge, it must be from all those sprints I had on the beach in Surf Life Saving. The other major race where I had a close sprint was with Debbie Tanner in the Commonwealth Games for the bronze. And last week I had some sprint practise in the French Grand Prix, practise losing, this time I got it right.
I've had great emails and facebook messages. Thank you everyone for your support. And thanks to the Madrid crowd as I only remember hearing "Vamos HEWITT"

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Dunkerque French Grand Prix Triathlon

Last weekend I raced in a sprint distance triathlon in Dunkerque, the first round of the French GP series. It is a team competition format of 5 rounds and the best 3 individual results from each team determine the team's points for the round. I'm competing for Beauvais Triathlon for my third year racing in this series. We have finished 2nd behind Poissy Triathlon for the past 2 years. And again in Dunkerque we finished 2nd behind Poissy.
The Beauvais team chose a starting position right in the middle of the pontoon, just asking for a fight really which is exactly what happened when we dove into the water. I was struggling to swim for the first 200m to the first bouy as there was everyone swimming so close to each other. After the 750m, I exited 35sec behind the leader Jess Harrison FRA. As soon as I got on my bike I put on my bike shoes and put my hands on my drops and focused on getting my way to the front. I weaved around 10 or so who didn't manage to keep up and rode my way up to the front group of 10 with 4 others by the 8km mark. The remaining 12km of the bike was relatively easy and I came off the bike and out of T2 feeling good at the beginning of the run. Anja Dittmer GER pushed first then Magali Di Marco SUI, the first 1km was hard. But then everyone settled down and we comfortably ran together as a group. Directly in front of me, Emmie Charayron FRA tripped as she was running too close behind Anja with 300m to go and Erin Densham AUS, who ran up from 30sec behind, began the sprint and Anja followed quickly as Jodie Swallow GBR and I were a bit slower to chase. I crossed the line in 3rd place, really happy to have put together a strong race especially in the bike and run, still have to put in more work on my wetsuit swimming though.
And a huge congrats to Laurent who put together an awesome race to win the mens race.
I have lots to think about for Madrid which will most likely be a non wetsuit swim with 30deg estimated this Sunday. I travel from France to Madrid on Thursday and I am looking forward to catching up with John, my coach, who is coming to see the race from NZ. This weekend is an important race as it is part of the World Championship series in which all the races of the series accumulate points for the final World Championship ranking for 2009. A+

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The 1st World Champs Series race - A race to forget

I began the Tongyeong World Championship series race with a bad swim leg, then a crash on the first lap on the bike which resulted in losing contact with any group and caused my left bottom cheek to swell up all grazed.
I exited the water over 1 minute behind and at 2km on the bike I went down.
After I crashed I jumped straight back on my bike with my chain off, so had to get off again and fumble with my chain and of course by then the group was gone. I rode alone for 20km then decided to wait for the girl behind me as I was losing time by myself. It also hurt to go down on my aerobars with the burn on my forearm, and I didn't feel like I was riding well. I waited for Supanova UKR who was chasing behind me. But when I got onto the run, there was no energy, I felt flat and each time I took on water, it touched my burn and it stung. So, a race to forget about. I will keep dry for the next 5 days at least and heal.
Now I am a supporter, I will cheer on Laurent in the mens race!
Allez Laurent :)

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Bye bye NZ

I arrived in South Korea last night for the first event of my 2009 overseas race season. On Saturday is the Tongyeong Triathlon World Championship series race 1. At breakfast this morning, I had an interview with Peter Holmes from ITU media. It is posted on . I see my sister, Sara, in Dubai has already seen it and has put a link to it from her facebook :)thanks sis. Yesterday I landed at Busan airport, then there was a 2 hours drive to Tongyeong. So at 12.30pm when I arrived at the hotel, I crashed straight in bed.But I was woken up, first at 6am, then at 7am from work beginning in the harbour directly outside of my room. I am unfazed by most things when I sleep, but the bed here has the hardest mattress ever, so it was difficult to get comfy again to go back to sleep. At 7am I was awake and not sleepy, the jetlag for me here is going to be more at night, because of travelling 3 hours backwards. At 7pm it is 10pm in NZ so over dinner I'm sure I'll be falling asleep. I rode to the swimming pool after breakfast and rode back, stopping off at Familymart for some lunch. I like the takeaway triangle sushi but I'm not sure about the sweet bread. And lunch cost 10000 won, the inflation must have been high here at some point.. The World Championship series events all have live coverage in the country of the event. But if you aren't in Korea, then you can watch the live coverage on the internet on this Saturday 2nd May on . It starts at 1.55pm local time = 4.55pm NZ time, and the mens race is on Sunday. The Olympic distance triathlon 1500m swim 40km bike 10km run will take around 2 hrs and there will be coverage on Sky Sport in NZ sometime too. Take care, Andrea

