This month has seen some big changes, after lots of consideration and time spent thinking about what I want in the future, I have moved further South to become a sports scholar at Eastbourne College. The main reason for the move, besides the academics, is the amazing triathlon club down here in Eastbourne. I have been lucky enough to be able to join Bodyworks triathlon club. Bodyworks is a triathlon performance centre and a British Triathlon Satellite Centre, which has world-class athletes and is lead by Glenn Cook – who has been the head coach and coached multiple Olympic Teams. With this wealth of knowledge and elite athletes training alongside me, I hope to further progress in the sport. Getting used to the new school has been tricky, but so far I am loving it, it has awesome facilities and some great people here.
At the start of the month, I had the final race in the Brit Tri-National Super Series, the ‘Big Weekend’ held at Mallory Park. This was going to be a tough race, as not only was I racing against Juniors, I would also be racing against elite Seniors. Again this was another sprint distance and I was feeling in great form, I was hoping to get an overall top 10 and secure the win in the series. We got into the water and the starting horn sounded, and we were off! I got a really good start and found myself with clear water, but due to a lack of concentration, I was heading towards the wrong buoy! I instantly realised, but by this time I had been swamped and the carnage began. It was quite a violent swim, and there was chaos at every buoy, but eventually, I exited the water. I jumped on the bike and started pushing, trying to close up the group just in front. I caught up and for the first half of the bike, we worked well together, closing the gap to the lead group to just 13 seconds. However, from here the group just stopped working and we failed to bridge the gap. The seconds kept rising and by the time we hit T2 the gap had grown to over 30 seconds. I had a dreadful T2 and came out last from our group. I had lots of work to do and set off running hard. I instantly started overtaking people, and I was feeling really good. By the third and final lap, I was in 10th place, but it was around here that I started to hurt. I tried pushing on but I was overtaken just before the finish and had to settle for 11th overall, and 5th GB junior. This was enough to secure the overall win, which I was super pleased with and a great high to finish off my best ever domestic season.
The next day I had been selected to race for Eastbourne Performance Centre in the Accenture mixed relay cup, which included Australian teams and all the top university tri teams such as Leeds and Loughborough. The race was going to be tough, but I was looking forward to it. I was on the second leg and had a very good race, bringing the team into the top ten. The team did really well and we came 9th overall, even beating Loughborough Uni!
After this race, I had some time to get some solid training in before my next International race, which was Superleague Jersey where we would be doing the ‘Enduro’ format, swim, bike, run times two with no break, however, our second swim had been taken out because it was too cold. I had high expectations for this race, wanting to repeat a result similar to last years. I felt in really good shape and was looking to see if the change I had made helped. However, the actual race was far from the idyllic race I had hoped for. As soon as we got onto the pontoon I knew it was too crowded, there were almost 3 people in each starting position meant for one person. This meant that as soon as we dived in, it was horrendous. People were instantly swimming on each other and even diving on top of people. I was pulled back and dunked so many times on the way to the first buoy. It was the most violent swim I’d been in, and one person even dislocated their shoulder. Finally, I exited the water, many positions behind where I wanted to be and where I should’ve been coming out. I went to unzip my wetsuit but instantly knew something was wrong, as the zip was not coming down. I got to transition and realised my wetsuit had been ripped and that my zip got broken in the swim. At this point, I had a decision to make. The first being to pull out and not finish the race. The second, to finish the race but continue in my wetsuit! Of course, I chose the second, and onto the bike I went with lots of people staring at me! I started overtaking people and made my way up the field, at this stage I was feeling quite good. However, after the short first bike, we came back to transition for the run. At this stage, I was starting to heat up, and by the time I started running, I wasn’t feeling good. Back into transition and back on the bike we went. This was where it went downhill, I started slipping back and was now starting to really overheat. I lost concentration and went down on a slippy roundabout. But luckily not much pain as I was padded by the wetsuit! Finally, it was time for the last run, by this time I had lost all hopes for a good position and could only think about getting out of my wetsuit. I eventually finished coming home in 20th, which isn’t too bad considering! Overall the rest of the weekend was really good, and I managed to get into the athletes after-party and have dinner with all the pros, which was great to find out more information.
Next month I have my final race of the season which is Superleague Malta, which is another international. Hopefully, here we won’t have to wear a wetsuit and I can finally show what I know I am capable of!
Thanks to everyone for the support so far, Hamish.