This past Sunday, I competed in my debut World Championship Series race for the 2011 season.  The race began at 12:30 local time (6:30AM EST) in beautiful Kitzbuhel, Austria.

The weather was a bit chilly, but just as the swim was about to start, the sun opened up and warmed everyone up.  The swim was in a calm, 19 degree C lake.  I felt awesome in my TYR Hurricane wetsuit.  About 50 meters after diving into the water, I had clear water and had a 15 second lead after the first lap.  After exiting the swim, I had a 20 second lead over the second athlete and headed out  on to the bike with the decision to wait up for Helen Jenkins from Great Britain.

Helen and I have worked together on the bike before (World Championships 2008) and I knew that she is a very strong cyclist.  Over the next couple of laps, we extended our lead to 40 seconds, but after the half way point, we were both beginning to tire and not able to gain much ground on the 20+women chase pack that was charging behind us.  In the middle of the fourth lap (of six laps) we decided to let up and our 15 seconds we were struggling to maintain was not going to be extended.  I made sure to get a big drink of my First Endurance EFS before the group merged and we completed the last couple of laps.  During lap five, the temperatures got much cooler and we had several minutes of hail!!  I wanted to have a good position heading into T2 and I pushed the pace the last quarter of the sixth lap.

I exited the bike first and had a decent transition considering it was little tough to move the cold limbs.  I headed out on the run just a second or two behind the first woman.  I definitely felt a struggle to get my body moving as it was thawing out, but glad to be in good position up front.  About 4k into the run, I was already starting to fall off the pace from the front.  After about 7k into the run, my legs were really starting to feel the effects of the tough bike effort.  Unfortunately, I fell from about 8th the 15th position on the last lap, but I kept fighting to the end.  Towards the end of the last lap, my legs were getting so tired, they gave out on me and I had a slip right in the transition zone, but was quickly able to get back on my feet.

Although I am disappointed with my overall finish despite the strong effort on the bike/swim, I still feel it is important to race aggressive and take the chances.  Sometimes those efforts are paid off, sometimes not, but you never will succeed without trying.  I am so happy that my US teammates Sarah Groff and Laura Bennett had great performances in 3rd and 6th position.

I am looking forward to getting back to training to prepare for my next string of races.  Thank you sponsors and crew for your support!


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