I'm now back in the UK after a very busy few weeks of travelling. I arrived in Mauritius on Thursday 17th December, 2 days before the race. Accompaning me on the trip was Kenny Roberts, who is set to become Chairman of the Seychelles Triathlon Federation following the launch.
The race venue was quite beautiful, in the quiet and unspoiled region of Le Morne, Mauritius. The 3.30pm start was a first for me, as I'm normally used to 7.00am starts! The 2 loop swim (1500m total) was great. Seeing how fast the elites set off was incredible, and it really hit home just how much work in the water I have to do to become seriously competitive. After getting half blinded by the sun, zig-zagging and losing all sense of direction, I exited the water in approximately 24:15.
After getting through transition, the 3 loop cycle leg (40km total) started, and I had a chance to settle down into the bike leg. The course was pretty tough, with one long winding climb per loop. Loop 1 went by in about 24 minutes, which I thought was a little slow. Unfortunately due to my slower swim, I was cycling alone, and unable to get the benefit of drafting off other athletes. It was getting really hot, and during the cycle I'd consumed 1.25 litres of liquid, and I was still SO thirsty! The next two loops went by quickly, and the total bike leg had taken 1:12.
Pleased to be done with the bike, I put on my runners and headed off. Immediately I thought, 'it's quite hot, this isn't like Europe'. Racing in heat is one thing, racing in humidity is another. Coming from the UK in December, this was the toughest element of the race. I took the first opportunity to drink more liquid and pour some over myself. The 10km run was flat, but was energy sapping in the afternoon heat. I was finding the intensity hard, but continued along. I actually got more comfortable as the run went on, and probably would have done better if there was another 10km! Run time was about 42 minutes, which I was really disappointed with. However, after seeing the other times, I wasn't quite so upset.
Total time including transitions was 2:21:57, enough for 7th position. The experience was amazing, and I'm so grateful for the opportunity to have taken part in the race. I have a much clearer idea of the work I need to do to race at this level, and what I should focus on from now on. I'll take some time to relax during the Christmas holidays, and reevaluate my plans for 2010.
Heading down to the water
On the start line
Exiting the water
Jumping off the bike
Racing in paradise
Once again, thank you to Air Seychelles and Super Yacht Services Seychelles for their support, without whom I would not have been able to compete in the race. Happy Holidays everyone!