Fern Davies – Update 5

A great bunch of ATC athletes before the Glenelg Aquathlon.

A great bunch of ATC athletes before the Glenelg Aquathlon.

What a great first half of the 2014/2015 triathlon season it has been as I have so far achieved my planned goals, winning local competitions including the second and third races in the State junior triathlon series held in Moana and Port Pirie, winning two further State Championships ,the Franklin Island sprint distance and the Aquathlon in lovely Glenelg. This success gave me extra confidence and extra practice for the first race of the Scody National Junior Triathlon Series held in the Gold Coast; which consisted of six short and fast races over the course of three days.

A few words that jump immediately to my mind after competing in Runaway bay are; tired, enthused, open minded and relieved. Three days of racing and then an extra four days in the National Junior High Performance Development camp which fortunately I was selected to attend. It was a great experience and I learnt so much.

The transition situated on the track

The transition situated on the track

We arrived in Runaway Bay two days before the races began. The weather was perfect that day however, looking at the weather for the weekend it was said to be stormy and rainy; yes I was worried about the weather affecting my performance however, I didn’t let this change my attitude for the race’s ahead. Putting that to the back of my mind, the Melzer Multisport Squad and I put our bikes together and went out on our first training session which was a swim and bike at the Runaway Bay Sports centre site. It was great to take a look at where we would be competing and understanding all the technical aspects of the course (and there was a lot!)

It was now Thursday and the nerves were increasing, especially when we went to the site of the races and I was able to see my competitors, find out what heats I was in for Friday and view how transition was set up. There was 44 girls competing and I knew I was in for a hard weekend of racing. When the day was over it was massage time and we went through a roller session with Jamie, our team physio from Physioactive. Getting to bed early was a priority because if you’re someone like me, I need my sleep before a hard day of competition.

Getting out of the pool, after the 300m swim, during the Aquathlon.

Getting out of the pool, after the 300m swim, during the Aquathlon.

The alarm rang at 6am awakening me for the start of the three days of competition. I had three races today, including an Aquathlon, Bike criterium and a 1km race on the track. I was in the first race of the competition which was heat 1 of the aquathlon. The aquathlon was tough; it just showed me how fast the girls competing were. It’s clear that my weakness in the national races is the swim and considering it was only 300m it was very quick however, once out onto the track I ran as fast as I could and thankfully passed many girls which I hoped would get me some points when all the heat times were combined. I managed to get 15th overall, and was happy how the first race went as I managed to gain points.

3rd placing in the bike criterium 

3rd placing in the bike criterium 

I recovered well after the aquathlon and was preparing for the bike criterium. It was a 300m run before a ‘le mans’ start onto the bike. The bike was only 6km so the plan was to give it my all! When they said go I sprinted as fast as I could enabling me to be one of the first girls into transition and thankfully I was. I was able to stay in the front with a pack of five other girls. We took it in turns drafting making sure we stayed away from the rest of the girls. Before the race my coach and I thought of tactics on how I could get the best position possible. One of them was just before you dismount make sure you get to the front. I did and was first into transition, I quickly put my runners on and went as fast as I could for the last 300m. One girl is a fantastic runner and I wasn’t surprised when she over took me. I was about 10meters from the finish line and I could hear someone really close, before I knew it she had pipped me on the line. However, I was still super happy with this race as I managed to get a 3rd overall.

My last race of the day was held at 5 o’clock and was the 1km run on the track, lots of drama occurred in this heat as four of us finished at exactly the same time so the officials were unsure who came where. I then had to wait to see if I had got into the final which I really needed to get the points. I must have been waiting for at least 20minutes, but it seemed like forever. Thankfully I had qualified!

Completely spent after a hard couple of days!

Completely spent after a hard couple of days!

The final was fast however, which was expected, I was happy with the race as I managed to place 7th with a pretty fast time after a whole day of racing!
I had an ice bath and a massage and prepared for the following day.

Saturday had arrived and there were two triathlons, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The first triathlon went well and I was happy with how I performed in each individual leg. Transition 1 was slower than usual as I couldn’t get my helmet on however, I have now learnt to double check that I have set it up correctly.
I decided that it would be best that I went back to the apartment and rested before the next triathlon. However, I must have been extremely tired as I fell asleep on my bed in my race gear and a rain jacket. It is strange as I don’t even remember walking up stairs to my room!

I woke up after about a two hour sleep and had a shower, my legs were heavy and I still felt tired however, I knew I had another race. We got back to the race venue and I warmed up, preparing for the race. I decided that I should have some lollies to give me an extra energy boost but half way around the bike course I knew that that was a bad idea. I unfortunately felt extremely sick being able to taste what I had eaten about an hour ago. This stopped me being able to run my hardest and I did not get any points, Yes, I was disappointed however I learnt not to take them so near to a race in future!

Before the race start of the A final!

Before the race start of the A final!

The last race was tomorrow and I was super happy as I managed to get into the A final as one of eighteen girls!
The final race was upon me and I was super excited to get racing and give it my last effort. It was a 400m swim to begin with and I believe I did this well. I was able to get into a pack with another bunch of girls and we worked together to complete the bike course fast. We all got off together and I was in 14th place, I knew I had to give the run my everything!

Fortunately, I did and I was able to pass four girls. I ended up placing 10th which I was very happy with as the standard is very high and I will be competing against the girls in other national events and considering I was one of the youngest I was stoked!
With all the points from each individual race added up I was able to get 13th, which I was pleased with especially because I have another 3 years in this age group!

Some of the girls I met at the camp.

Some of the girls I met at the camp.

After the three days of racing I stayed in Runaway Bay for the National High Performance Development Camp with 39 other selected junior triathletes and had a fantastic time! I learnt so much which I can put into practice in future triathlon races and I made new friends that I will have throughout the junior national series (and hopefully beyond)! I also loved representing ATC whilst being in Queensland, many of them commented on my new rain jacket and thought it was pretty cool that I had matching gloves with my cycle uniform. Thank you so much for your ongoing support and interest whilst I am competing in local and national races!
Finally, Emma Carney came to speak to me at the camp and straight away provided some expert advice/guidance from her triathlon knowledge and we intend to keep in touch!

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