• The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

    Triathlon season is well and truly upon us and I’ve been a bad bad girl as I’m long overdue for a blog. With a 5 week break between races and the mayhem of the first bit of the season concluded, now is the time!

    It’s been an interesting start to the season, definitely some ups and downs, tears & smiles and lots learnt along the way. Race results thus far:

    ITU European Cup Portugal 3rd

    ITU WCS San Diego DNF

    ITU WCS Yokohama 12th

    ITU African Continental Champs 1st

    ITU WCS Madrid DNF

    A mixed bag really but you will note 2 x DNF’s next to my name….not happy about those. Very bad and ugly. Not proud of those at all.

    It’s now 4 days after Madrid and I’m still beating myself up about my disastrous race. It’s amazing how we will beat ourselves up about bad races yet we seem reluctant to dwell on the successes of good races, perhaps that’s human nature or just the typical triathlete ‘A’ type personality. With that said, I’m not going to dwell on the depression that had clouded me since Saturday. It’s time to snap out of it, look forward and celebrate what I’ve done well this year.

    Before we move on, what did actually happen on those doomed days in Madrid & San Diego? Madrid: Was just a shitty race, no excuses. San Diego: Human error…..or should I say ‘Gill error’. Only 1 person to blame, me! After a decent swim my wheel jammed 100m out of transition 2, about 5 minutes trying to fix, race over.

    Other than that, life has been very very good. I had an awesome pre season camp in Spain with the Optima Racing team crew and a great season opener in Quarteira, Portugal where I got my first ITU Euro Cup podium. It was fabulous spending time in the sun for 2 weeks training and racing whilst Spring ceased to arrive in the UK.

    After the disappointment of San Diego I headed on to the opposite side of the world to Yokohama for the World Champs Series. I love racing in Japan. The people are so friendly and hospitable and the Japanese triathlon federation really looks after the athletes. It’s just a pleasure going to race there. Despite feeling a bit sluggish, I just missed a top 10 but recorded my 2nd best performance in a WCS race. Sleep and jetlag is always an issue for me in Japan but I was extremely happy with my result despite about 4 hours sleep in 2 days.

    Onwards to Morocco for the African Champs. I never thought I would ever race in Morocco and it was quite an experience. I arrived and was collected by a 1970’s Mercedes Benz with 500 000km on the clock and my bike strapped to the roof. We proceeded to drive through the craziness of Agadir: donkeys, packs of stray dogs,goats, dust, arabs. Once we reached the beachside resort however it was like being in a different country. I hadn’t seen my parents since the Olympics and it was awesome to meet up with them and spend some quality time with them in the week leading into the race. I trained through the race as Madrid was to be the week after, and even so, I felt pretty strong on the hilly bike which was great. Myself & Anel Radford were able open up a sizeable lead on the other girls and had almost a 4 minute cushion to cruise through the run. I was pleased to take the win and retain my crown as African Champion!

    Spring has finally arrived in London and it’s awesome to see loads of triathletes preparing themselves for the season in Richmond Park & at Shepperton lake. It’s amazing and wonderful to see how the sport is flourishing! I’ve now got 5 weeks to look forward to before my next race where I can put in a solid training block.

    Lastly, a shout out to my amazing team of sponsors and supporters who make my life possible: Bikelab Richmond, Scott Sports UK, Zone 3, GU Energy UK, Optima Racing Team, Shepperton Swim, Daniel Doyle Massage Therapist, James Beckinsale & hubby Mark Sanders.

    Til next time,

    G x.

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