I departed for New Zealand 9 days prior to the competition to get used to the time zone and climate before my race. I arrived in very miserable weather conditions while a storm was passing over for the following couple of days. Winds reached 80km/h and the rain was on and off the whole time. With jet lag setting in well and training in these conditions, I picked up a bad head cold after the weekend which was very upsetting and depressing. I did everything I could to get better before my race on the Saturday but still raced with sinusitis and a throat infection.
My race preparations went very well and I wasn’t going to let the cold affect me mentally. A lot of hard work and money all went into the next week in Auckland before the biggest race of the year.
I worked really well and managed to keep calm, but waiting the entire day for my race on Saturday with a 3.15pm start, my nerves set in. It was a cold day with temperatures averaging about 15/16 degrees during our race which meant for an extra intake of calories before the race which I didn’t do…
At 3.10 we were lined up and called to the pontoon for the start of the race. The horn went off and I had a shaky start with both athletes on either side of me swimming into me. I sprinted the first 150m to get ahead and out of the chaos and saw another athlete ahead on the far side. I managed to get the lead into the first buoy with a better line. I kept the lead and apparently strung out the entire field, job well done! After a comfortable swim I headed into T1 first and out in 2nd, we quickly formed a 3 man group attempting to get away. The front group soon caught up and we were flying through the very hilly and technical bike course. On lap 2 or 3 I lost the wheels of the group and was riding with 2 other athletes who had the same problem as me. I tried to work and catch up with the other two on my wheel, but after 2 laps I/we decided to wait for the chase pack. On lap 6 of 8 I experienced problems on the bike and fell off the group and rode alone till T2. It could’ve been sickness and/or being hungry during the race that could’ve affected me. My world disappeared beneath me because there was nothing I could do to get back. I came a long way for this race and I wasn’t prepared for a bad race or a DNF. I gave everything I had to finish the race with a 36m18 run. I finished in a very disappointing and demoralizing 41st position.
Results can be viewed on the the ITU website here: http://www.triathlon.org/results/results/2012_itu_world_triathlon_grand_final_auckland/7850/
One thing to learn from this experience is that it’s not about how hard you fall but how you pick yourself back up. I am very motivated to train harder than I have ever before so I will be prepared for anything in any situation, and be the best I can possibly be.
I want to thank my family and girlfriend for all their support and letting me get to where I am today and hopefully to reach my fullest potential in triathlon. Thank you to my parents for paying for my trip and letting me experience racing at this level so I can use it as an advantage in future races and change weaknesses into strengths.
My overall experience in New Zealand was very good and the Kiwi’s are really very friendly people. Well done to all the athletes that competed and well done to all the South Africans in their races.
I will be competing in the last two BSG Series Triathlons and maybe an ITU African Cup to end off the year.
Watch this space for new videos from my new GoPro HD Hero2 that I got for my birthday!