The ITU world championship races have allowed me to race against the top age group athletes from around the world. Having last year’s international experience I had a better idea of what to expect. My overall goal was to stay calm and give it my all.
I made my way down to the race site with my gear and my cheer team: my mom, dad, Andrew, and Jorge (Jorge is my little brother for a year. Now that my older sister, Constanza, and I are in university and Carolina, my younger sister, is in Belgium on an exchange for a year my parents are hosting Jorge from Mexico!).
I set up my transition area, my mom did my race day hair, as always, and soon it was time to start my warm up. I put on my wetsuit (seal costume as my mom calls it), ate my peanut butter gel, and joined the rest of my competitors.
The swim began as a mass start in the water. I knew the beginning was going to be hectic and expecting the chaos to die down. In reality it didn’t. I found myself in the middle of the first group which was packed like sardines. Bodies were knocking into me and arms were pulling my legs back and flying into my face. My goggles got knocked half way off and water seeped in. All I wanted to do was get out of there but there was nowhere to go. I was surprised to find myself in one piece when I reached the blue carpet steps which lead me to a 400m run to transition.
The bike was three loops. The first turn around came soon where I saw a girl crash. Help rushed to her and as I got closer and kept reminding myself that it is better to slow down and take turns with caution than to risk a crash. I felt very strong during the bike and as I entered transition 2 I was looking forward to continue this confidence throughout the run.
I felt very strong going in to the first of the two lap run and knew I was prepared for a good finish. Suddenly the midday heat hit me hard and I found myself looking for the water stations to quench my thirst. I got a painful cramp that slowed me down a lot and eventually I couldn’t take it anymore and had to walk. I had never walked in a race before and I felt disappointed. At the water station I drank a cup and poured one on my head. I tried jogging a bit but soon after the pain grew. By the time I reached the fountain I couldn’t even jog and people were passing me left and right. Joyce, the team manager, encouraged me to keep going and emotions rushed through me. My eyes started to water and my throat closed. This was what i was training for all year and a bad cramp was trying to ruin it for me. I didn’t want to feel like this anymore. I had two options, stop or finish no mater my time. I quickly remembered my overall goal: To give everything I have. With this I stopped, re-grouped, and stretched my cramp. I decided to accomplish my goal and by finishing the race with a jog I did everything I could, enjoyed the atmosphere and felt proud to have raced for Canada in this race. To me, at this point in my triathlon career having fun is more important to me that my time and for this I crossed the finish line truly content with myself and with a smile on my face.
Through this experience I gained the knowledge of knowing I can overcome obstacles and practiced my positive thinking. I know that this is a learning experience that will have a positive effect on my future in triathlon.
Post race tan lines
Opening ceremonies with Bridget Bethell and Angela Quick.
Cheer Team:Jorge, Andrew, Momma Maass, Papa Maass
“Wins and losses come a dime a dozen. But effort? Nobody can judge that. Because effort is between you and you.”
- Ray Lewis