However, luck wasn't on my side. Whilst building my bike on Tuesday the seat post clamp snapped in half meaning that my racing bike was off-limits for the race. I was pretty gutted, especially as I felt about as aerodynamic as a brick doing my race pace sessions the week before. There's something psychological that makes you faster on your race bike; you feel fast, you look fast, you sound fast and therefore you go fast. Friends tried to lift my spirits telling me its not about the bike, but the engine on it, however I was still feeling annoyed that I wouldn't be able to race on my usual racing bike. Watching Jens Voigt tear up the Tour de France the day before I raced provided inspiration for me to ignore the circumstances, push as hard as I could and blank out the pain. Shut up legs.
I was feeling relaxed on race morning and rearing to go on the start line. I chose a spot at the front of the field with the most direct line to the first turn buoy. Once the klaxon went it appeared that the other two fastest swimmers in the race had also chosen this as their starting point too, meaning there was a bit of bashing around at the beginning, but we soon realised we were all swimming in a row at the same speed so gave each other some space. It was great to be pushed in the swim by those two girls. After the first turn buoy, they started to ease off whilst I kept the pace up meaning I was now leading the swim. I loved the swim, the water was really clear and the lake was a steamy 20 degrees. Towards the end of the swim we hit a patch of long thin weeds so I exited the lake looking a bit like Medusa.
Fuelling is important for spectators too
The tan lines post-race weren't so cool.
Leading the swim
Exiting the swim (minus the sunglasses)
National Champion and 4th overall, happy with that!
I wish my legs were that long!
To all the short people out there: we can do it!