Monday, April 6, 2009

New Plymouth ITU Triathlon

It was the day after my birthday and I was all smiles going into the race. I felt ready on the start line and I had nothing to worry about at that stage, my start was fine. I led the swim to the first bouy alongside Jenna Shoemaker USA and along the back straight, as we were dragging off each other Maxine Seear AUS passed us on the inside and took the lead. Maxine reached the sand first and I managed to wade her down to jump on her feet for the 2nd lap. Then as I reached my bike, stepped on (haven't managed to jump in a race still) and started riding up the hill for the first time, I didn't look around until the top and saw we were only 3. I rode the 40km with Kirsten Sweetland CAN and Nicky Gould NZL. Coming off the bike I knew straight when they passed me that there was no flowing feeling. I felt like I was running up and down and not forward. All I could do was run the best I could to the finish. I ran 38.52 for my 10km which was enough for 4th as Kiyomi Niwata JPN ran me down from the chase pack. Kirsten Sweetland won her 2nd race in 2 weeks and Nicky finished 2nd.
I'm disappointed with my race as it was my first of the season and I really have had a good summer of training. I can put it down to the last month of training which has been 2 weeks of under 10hrs because of a virus then racing Singapore Ironman 70.3 and the other 2 weeks of recovering and building up again for this race.
I know I have a good base under me, so I've got 3 weeks to build back my strength to be able to race completely for the entire 2hrs. I couldn't do that this weekend in front of my mum, dad, family and friends in New Zealand. I now have to wait until the Gold Coast series final race in September to enjoy a race with their support again.
Thanks to the Barnett family for their wonderful hospitality again in New Plymouth.
Up next is World championship series race #1 - Tongyeong, South Korea.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

My ITU season begins

My 2009 ITU Triathlon season begins this weekend with the New Plymouth ITU Triathlon this Sunday. It is 2 weeks after my last race, the Singapore Ironman 70.3 and I finally feel like I have recovered. I have enjoyed training at home in Christchurch for 5 months this summer.
Thank you Roly (currently on holiday in Thailand ;-) ) for your QE2 triathlon swimming squad sessions and it has been great riding and running with local, French and Hong Kong athletes. Soon I will be travelling with Laurent to Sète, France where I will be training for the next few months.
My first big race of the season will be in Tongyeong, South Korea on 2nd May. It is the first of 7 World Championship series events. This year the top 5 best results will accumulate points towards the 2009 World Champion. This has changed from previous years where the World Championships was one event. The 7 race format is a lot more exciting and more difficult because every series event is important now to earn points to become the World Champion.
And for the new season I have a new uniform. I will be racing in this.

Monday, March 23, 2009

2nd Place in my first 70.3 Ironman

Ok, it's finished. That's the first thing I thought when I crossed the finish line. There was no "oh that was fun" or "I'm so glad I did that" ..although I was happy and I was smiling. I actually had had a good result. I finished in 2nd place - although I was 11min 14sec behind Jodie Swallow of Great Britain, congratulations to her for her first 70.3 too. My first reactions to the1/2 Ironman distance is that it is a long way. It didn't feel like a race when I blew up and had pins and needles through my arms to my fingers. The day started off well with a nice controlled and relaxed swim and I felt like I was riding strongly. I blew at 75km on the bike! I pretty much stopped! Bryan Rhodes who was having a leisurely ride behind me actually thought I punctured by my pace change when I slowed down. I lost over 2 minutes in that short distance to be caught by the Tereza Macel from Czech Republic, going onto the run. There is no worse feeling than not being able to push the pedals around fast. My SRM power went from around 200 to 118 and I couldn't hold onto my aerobars. I was just resting my hands wondering if this feeling would pass. At transition I was totally out of it as I forgot to take my feet out of my bike shoes. When I got onto the run I was just jogging. That's all I could do. So that was fun with 21.1km ahead of me. I jogged and managed to keep that pace good enough to keep a distance behind Tereza and had the energy to push for the final 5km and passed her with 1km to go. My run time for the half marathon was 1.37.06. It's time to catch my flight back home to Christchurch. I had a great time today, the day after the race. I went on the Singapore Flyer and got my feet and hands nipped at by these crazy fish which can't get enough of eating the dead skin off you. Sounds crazy but it feels nice after a minute once you get used to it.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Almost race day of my first 70.3 Ironman

