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