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"