Sam Rose was all set for a perfect conclusion at the World Age Group Standard Distance Championships in Cozumel. Sam’s winning lead was of a significant margin right up to the last 500m of the race, when disaster struck. Sam’s hopes & dreams came crashing down around her; she collapsed with heat exhaustion brought on by the extreme conditions. So, it seems that Jonny Brownlee wasn’t the only victim of the heat. Only sheer determination helped Sam to get to the finishing line after her collapse, ensuring that she got her finisher’s medal after such a terrific season…
Here is sam’s account of the event:
“After months of training towards this event, the day finally came. This was the first non-wetsuit swim I had ever done and I was really looking forward to it. The distance of the swim was reduced to 1250m due to strong currents – which was a shame for me. After rounding the first buoy, I dropped the other girls in my Age Group and started to put some pace down.
On the bike, I had the fastest time of all the GB women and finished the bike section in 01:01:06 which put me into 1st position in my Age Group.
I felt strong on the run until about 8km in, when the heat really started to hit me. It hit me hard. I managed the kilometre between 8-9km, where I tried to cool myself as much as possible at the aid stations. However, it was clear that the heat was affecting me. At just past the 9km mark, I became disorientated and my vision started to go. I kept running until about 9.5/9.6km, at which point my legs and body just couldn’t support me anymore and I started to sway and wobble around. A very kind Canadian, Jason Britton, helped to keep me on my feet and supported me for a few meters, before my Dad (a Doctor) and some other helpers came along, having realised something was wrong, as I had not run past.
I collapsed with heat exhaustion and the helpers got me a big bag of ice and some fluids to cool me down. It took about 40 minutes for me to sort myself out and to finally be able to get up on my feet again. I refused to be rescued by an ambulance, as I was determined to cross the finish line. I’d lost out on the Gold medal (having been on track to finish in 02:04). I wasn’t going to miss out on a finisher’s medal as well. I took the first few steps cautiously and then found myself able to walk again – even if a little shakily at first. I walked 300m before rounding the corner and seeing the finishing stretch, at which point I broke into a jog for the final few hundred meters.
I can honestly say I’ve never had a race with so many mixed emotions. I began with a real sense of happiness and energy on the swim, which continued for most of the bike. I started the run with sheer determination knowing that the goal I’d worked so hard for was in sight. Then my body started to crumple under the heat, whilst I willed and pushed myself to my absolute limit. I could give no more.”
A big thank you to our sponsors for making the race happen; we couldn’t do it without you.
FFWD Wheels – Race Wheels
Scimitar – Triathlon and Cycle Apparel
Schwalbe – Cycle Tyres