My first 70.3 win is an experience that will stay with me forever. It was quite a gift as it happened on my favourite race course and I got to savour the last hundred meters running through the outstanding crowd that animated the heart of Boise on saturday!
What a wonderful conclusion to a race that felt just like a dream from start to finish. It seems like the wonderful Boise race is getting better every year!
It all started in the sun, in the beautiful lucky peak reservoir. As we treaded water waiting for the gun, I remember laughs and smiles. The afternoon start seemed to have lead to a relaxed atmosphere... although those smiles may also have been smiles of relief as the water was warmer than it was for last year’s freezing swim session!
At the sound of the gun, we were off. I was not surprised to see Brooke Davison take the lead right from the start , that was good, as I could focus on her incredible speed to bring up my pace and soon found myself in a three girl group including Samantha McGlone and Annie Warner, pushing through the choppy water.
I was excited coming out of the water in second place as that had been a good swim and I was looking forward to the hilly bike course. I felt confident and had one thought on my mind: There was one person to pass before I made it to the head of the race. I had a discussion with Lifesport coach Paul Regensburg the night before the race and he mentionned that there was something magic that went on at the front of a race and at that moment I had decided I wanted to have a taste of it on Saturday. Samantha had a quicker transition and I passed her on the elevated road across the dam on the way out of transition, determined never to look back and go for the magic feeling, or at least give it my best try. I just had to look ahead and push as hard as I could. Right after crossing the dam, we headed down a nice descent which would be the first of many encountered on the bike course that takes you to a tour of the Boise country side. I decided to push until I passed Brooke and took the lead, that is when I felt all that magic and realized how once you have a taste of the lead it is very hard to let it go!
I was first then and working hard as I knew Linsey Corbin and Samantha McGlone would be strong on the bike course.
The bike was a solitary battle with the elements. It was a fight through the thunder, lightning, hale and rain...everything was there to make the journey feel epic. And I have to admit I was quite surprised to be alone in the lead, heading down to transition on that long last stretch to transition in the heart of downtown Boise. Was this for real??? How close were the girls?
When, out of the transition, I heard I had a big lead, I was so surprised... I knew I was going to have a good run though, I still didn’t know exactly how far ahead I was and definitely knew Samantha and Linsey would be factors on the run.
But my dream scenario was there and I was to follow the plan and make it a progressive run. I started to get worried when I found myself counting porta potties rather than miles and was afraid of the consequences of downing my favorate caffeinated gel...I decided I would have to elaborate a bathroom strategy.... I was going to have to compromise for bathroom time and that was a scary thought! After having hesitated through 5 aid stations I finaly made a desperate attempt at the fastest bathroom split of my life. I now laugh when I think that a 22 seconds split was recorded on that stop (definitely a PB). The turnaround after loop one was right by the finish line which was a great chance to resource, passing through the roaring croud. So many positive people had made it to down town Bosie to cheer us on in the rain!... One man stood out, yelling on the way in–do it for a double cheese burger- and on the way out-with bacon and extra cheese-.
That actually was an interesting motivational approach which I used to push up the pace. With one lap to go, I was still feeling strong and couldn't believe it. It is at 5 km from the end that my legs really started feeling weaker and I had to concentrate to maintain my pace...until I made it to the unforgettable moment...that final run up to victory... making it to the finish line first is simply an undescribable experience.
A wonderful moment with my amazing team mate Linsey Corbin, who ha such a great race too, what a comeback from injury!
I really want to thank my coach, Lance Watson for the great work we have done together this year, thanks to him, I have shaved 20 minutes off last year's time. I have really been blessed with an amazing coach and inspiring new team.