Last weekend I competed in the Hamburg World Championship Series event in Hamburg, Germany. I had heard awesome things about the city and the event and I was really excited to experience the atmosphere first hand. The city certainly lived up to its reputation and the fans were easily the best I have ever raced in front of. Despite really crazy, wet and windy weather, the spectators were three deep around most of the course and cheering full force for everyone, not just the German competitors. Riding and running through the transition area each lap sent adrenaline rushing through my body. I will definitely return to Hamburg to race again.
I had a really good swim, even though I thought I was well back in the pack for the majority of the swim. I only realized at the 1000 meter mark, when we climbed out to dive back in for the shorter second lap, that I was just hanging on to the back of the front pack. Behind me, there was a good 30 second gap to the rest of the field. It was the hardest and most painful swim of my career, and even though I lost my feet in the last 200 meters, it was my best swim in an event of this caliber and certainly redemption from the terrible time I had in D.C. last month.
It took me two laps to get my legs going on the bike and unfortunately, by the time I launched my first, of about four, attacks the break had already been formed. I got within about 10 seconds of the leading 3, but was unable to close the gap on my own. I attacked a few more times, more for safety purposes, as the roads were very wet and many of the girls were very unsure on their bikes, but was unable to get enough help to make anything stick.
T2 was a slip and slide. Girls were flying everywhere when their feet hit the blue carpet! I had a clean dismount, got my shoes on and was ready to head off, but I couldn't unclip my helmet!! My hands were so cold from the rain and wind that my dexterity was seriously lacking. Eventually, I got it unclipped and headed out on the run on a pair of very tired and very cold legs. Mid-way through the second lap I finally started to find my rhythm but by that point I had already lost the big chase group that I needed to run in. I ended the day in 24th place having learned a number lot of lessons, having gained a world of experience and having smashed myself for two hours straight! I am now 58th in the World Champs Series, 39th in the World and 5th in the USA.
This weekend, I head to London for the London Triathlon. It is a draft-legal race but not an ITU event. It should be a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to going back to London, as I really enjoy the city.
Also, be sure to check out the Garmin "Into Sports" section online for more posts, rides and updates from me (and the guys of Garmin-Slipstream)!