Wednesday, 29 March 2017

March Blog Update- A month to remember!




Hey A-Team,


WOW, March 2017, what a month it’s been! My best month as professional Triathlete ever, with some awesome racing experience, big lessons learnt & a leap in the right direction. Time to reflect..


What did I say last update, exciting things were on the cards for this month & I didn’t disappoint myself as March kicked off on a flying high as I got the news from the Triathlon Australia Elite Selection Committee that I had been selected to Compete in my first WTS Event on the Gold Coast on April 8th. The WTS or World Triathlon Series is the pinnacle of racing in our sport, the best of the best triathletes in the ITU World Rankings putting it all on the line, it doesn’t get any better! Its fast, its furious, & it is time to get amongst it because the bar just raised!


The WTS consists of generally 9 races across the globe, starting in March in Abu Dhabi before heading through the season to; Gold Coast, Yokohama, Leeds, Hamburg, Edmonton, Montreal & Stockholm, finishing with the Grand Final & World Championships in Rotterdam.

I am so thrilled to have earnt my oppourtunity to race at the top, since first starting in Triathlon back 4 years ago, it has always been high on my list of dream goals to race as a professional athlete on the World Series. It’s safe to say I can’t wait & I’ll be out there to give my best swim, bike & run, but I’ll have a little smile on my face as I enjoy soaking up the first WTS race of my dreams!

This WTS race on the Gold Coast also doubles as the first of two automatic qualifying races for us Australians to earn our spot on the Commonwealth Games team for 2018, which will be a 6 person male & female team, (3 & 3) racing at home on this same course over the sprint distance (750m/20km/5km) come April next year. I am so thrilled to be given the oppourtunity among the other super strong female & male athletes lining up to have their shot at earning a spot to represent their country in the Green & Gold at a major games!!


This time around I’ll be lucky enough to have my Mum & some of my closest friends up on the Gold Coast to support & enjoy this experience with me! Without the amazing support of my close family & friends I have around me I certainly wouldn’t have got to this point as “sane” as I am now so I’m thrilled that they can be there to watch & cheer me through the next step!

Mick & I have been working hard at planning through March to have the best lead up into the Gold Coast race possible, through a month of hard training & racing in March I’m confident in the work I’ve done to this point as we head into April!


But enough about that, can’t get too ahead of yourself, time to reflect on March!

I had 2 big target events this month; Mooloolaba World Cup & Devonport Olympic Oceania & Australian Elite Championships. Both events doubling as Automatic Selection events for the Australian U/23 World Championship team in Rotterdam in September this year. Mooloolaba World Cup was first up on the Sunshine Coast of QLD, providing just that- warmth & sunshine!

This was my 4th trip up to Mooloolaba, and only last year this event was my first World Cup race & it was really exciting to be going back as a better athlete & to tackle the Olympic distance course up there.

Arriving a few days early I had time to settle into some prep work & get familiar with the course. Feeling excited come race day & ready to rumble, I was confident in the last 2 months work behind me coming back into this domestic season & I just wanted to relish this confidence, focus on my processes & let the rest take care of itself.


Us females kicked off in a relatively small field of under 20 Elite females, at 11.30am. A 1500m surf ocean swim, navigating some swell & waves on the bank, a 8 lap 40km ride up & over Alexandra Headland twice per lap, and then a hilly 10km run to top it off, through the crowd packed promenade of Mooloolaba and up over that hill, only 4 times this time around..


It was certainly hot out on course from the start with the water temp sitting at about 27 degrees. Coming from a strong surf life saving background I used these surf skills to my advantage to get an early lead & hold this exiting the water with a small group of girls just behind on my tail!

Treated to an uphill soft sand run into transition before quickly getting up & away on the bike! Being a smaller field you have less depth & so often see bigger splits & divide between packs that wouldn’t usually emerge. Our front pack of 6 athletes worked hard over the 40km to roll turns & maintain our lead over the 5 hard working girls of the chasing pack, just extending this lead in the last few laps out to around 50 secs getting off the bike & onto the run.



Heading out on the run I felt great early..  a mixture of excitement, lack of experience & my nature meant I went out off the front on the run early & stuck here…. I was thrilled to be leading my 4th world cup… up until around the half way point at 5km when I didn’t stick so well as Emma Jackson was the first athlete to came past & eventually take the World Cup Win! Until this 5km hurdle mark I was feeling comfortable & relatively fresh on the legs, but this was a different story 4km later as I headed into the back end of this 10km.

Having burnt a few too many matches early I started to fatigue & it became a game of holding onto form. On the third lap Ash Gentle came past me having run up from the chasing pack & with one lap to go I was sitting in third but that last 2.5km really stung. I so wanted to hang on for my first World Cup podium & I will openly admit I am disappointed in my 4th place finish here in Mooloolaba having lost my spot on an all Aussie podium in the last 1km downhill stretch as Rivas from Mexico came up to take over & finish in bronze behind Emma & Ash Gentle. Finishing I was disappointed with the back end of my run but I soon looked to the positives gained in this race, with many lessons to take forward into future racing at this level over a standard distance.


After a quick call to Mick & my Mum & best friend Mads I accepted that 4th hurts but was proud of my efforts & happy that I backed myself out there, taking away my best World Cup finish & result to date. I also earnt myself the first of 2 Automatic team selection positions on the Australian team for World Champs, Okay yep… it was a pretty great day out! But us athletes are always critical of ourselves & that’s what makes us always strive to be better!


Heading home from Mooloolaba early the next morning with an epic circle trisuit tan on my back as a reminder haha. It was time to get home & start my recovery so I could be in the best possible shape to head down to Devonport Tasmania in a few days time looking to back up with another performance here.

