Once again I am a little late on race reports but I guess its better late then never, right?
At the start line of U23 Nationals in Magog, QB I could feel the very familiar butterflies in my stomach. I had only done my first ever Olympic distance race two weeks earlier so I didn't really know what to expect. I knew the swim would be fine but I was dreading trying to stay with the pack for the 40km bike.
I didn't have the best start of my life. I was used to Junior series races where I get clear water every time. I got boxed in for the first 750m of the 1500m swim and was forced to swim slower then I would have liked. Eventually I got clear of the group I was in and bridged up to the leaders. I came out of the water near the tail end of what was going to be the lead pack but I was still comfortable in my position.
I knew the bike was going to be faster then I had ever gone. For the first 2 of 5 laps I made sure to not take to many pulls at the front. I moved up only on turns and hills to ensure that I wouldn't get dropped. With each lap I became more comfortable. By the 4th lap I had a smile on my face because I knew I was going to stay with the pack.
Heading out for the run I was focused on just finishing the 10km. I had completed my main goal of staying with the lead bikers but my race wasn't over yet. I had a painful first of 4 laps trying to find some strength in my legs which at this point were burning from lactic acid. By the third lap my stride had picked up and I finished the run stronger then I started it.
I finished 16th overall and the 7th u23 athlete. With a successful first race I am looking forward to my future in elite racing.