World Duathlon Championships 2013


ITU Standard Distance
World Duathlon Championships
Ottawa 10th August 2013

…. written by Emma Wright-Phillips

As most of you know, back in May I was lucky enough to get a ticket to the Duathlon World Championships in Ottawa, here is the tale……

First and foremost, for those of you that are too busy or don’t want to read it all here is a little summary of events:

– I got on the plane without being sick with fear 
– Overshot my baggage allowance, but got away with just a “heavy” label 
– Managed to re-build my bike without getting in a pickle 
– Resisted pancakes, bacon and maple syrup breakfast on race day 
– Got scared of the “Big Guns” 
– Felt a little faint when “James” asked me to move up 
– Mastered the most complex transition area possible 
– Came top ten in age group 
– Achieved second fastest T1 time
– Nearly got run over by a bus after the race 

So, the longer version of the story can be seen below:

After qualifying at Clumber Park Duathlon on 12th May this year, I felt as if I had a “lucky ticket” to the World Champs. Just getting there I felt was nothing short of a miracle and so my aims and targets for the event were mainly to not come last and complete the event regardless of any situation. Of course, these are the targets that you tell people but as everyone will know, there will always be secret hopes and aspirational aims so mine was to beat the girl who came first in my age group at Clumber Park and a dream aim was to come 3rd Brit in age group (mainly so I could sack it off and eat cake for a few months and not have to do the qualifiers for next year!)

I could write a whole book on the week’s events as it was such an experience and I learnt a great deal.
Friday 9th August saw the racking of the bikes and registration. It was absolute chaos. Most people had already racked their bikes by the time I got there, unfortunately carpentry cannot be a strength of the Canadians as the racks all collapsed under the weight of the bikes, so I found myself leaving my bike on the floor of the transition area and walking away from it, leaving the officials to work through the night to rack them all again! A small recce of the transition area found all the competitors getting really confused.

Every official gave a different set of instructions on where the bike in/out and run in/out was. Eventually we worked it out and went to find the mount line which too my dismay was on a kerb followed by a dead turn…. Anyone who has seem me in recent weeks will know how much I’ve fretted/practiced my bike mounting out of T1, after some tough love from Jeff Chappill regarding my “steady at best” transition times, so this complicated mounting place was a little concerning for me.

After an early night and a super early breakfast the next day we made our way to the start. In my mind I was telling myself and hearing the wise words of Dave Hinch; “Don’t look at other competitors, they might look the business but don’t panic”. Wise words most definitely, but upon the last check of my bike I realised that the “big guns” girls were racked either side of me (these are the girls who came first and second in last year’s world champs!) This didn’t do much for the confidence that’s for sure.

The race began, it was a non-technical out and back course for both the bike and the run (if a little longer than the said distances) during the run I felt quite comfortable, keeping a few targets in my sight I was able to keep up the pace and went through 10k in 42 mins. (Although transition seemed miles off still!) I ran in and out T1 in 46 seconds and managed to perfect my mount onto the bike despite the panicking and off I went. The cross wind was strong and I battled with it all the way round, trying to remember that everyone was in the same boat and would be struggling too.

The last run, I found myself struggling at the beginning, my quads were heavy but managed to up the pace after the first mile just through sheer worry that the girls I had overtaken on the bike were right behind me on the run and stronger runners than myself. All in all I finished 10th and 4th Brit in my age group and 43rd out of 172 females in total. I wasn’t last!

It was really nice to have fellow squadder Mark York with me, helping me out and giving advice when needed and the rest of the GB team were warm and welcoming. I’ve learnt a lot of things, grown in confidence and become thirsty for more! You know what they say…..

“Why try tri when you can just do Du?!”