We Headed down to Devonport Tasmania on Thursday via Melbourne and then on a little Qantas link plane. It's always the luck of the draw with these little planes whether your bike will arrive at the other end …. unfortunately for me my bike was left behind in Melbourne! Fortunately this meant I was treated to a sunset ride when it finally arrived.


Travelling down to Tasmania with Mick and the High-Performance Tri & NSW U/23 squad. Last minute my Mum Supa decided to book a ticket down to Tassie to watch me race and get out of the house, having come so far following a hip and the replacement only two months ago! I was so thrilled to have Mum come along for the weekend with some quality mother-daughter time! The joys of tapering, offers us athletes a lot more time to sit & relax & ... eat. 


Friday was a day to get familiar with the course, as well as briefing and athlete registration at Devonport Surf club! If you ever find yourself down there make sure you go to the cafe below – “Adrift” it serves some of the yummiest food and I think we found ourselves becoming quite the regulars over that three days! Best dish on the menu had to be the fresh calamari & slaw + mayo tacos! Mum’s drink of choice, a corona in the sun didn't look too bad either ... not that I can comment #AthleteLife! Straight out of a “From where you’d rather be” Corona commercial!

The body was feeling good post Mooloolaba and I was ready to roll the next afternoon for the Oceania and Australian Elite and Under 23 Olympic distance championships! 

After watching the spirit of Tasmania wondering into Devonport race day morning, I was up early for some activation work and food!  Legs up and Netflix on before it was time to go down to race venue! The wind had come up and it was quite a different picture than the day previous with so much chop Devonport almost had a decent size wave on! 

Us Elite women kicked off at 1pm making our way around the rough swim course over the 1500 m! Taking on some extra fluid in the form of salt water I was able to again make the most of my surf swim background using the runners and chop to ride into shore with close to a 50 second lead over the rest of the girls! 




Heading out onto the windy 40 km bike leg knowing that I was going to have at least a few Hill reps solo. I tucked in and tried to settle into a solid rhythm! Tapping away it was looking  like Gillian Backhouse, fellow Aussie Elite & last year’s winner, might catch at about the 20km mark but I managed to hold my ground and increase my lead up to about 1:20mins by the end of the bike leg heading out onto the 10 km run!
I am a big fan of the North Street Hill, I might not say that during the race but I love how this course offers a challenging bike leg rather than the all-too-familiar out and back flat and simple option! I hope to see the hill remain as I return back down to Devonport racing in future years to come!

 Heading out onto the run I wasn't sure how my legs would feel after a tough solo 40 km ride and backing up from last weekend but I got myself settled into a comfortable rhythm and tapped away! Thankfully I was feeling pretty good on course and was able to comfortably hold my lead over the rest of the field to the finish line, where it was my chance to soak it all up!

Grabbing the tape & having that priceless post race hug and kiss off my beautiful mum who is waiting just across the line! A few tears shed and I was stoked to be able to claim my first Australian & Oceania Elite title & defend my U/23 title from 2016.


Also gaining the 2nd Automatic team selection position for World Champs in Rotterdam. Another terrific day in the office with smiles all round and this weekend I was able to step up on that podium and pop some bottles! Yahoo! There's something about being able to spray champagne on your good friends & competitors that just brings you pure joy and laughter!!


Soak it up I say you've got to enjoy the little wins along the way!! My first Elite Oceania & National Championship title- I never would have dreamed I would achieve this goal 3 years on from when I was first down here in Devonport as an age grouper Athlete trying to get my professional license to race against “those elites!”



I headed down the following morning to Hobart to stay with my friend Emily who had recently moved away from Sydney to complete her Masters Degree the little genius! Enjoying a day off and a nice stroll around the harbour side of Hobart I headed back to Sydney mentally refreshed and a little tired physically! 


A week ahead of settling back into Uni work as I progress through my final year of nursing studies, along with a relatively easy week of training as I let the body recover well before it's time to start sharpening up ready for Gold Coast early next month!




I was treated to a brilliant surprise by my amazing sponsors at Avanti Bikes and Avantiplus Narrabeen who surprised me with a brand new custom 2017 Avanti Corsa DR with Swift full carbon wheels and the new Duraace 9100. I'm honestly in love with my flash new two wheeled child! Like a little kid in a candy store I just can't wait to get on and rip into this speedy new bike after Gold Coast & into the next block of work ahead!! I can't thank the team at Avanti in Narrabeen who have supported me throughout the last few years and will continue to make sure I have the best bike & all the top gear for years to come!!



Not to mention I love the new colour scheme with a little bit of white on the top tube and more of a baby blue frame then sky blue, with that pinch of orange haha, you know it's just the little things guys!

I'm excited to announce to that I have partnered with a new sponsor moving forward, A3 performance! The guys at A3 Performance make sure I'm fully kitted out in the pool with the best range of goggles to choose from depending on whether I'm in the pool, surf, racing, training or in the sun or indoors- it's the little things day to day that make a difference for us as athletes in terms of comfort and getting the most out of yourself. My favourite goggles are the Fuse & Avenger Goggles! A3 Performance also have all the latest research & development in great new swim gear on the market, maximising my swim training benefits in the pool!! Do yourself a favour-  Checkout the guys online at a3performance.com


Now for March, that’s a wrap!

Thanks for the support & taking the time to read gang!


For any enquires please fill free to contact my manager by email;

erin@bemanagement.com.au

Bring on an exciting April aheah!!

Em x

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  1. Awesome Blog Em! Say G'day for your legend Mum for me. I'll look out for your April blog :)

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