ITU World Championships
September 15, 2013
International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships is by far the biggest race I have competed at. It was a full week of racing and excitement. I have never seen a whole city get shut down for a race. Everywhere you looked, whether it was on the street or in the hotel there were triathletes in their country’s uniforms and banners advertising the race.
The day of the race was the most nerve racking, like it is before any race. A 5am wake up to get to transition. Getting set up in the dark and having race officials yelling at you because the rules are very strict when it comes to transition; so strict that you were not allowed a towel, and if you did leave one, you were disqualified. After setting up transition, the rest of the time was spent trying to stay warm because the temperature was 52 degrees.
My age group (18-19) was the first wave to go off. We were scheduled to go off at 7am. However, we were delayed by 20 min because of roads not being closed off so they ended up cutting the swim in half. We only had to do 800 yards instead of 1650 yards because of the fear of hypothermia. The swim started on a pontoon, and it was a very quick start. The first 200 yards was an all out sprint to get your own space. After the chaos, I got into my swim pace and went from there. The swim was cold even in a wetsuit, and the water was so cloudy that you could not see your hands.
Transition was massive, and it took a long time to get to. The bike racks were about a quarter from the swim exit, but once you got there though and found your bike in the sea of bikes, it was like any other transition.
The bike was a two-loop course and was really cold! I wasn’t trying to hold a certain pace or wattage. I was just chasing the people in front of me. First lap was very uneventful. There was about a dozen people ahead of me on the bike, and there was really no passing being done. The only thing I could think of during this lap was that I could not feel my feet. The second lap was a little more eventful because as I started this lap the twenty-five and up age group was just getting onto the bike course, and a lot of them passed me like I was standing still. I caught up to two kids from Great Britain and the three of us battled on the bike for the next twelve miles.
The run was three loops around the lake we swam in. The run did not start off great. Running out of transition, something flew into my mouth. When I went to spit it out it stung me in the lip! My lip was swollen by mile two. The run was fun I stayed behind a twenty-six year old from New Zealand for two laps and that helped me pace. On the last lap I took off and pick up the pace for the last two miles. On the run I did not get passed by anyone in my age group, but I did not pass anyone from my age group either. I ended up running my fastest 10K ever in about 38:50, and I finished the race at 2:04.00, which placed me 15th in my age group out of 31. Overall, it was a fun race, and I encourage anyone who gets the opportunity to race at ITU world championships to take it because it’s an amazing experience!