Daniel Canala – Update 3

State Duathlon Championship & City Bay Blog

Looking back on the last couple of weeks I can happily say I’m pleased with my racing performances. On the 14th of September I attended the Barossa State Duathlon Championship and was racing in the short course event. This race was very important for me because if I won my age group I would qualify for the age group Duathlon World Championships in Adelaide 2015.

There were clear skies and no wind on the country roads. The race began and I was feeling light on my feet and somewhat relaxed. After the first 400m Grant Melzer had made a 20m gap on me and I was a slightly surprised by his move as in previous races I had ran away from him from the start. I intended to close down the gap but this was made difficult as we approached the sea of long course runners as I found it hard to keep my eye on Grant. After the first lap of 2.5km I was happy with my pace but the gap was still around 20m. Thanks to some clear roads on the second lap I closed down half the gap but I wasn’t too worried about being first into transition as I was confident in my cycling ability.

Soon after hoping on my bike I caught Grant and kept on pushing as I knew Sam Tebeck, a strong cyclist, would be catching me over the 20 km. I averaged around 39 kmph over the 20km but as I had anticipated Sam had made up a lot of ground. Going out onto the final run I was still in first place and was confident that I would be able to run home strong. As I had hoped I crossed the line first in my age group qualifying me for the World Championships but also first overall which was an added bonus. Overall I’m really pleased that the hard work in training is paying off in my racing performance. It was great to see the new and amazing ATC kits out on the course! I really enjoyed racing in mine!

The weekend after the Barossa Duathlon I competed in the Sunday Mail City-Bay 12km. It was my first time running in the 12km race as last year I only did the 6km. I fortunately had an elite start thanks to my running coach Adam Didyk and was on the front line at the start. My goal was to run sub 40 minutes and I planned to run with a few of my fellow Team Tempo runners as we were going to pace each other. The first few kilometres went to plan and we were all on our target time. Then at around the 3km mark the lead girls Eloise Wellings, Madeline Heiner and Nikki Chapple started to make a surge past our group. We immediately tagged on as we knew they were going to easily run sub 40 minutes.

At the 6km mark the pack had become significantly smaller with only 5 runners left, the two lead girls, my two team tempo team mates and I. I was really hurting at the 6km mark but I knew I had to stay with the lead girls as long as I could. I kept talking to myself in my head, just saying things like “keep relaxed” and “just stay with them for one more kilometre!”. Between the 6-7 km mark my team tempo team mates fell off the pace and there was just a pack of three. Finally at the 8 km mark I also fell off the pace and was on my lonesome on Anzac Highway with around 4km still to go. At that point my mental toughness pushed me through to the end as I needed to keep a fast pace all on my own. My triathlon background helped me here also as slogging it out by myself is usually the situation in most races for me. I crossed the line on Jetty Road in 39:39 and in 15th place. I had achieved my goal and was ecstatic. It was great to then go to the ATC tent for some post run refreshments!

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