In Dubai I had to bid farewell to my fellow teammates as I was travelling alone to Yokohama to represent SA in the WPS event.
After another long flight I landed at Narita airport, Japan where I was met with the not so good news of my bike box being left in Dubai – Thanks Emirates.
At least I would have my luggage bag. The unfortunate thing is that my running leg was in my bike box so no cycling or running until the bike arrived. This led to me learning a little more about the Japanese culture as I signed up at the local gym to get some swimming in, I was told that I would have to cover my tattoo.
Nevertheless, this event would allow me to also have a new official classification done which confirmed that I will remain in the PTS4 category. The ITU(International Triathlon Union) are doing an amazing job in ensuring the categories are fair, as equal as can be and monitored to ensure competitiveness.
My bike box finally arrived on the Thursday morning. I can’t remember if I have ever been that excited to see a big Grey box before. Bike build happened immediately in the passage outside my room. Out I went for a short ride only to discover that my ‘BB’ was operating with some resistance. Found a bike shop and they couldn’t look at it due to not having the correct tools – can you believe it! I was going to have to race like that.
Friday at bike course familiarization, my bike seemed to operate normally. We did two laps of the bike course. It was technical with a number of 90º turns and three 180º turns. There would be four laps in total. Rain was predicted for Saturday which is something that us South Africans don’t always get to train in.
Oh well, whatever the conditions, it would be the same for all of us.
Race day arrived and as predicted, rain from 4a.m. I have never raced in weather where it has rained from before the race until after the end. Into the swim and felt good. Exited the water in a tied 3rd place . New leg system worked very well and onto the bike I went. Whether it was something in my head or the weather or the ‘BB’, something just didn’t gel. I dropped 4 positions in the bike into 7th unfortunately. The run went better than expected although it wasn’t enough to regain a better position.
1:12:42 in an International event and in the rain, I’ll take 7th and another PB anyday!
Post race random drug test (always fun), transition collection, back to the hotel to shower and pack my bags. Leaving to the airport a few hours later to be back home by Mother’s Day the next day. Welcomed home by my two Princesses. It was a great 2 weeks of racing although there really is no place like home.