This weekend I am racing my first World Cup. It’s my 4th Tri race in a month now, but I’m feeling better in the lead up then I have so far. I hadn’t really acknowledged the prestige involved in racing a World Cup. World series races had been talked about long before I started this path and as a result have been the ultimate goal to get to. I knew a World Cup would be a step up from the last few races I have competed in, but was amazed at the calibre that this event has attracted. I turned up in Mooloolaba on Sunday and was planning to have a reasonably big week of training to prepare for the Olympic Distance Oceania cup in Gisborne the weekend after. All us low point earners have a chance to earn a 3rd spot for NZ at Rio in Gisborne, so I felt like it was a pretty awesome opportunity that I wanted to be peaking for. I have also been looking forward to an Olymic Distance event, as everything so far has been sprint (sub 1 hour). But Sal quickly reminded that this weekend could be my last chance to prove myself worthy of a start in a World Series event, as a World Cup event is the criteria and stepping stone for a World Series start. And tomorrow could be my only chance to race a World Cup as I haven’t made the start list for New Plymouth in early April. I started to get my head sorted for making this effort a good one.
Turning up to race briefing yesterday I was given number 70 as my start number. This was a pretty good indication that the field was pretty deep. Mola is racing (current World Champ), along side top Triathletes from about 25 countries. And it seems that kiwis and Aussies are in the minority. I think there is only 4 of us all up. After checking last year’s results, it’s pretty clear that there can be as little as a minute between the whole field and 15-30 seconds between top 10. The intensity of this style of racing doesn’t really decrease as time goes on for me. It’s a pretty crazy each time, knowing that this could be my first and last chance. I’m choosing not to feel the pressure too much. I’m really excited to race against these guys and will be stoked to have had this opportunity.
The course is good. It’s a 50metres beach sprint to start and then a solid surf break to get through. I’m about 50metres from the number 1-10 ranked guys so expecting to have to swim a massive cross line and then get crushed on the inside around the first buoy. But hoping mental preparation will be a solid advantage for this. And maybe like last year it will end up as one big pack. This would be a great outcome and give me a chance to work on the bike.
Race starts at 1.30pm QLD time, so 4.30pm NZ. Follow on: