Even quicker turnaround this weekend to race in the New Plymouth World Cup. Many of the same faces for this race, but a few differences. One of the cool features about ITU racing is the small changes to the start list and a slightly different course can produce some pretty drastically different race outcomes.
I made the flight over to New Zealand on Thursdays, which took most of the day. For those that don’t realize, Oz/NZ are actually pretty far apart (3+ hr flight), and New Zealand is not as small as it looks! For the record, it is a much more scenic flight than my usual flights over the midwest 😉
New Plymouth is much more temperate than tropical Brisbane, which was a bit of a relief heat-wise; we had great, low 70f temps for race day. The bike course is hilly & technical (a few scary corners! ) and a mostly flat run. It’s a great warm up for the WTS Auckland course in a couple of weeks.
My race went much better this time around. While still not mastering the beach start, I was in the lead group of the swim and held good position through the ever-tricky turn buoys. Wetsuit came off easily, and I got my feet in my bike shoes quick. I had my chance at the front group, but lacked the race tuning to hang on to the 5min all out blast that starts the bike leg. I dropped back and stayed with the chase pack. Similar to Mooloolaba, I felt better as the bike went on. The cool temps also helped coming off the bike- I built into the run (which for ITU means starting at 5:30/mi pace instead of 4 something min/mi). My patience was rewarded, and I was able to work my way back through some of the girls who had passed me in the early section. AND I finished with a 23sec drop to my best 5K time (18:13)!
Next race up is WTS Auckland. It’s quite a big step up for me, but luckily it is just a car ride away. I’m hanging around New Plymouth with some of the other ITU athletes & our little USA squad here before the race. Have started to miss the Boulder sunshine a bit, but still thrilled to get to explore such a beautiful part of the world. New Plymouth is a mostly quiet seaside town (except for triathlon weekends!), and has provided a very warm welcome to the triathlete nomads who are visiting.
Big thanks again to my sponsors: Mum & Pop, Pam (my adoptive Aussie Mum), Jackie (my homestay here in New Plymouth), Skratch Labs, TYR, PowerTap, Giro, Oakley, & ISM, as well as the Team USA support crew!