This race was a few weeks after performance assessments. It was a 15-17 year old age group because it was the qualifying race for the European youth champs and the UK school games. I went down with my family on the Friday (Saturday race) just to do a course recce. We met some friends at the venue and then did a few bike laps and went for a wee swim in the lake. However the water was disgusting and after our swim we went straight to our accommodation to get washed. The night before the race we had a vegetarian barbecue as our friends were veggie, so thanks to Viv for the veggie barbecue as it definitely paid off 😉 Also thanks to my brother for the last minute haircut.
There was a heats and finals format in this race, which would be about 2.5 hrs apart, followed by a relay about 1.5 hrs after. Recovery and hydration would be key, as it was 28 degrees-quite hot for the Scottish folk. My heat went well. I started the swim in the middle of the start buoys to get the best racing line but I didn’t anticipate the start being so physical. As we were racing with the 17 year olds too (normally just 16), I got bashed around a bit at the start and didn’t have the best swim, although I recovered a bit and came onto the bike in the lead pack. Nothing changed on the bike so there were 14 guys coming off onto the run with 14 automatic qualifying spaces for the final. I went quite hard on the first half lap(of 2) and was sitting in 5th, I then just went as easy as I could without risking not getting in the final and finished 8th in my heat. Straight back to the shade afterwards to refuel and recover.
Onto the final and I learned from the heats and started right out wide with only 1 person outside me. I had a really good swim, I didn’t get caught up and managed to cut in and come out the water in 9th ( 3rd out of 15-16). Going onto the bike (first time only new orro venturi) there was a front pack of 7 and then me and one other boy just behind. He chased hard for the first 700m and we closed the gap a bit, then when we came to the hill that tops out after half a lap (1.8km lap). When we got to the short, sharp hill I jumped away from him and caught the front group of bigger guys (as I’m smaller). I just sat on the back of the group for most of the bike, recovering, preparing for the run and just happy to be there. I had the quickest bike out of the 15-16 year olds, but came out of transition slightly behind most of my pack as I took a while getting my shoes on. I was just chasing the front guys and going on the second (last) lap, I was in the front group of 5. Only briefly though, as I saw a few of them were suffering and I kicked on as if I managed to drop 2 I would be in the european championships. After my acceleration no-one could follow immediately, but with about 550m to go, one guy caught me so it was us at the front. In the end it was a sprint, which I won by 2 seconds! I was so pleased with my race. I had went into just aiming for the max super series points out of the 15-16 age group, but I had qualified first out of the british team for the 15-17 European Championships in Turkey as a 15 year old. I also qualified for the Uk school games so can’t wait for that.
Well done to struan on 3rd and making it a scotland 1-3 and also to michael on second. Thanks to my parents and coaches for making it happen. Now 2 months to train for it.