ETU Middle Dist Champs

Eleanor Haresign pulls on her GB trisuit, to represent GB in the professional category at the European Triathlon Union Middle Distance Championships; again (what a huge honour in itself). Whilst she moved up the field from previous years, she suffered an uncharacteristically bad swim, which meant she was chasing all day. At this level, one mistake can cost you the race, but Eleanor battled through to get 9th place in a stacked field, which is pretty outstanding…

I was looking forward to my second time of racing at the European Championships Middle Distance Triathlon, after coming 10th there in 2013.  This year it was held at Challenge Rimini, and I had a relaxing week there before the race.  On arrival, the weather was 29 degrees, but by the Friday it was raining stair rods.  Although everyone was a bit worried about some of technical descent sections (on not always smooth Italian hilly roads), I hoped that the more Yorkshire-like weather would play in my favour.

However, I hadn’t quite accounted for the potential effect of having a such small number in my wave. There were about 20 of us in the Elite Women’s race and to Challenge’s credit, because the paratri wave were 5 minutes after us, this meant that the Age Group Men were separated from us by a whole 10 minutes.  However, having gotten separated from the pack at the first buoy, I subsequently veered off course later in the swim, which cost me further time.  I was pretty despondent out on the bike, but tried my best to override negative thoughts, and keep fighting hard.  The course was certainly interesting, with climbs, hairpins descents, and some paved through hill top villages, to keep you on your toes.  It was great to have the Italian Wilier bike out on show, in its home country!

Nonetheless, on race day, the showers became less frequent and by the time the run started the sun was out.  I kept focussed, enjoyed the GB support out on the run course and held on to 9th place at the finish.  So, one place better than before and plenty to learn from.  Not all races can go perfectly to plan and now I’m looking forward to the next one on home turf, at Ironman Staffordshire 70.3

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