The day after my big race I got a chance to be a part of the history. For the first time ever ITU had a Mixed Team Relay at the World Championship for Cross Triathlon AND an age grouper had a chance to participate in it. Rules were simple: 2 female and 2 male athletes on each team, only 2 pros by team (1 male, 1 female), and each member had to swim 200 meters, bike 5 km and run 1.3 km. Canada was the only team without a professional triathlete, but we were just happy to be on the starting line of this new format.
A different side of Championship
Before the race briefing we got told by the officials that except for the first racer, who would start from the beach, we would have to jump fr om the side of the lake into a really weedy area before reaching the swim course. Nobody wanted to do that and we all laughed about it and complained to the officials. This was actually that rare occasion, when complaining to the decision makers worked, because they actually changed the course before the race briefing. Everyone was happy.
The race was the complete opposite of the previous one! Saturday the atmosphere was tense, serious and you had to pace yourself through the course. Sunday, on the other hand, was quite relaxed and people were enjoying the company of each other, while still the racing was all out!
The first woman of each team was presented, while they were lining up on the beach and got ready to start.
Even it was fun, there was still money on the line, therefore officials were doing their jobs and competitors were racing hard.
I was the second one to go and while waiting for my teammate I warmed up on the sidelines. Once I got the call from the official I went in the relay coral.
Got the high five from my teammate and started running towards the lake. Jumped in and started swimming. Fast but under control this time. I did the swim without a wetsuit, since I didn’t really have time to get cold and most people did the same. The swim was smooth and being by myself, it felt more like a time trial.
Once I got out of the lake, I dashed to my bike. The transition went way faster without a wetsuit.
The first half of the bike course was the same as the previous day so it went quite easy. I just tried to push as hard as I could with my tired legs. At about halfway we would hit a sharp 180 degree turn uphill and came back to the transition through some different trails.
Once my running shoes were on I just started sprinting out of transition and on the run course. Even the MC passed a comment on my speed. The official standing beside Yuliana asked if I was going to slow down once around the corner and out of sight, and she said “probably not”. I was still sprinting when they could see me across the lake about half-way into the course. The course was simple: flat, uphill and quick downhill. I was hurting but I was just telling myself that it was only 1 km and a bit- I could hold my speed for just that.
In less than half an hour, I came sprinting down the relay coral, high fived my relay partner and just like that, my 2016 race season was over. I started training for this season in January, started racing at the end of April and didn’t stop until now. I was happy to just sit back and relax. Spent the evening at the closing ceremony with some new friends and the next day we went back to Sydney to enjoy the second part of our vacations.