Just 2 more sleeps until I have a long race ahead of me. The water here in Singapore is as warm as a swimming pool and the humidity makes me sweat just walking to lunch. So I'm at Bobby's, my homestay, house in Serangoon resting before I head out to the race site for an ESPN interview (another first for me) and the race press conference.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Getting ready for Singapore 70.3

What must I do before racing my first 70.3 Ironman? The first part is done - my bike is converted.. Bikeright have removed the triathlon bars and changed it into a time trial bike (thanks to Aaron Billing who has lent me a full carbon set of handlebars and aerobars). Now the difficult desicions of how i'll race and how i'll keep my energy up during the race because it is more than twice as long as an Olympic distance race which I am used to. I know what is best for me, but only from trialing through my training what food and sports gels my stomach digests and what stuff doesn't. But then again, training is so much more different than competition. The intensity alone changes everything. I won't actually know exactly how much i'll be eating or drinking until during the race, so my bike will have gels and bars stuck all over it. I had a look at the start list yesterday and there is only 10 Elite females! and with only 11 in the mens field, it's a really small Elite field. I plan to swim 1.9km on the feet of anyone who is front of me, to ride as close as (but 7 metres behind) anyone on the bike course for 90km (including the age groupers on the 2nd and 3rd laps) and I plan to run as fast a pace as I can for 21km. All I know is the pace will be slower than an Olympic distance race, although I don't think it will feel easier. I travel on Wednesday from Christchurch to race this Sunday.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Takapuna Triathlon

Summer is flying by, as it is already time to start racing in 2009. I raced last weekend in Auckland. There was some pressure for my first triathlon of the season as it was shown Live on TV 1 for everyone to watch.
I dove into the water feeling really strong as I pulled away from the field in the opening 500m swim leg. I took it easy up the 200m hill into transition, as I didn't feel like trying going alone on the bike. I had just come off the Buller Half Marathon win last weekend, so I wanted to see how my legs were over 5km against the others. On the first 2 laps of the bike I could hear my breathing, but it was just first race shock to the body because the bike got easier riding in the front pack with 6 others. And I ran strongly the whole 5km winning from Sam Warriner. It's good to start the season off on a high note.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Buller Half Marathon

On 14th February instead of waking up to flowers and chocolates, I woke up at 5.30am in Punakaiki on the West Coast of the South Island of NZ and drove 45min to Westport for the Buller half marathon. It was overcast and mild; perfect weather for running. My technique felt really good the whole race. It was a nice feeling realising that all the drills and specific running technique training had a significant effect during the race. I managed to never run alone so the pace was changing with different surges from the guys trying to break away from a girl. The hills were noticable on the second half of the run when they became longer and the first part of my body to feel the fatigue were my quads. I went through the 5km in 17.06, the 10km in 35.00 and finished 11th overall, 1st woman in a time of 1 hour 15 minutes 56 seconds. And with this run I feel like racing now.. so I have just confirmed my entry for the Takapuna NZ Triathlon national series race this Saturday 21st Feb in Auckland. You catch this live on TV1 4pm-6pm.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Canterbury Surf Life Saving Team places 2nd

I competed in the Lion Foundation Surf League last weekend as a member of the Canterbury surf life saving team. It was great to be back involved in a team with team racing throughout the whole weekend. Although, nothing much has changed in the surf league since the last time I competed 5 years ago. We had a great team this year who competed so strongly over the weekend that we finished 2nd behind the Taranaki team. I enjoyed the short racing. Nothing beats the intensity of a 5 minute race. The 200m run relay was a shock to my legs though which were not used to sprinting and adding that it was soft sand too made the run feel even longer. But my ski paddle won't be taken out again this year; I have more running to do. This Saturday I'll be on the West Coast running the Buller half marathon.