Fern Davies – Update 3
2014 SCA Oceania & Australian Duathlon Championships
It’s the day before the 2014 SCA Oceania & Australian Duathlon Championships and to say I’m feeling nervous is an understatement. Throughout this week I have been preparing myself as best I can, ensuring my nutrition was good, having enough sleep, still training at a reduced level and trying to relax! Although I was very nervous as I was the youngest competitor, I was also very excited to be part of the junior elite race, competing against the best in the country. I knew the course as I had trained on it three times before the competition and I felt prepared to give the race my all especially with all the support I had from ATC members, family and friends.
When race briefing and registration was over, the next day rolled on quickly. Thankfully, there was no early start and waking up at 8:20am was probably the latest I have stayed in bed before a competition. When I arrived at the venue in the morning the weather was hot, at nine o’clock it was already twenty nine degrees with the sun blazing and no clouds present. After the technical officials had checked my bike and tri suit, I sat down in the shade thinking about the race and mentally going over the course. I kept hydrating myself and ate some food that would provide an energy boost during the race.
The bike course was open and all of the elite athletes rode around the 5km loop. I didn’t go fast like some athletes however; I did notice where any pot holes were and when I should brake before the corner at the bottom of the hill. Grant Melzer gave me key advice on how I should race the course and what I should do, so I didn’t tire myself out too quickly and how to keep cool and hydrated during the race. Once we had completed the lap, I went for a warm up run. I didn’t need to go far as I was already hot however; it was good to get my body used to the heat. After, I had done the run and a few stretches, transition was open. I set up transition and made sure I knew where I entered and exited as well as where my bike was to ensure that I wouldn’t get lost during the transition time. After I had set up my equipment I went back to the shade, and completed more stretches and drills to prepare for the race.
The commentator announced that our race was going to start in five minutes; all athletes had to line up in numerical order in transition and wait until our names were called. When my name was called I had to jog to the start line, it was a great feeling when I had the loudest clap and cheer out of everyone in all the female elite races. The starter sounded the horn and the race was off…….
The first 5km was fast which was expected and I wasn’t feeling too good, I took a drink in the first station and poured it over myself. The lead pack had got a big distance and I felt like I was lagging behind. When I was running up the slight incline to the first lap turn around I could see I was catching two girls. It was the second lap of the run and surprisingly I was feeling better (my nerves had calmed), I caught one girl and was close to another. I had a good first transition and put my shoes on quickly. I was concerned about the hill as it is probably my worst aspect on the bike. However, I caught the girl from Queensland whist climbing which was encouraging and we worked hard together around the course, taking it in turns to draft off each other.
Each lap climbing Montefiore hill became harder as when I reached the top my legs would be lactic. However, on the third lap I could see the second place girl (another Queenslander) and I was determined to catch her up. It was now the final lap on the bike and we were all working together to finish in a good position for the final run. I tried to make surges throughout the last lap however, the girls kept up with me and I knew it was all on the run. When we went into T2, it all went smoothly and I was the first one out. I looked later at the results and I was the fastest person in and out of T2 which was a bonus as it got me out quickly into the run.
The run was tough however, the further I went the better I seemed to get. From running out of the transition first I didn’t see any of the other girls again. Whilst running I could see the first girl and I was slowly catching up. I didn’t have far to go and I was hurting, but I couldn’t stop. I picked up the pace to finish and I was so relieved when I had. Straight after the race we were all congratulating each other and it was great to get to know the girls more. I must thank the Sports Chiropractic Australia crew so much for giving me a great massage after the race. When I had gone for my cool down many people congratulated me which was a great feeling. I was then told that I had won a gold medal as I was the first junior elite female from Australia. This was a huge shock as I thought I had finished second, however, the first girl was from New Zealand which meant I had also won the silver medal in the Oceania Championships! I was so happy and pleased with my overall performance.
It was now presentation time and I received my medals with an extra surprise bonus of receiving prize money as I was the fourth female overall in the Oceania Championships. I want to say a huge Thank You to Andrew, Meg and the ATC members (too many to mention) for having the confidence in me, encouraging me and supporting me throughout my training and during the competition. Also, a big thank you to Mike Spurling for his, encouragement, support and believing in my ability to get me to where I am now. Another thank you to the Team Tempo crew for letting me be a part of there community and helping me improve my running significantly. It was also great to have you there shouting out for me, it really helped as I knew that I couldn’t slow down!
It’s time to move on now so here’s to the tough triathlon season ahead and the Duathlon World Championships next October in Adelaide!