It seems I haven’t written a blog for nearly five months, it’s probably a good sign really as I have actually been doing things other than just sitting and watching back to back episodes on Netflix with it constantly asking ‘are you still watching?’. Since my last post a lot has happened – I’ve turned 21, finished another year at uni, fostered a dog which we ended up
adopting, got back racing and picked up my first individual championship medal.
My race season started back in May with the BUCS sprint champs. It’s such a good event and Loughborough always have so many racing. For me BUCS was really important, as it would be my only chance to qualify for Europeans so I needed a good performance. Thankfully it all went to plan and I came away with the win and team silver, but I still had to wait to find out if that would be enough for selection.
Next up was FGP in Dunkirk, I love doing this race and even more so as I always manage to tie it in with seeing family down in Kent (although I’m not sure what was more tiring – the race or being kept on my toes by a toddler). The race seemed to be a shock to the system, the swim wasn’t great and ended up losing loads of places on the way back which meant I was a fair way off the front out of T1 but thankfully Chloe Cook and myself biked our way back up to the front to join the Holland/Hewitt train for the rest of the bike. There was only 12 or so of us in the front pack so a decent run saw me hold onto 4th, which was my highest FGP finish and helped Team Metz to 3rd overall.
Two weeks later and it was the annual trip down to Blenheim (it was actually my 7th time back!) but this time mum and myself were accompanied by Poppy our new dog! The race itself ended up panning out exactly the same as last year, a break away with the newly crowned European champ India Lee (who is a demon on the bike) gave us a big lead into T2 but she is just too quick for me on foot so I followed her home in second.
A couple more weeks training and it was time to head off racing again! After a 2.45am alarm it was time to grab a flight out to Bulgaria for the U23 European Champs – It was such a good group of us that went out, we all got on and had some real good laughs! The race was changed from an Olympic to a sprint, they tried to blame the heat however the main reason was for a Bulgarian holiday which translates to something along the lines of ‘day of the dead’…. We were told the mayor didn’t want the roads shut so 24 hours before the race it didn’t look like it would go ahead however a compromise was made and the roads would be shut but only for enough time for 20km.
I was nervous for the swim – we live in Loughborough, it’s landlocked so no opportunity to swim in the sea, but Zoe helped out loads by giving me some tips for the beach start and coping with the waves! The bike was ridiculously easy, as no one wanted to work so a group of 43 came in to T2. I managed to get on the front into transition which turned out to be the reason I got on the podium as it gave me a head start on the run and made the other girls chase back to me. In the end it all came down to a sprint finish, I kicked early and thought I’d had it but Angi kicked again and I didn’t have another gear! Going into the race I really wanted a medal, I’d been 4th a couple of times at championships and not managed to get on the podium so to grab one from a run race for me was great! I know there is still loads of work for me to do on the run but it’s starting to go in the right direction which is promising. A quick mention to Katie Synge who has been keeping me company for run sessions and pushing me on – makes it a little easier!
There was no time celebrate afterwards though as we were back the next day for the relay, GB has a great track record with relays so the pressure was on! The race quickly broke up and by the time it was my leg there were only 3 teams at the front of the race, I managed to drop the Russians but in the end the Italians were too strong and we took silver. Post race celebrations kicked off with some pier diving, I jumped but screamed the whole way down – good fun though!
I’m now sat on the train back from London after being involved in designing the Commonwealth kit for 2018, I cant give anything away but I did put forward some pink and glittery designs!
Training properly commences next week after an easy few days before racing Hamburg WTS next month, after which I’ll be heading up to altitude for the first time to hopefully prepare for the World Championships in Cozumel!
Just a quick thanks to those supporting me this year: Huub, Pedal Cover, Asics and Raleigh (I love my new bike!).