This article was originally published on Amélie Kretz's website.
Better late than never!
May 16th came quickly and it was time to fly to Europe for the World triathlon series in London and the for next training block with the Wollongong Wizards.
London sprint WTS race was on May 31st. I flew to the Basque country (Spain) two weeks prior to the race to adapt properly to the time change and settle in Vitoria-Gasteiz, the Wollongong Wizard summer base.
Mother nature wasn’t really cooperative when I got there, we got a lot of cold and rainy days but that was perfect preparation for London’s weather.
Thursday before the race, I flew to London with my Wollongong Wizards teammates. At the airport, I got a message from my Mom saying that she just booked a ticket and she was on her way to London to see me as belated birthday present. How cool is that? I was so happy to have her there with me during the weekend.
4:45pm on Sunday, the gun went off. Water temperature, 15 degrees, Air temp, about the same.
I lined up on the starting pontoon right beside the speedy swimmer Carolina Routier from Spain. I had a great start, right from the beginning I had clear water. I jumped in the Spaniard’s feet and I knew she was going to be my ticket for the first pack. I wasn’t the only one with the that idea. The girl to my left starting swimming on top of me and we both lost her feet because we were more focussing on fighting with each other than swimming. So I decided to go right and jump on someone else’s feet. Next thing I knew, the same girl was there fighting with me for these feet too.
I exited the water in 10th place, with a gap behind the first pack of 8 girls.
I had a quick transition and started chasing right away on the bike. I had 3 girls with me but only one girl wanted to help me bridge to the first group. At the end of the first lap, we were caught by the main chase group of about 30 girls.
For the 15km remaining, I tried to stay out of trouble.
At the end of lap #3 (of 4), I heard a big loud noise on my right. Everybody in the pack thought it was a crash so the girls moved to the left side of the road. I was on the outside left, a girl cut her line and almost made me crash. I had to go around some cones to avoid crashing. The officials judged that I deserved a penalty for going out of the course for 2 seconds to avoid a crash.
T2 came quickly and I positioned myself at the front to avoid getting stuck behind girls in transition.
As soon as I started running, I knew is was going to be a fast run. My leg felt great but my feet were completely frozen!
After 2.5km, I was running comfortably in 5th position and then saw that I had to serve a 10″ penalty for what happened on the bike.
At that point, I had no idea why I had a penalty. I had the choice of serving it after 1 lap or just before the finish line after the second lap. I decided to serve it after the first lap to allow myself to chase down some girls during the second lap. So I ran to the penalty box and watched the girls go by for 10 lonnnnnnnnng seconds.
I got out of the box and was now 17th… I had one goal in mind, catch as many girls as possible.
I was able to run myself back into 9th place, with the second fastest run time of the day.
I was really frustrated when I crossed the finish line. I knew with my run I would’ve been in the top 4.
9th is still my best results in a WTS so far but I know I can do much better and I’m definitely hungry for more. I am still young and still not experienced in WTS racing with only two finishes so far. I am still making mistakes and learning but I know I belong there and that’s exciting.
Special thanks to Mommy for making the trip to London to cheer