Written by Dan Wilson, Australian Representative in Triathlon and Team Brooks Member
Well, I’m currently airborne on board a Lufthansa plane somewhere between Hamburg and Frankfurt, as we leapfrog our way from Hamburg, via Frankfurt, to Geneva, then back to ‘home’ in Aix Les Bains in France. We did have a more streamlined (metaphorically, not aerodynamically, I’m sure this planes airfoils are sound. Or possibly not, thinking back to the rather labored take off…) flight initially booked, but failure to receive convincing confirmation that our bikes would be welcome onboard led to some frantic 5am rebooking by Mossy on a different airline. This proved to be a shrewd decision, as the Kiwi team who booked on the same airline were greeted with blank faces and a staunch refusal to accept the team’s bikes on their flight, and thus their coaches took a bullet for the team and drove their bikes in a 12 hour meandering route across Europe to arrive in Hamburg. A drive, if the Kiwi’s account is anything to go by, featuring a vice-like grip on the steering wheel, wide eyed stares into the distance, and repeated muttering littered with imaginatively descriptive adjectives used to describe the airline in question.
The reason for this ANZAC-based rendezvous in Hamburg was for another leg of the World Triathlon Series, and importantly for those Glasgow-bound, a last hit out before the Commonwealth Games. The 5 week block leading up to Hamburg had us working harder than priest on a sinking ship – it was a solid block of hard work, only pausing to do some tough work, then having a break to do some intense work, followed by some difficult work, and then back to the staple of hard work. Having indulged in a metaphorical buffet of various forms of work, we had a few easier days leading into Hamburg, in which my body decided to undergo some furious adaptation, consequently making me feel as lively as a corpse with a mustache, and had me in the room of mirrors having a good hard look at myself and wondering what the blazers was going on and how the blazers was I supposed to race the quickest race of the year tomorrow. The blazers were either deaf to my questions, or decided their answers were not ones suitable for my ears; however, I got around alright for a 27th in a race that was quicker than a cheetah driving a Ferrari. I felt reasonably strong all round, but not too much spark, which is a pretty good place to be in 2 weeks out from Commonwealth Games.
I was lucky enough to be picked for the team relay on Sunday, and after a fantastic job by the rest of the Aus team, I led off the anchor leg of the relay at the head of a group of 5. In hindsight, it was a pretty tough ask to battle with Brownlee and Luis (who were 1st and 2nd the day before) as well as a Hungarian athlete who was brought in especially for the relay and had not raced the day before, but I was a little disappointed to finish 4th and not win a medal with the Aussie team. Again in hindsight, it turns out the best decisions to make would have probably to be a little less aggressive on the bike, I put in a big effort to bridge to a Brownlee attack, which left me open to a counter attack from Luis, who ended up bridging and leaving me behind with the Hungarian. It’s hard to be a passive in a race like that, but it turns out that would have been the best option.
Anyway, I’ve swallowed that pill, and if I’m included in the relay for Glasgow, will be eager to execute with more sangfroid efficiency! So, from now, we don’t have too much hard work left to do, with two massive hits of intensity this weekend that left lactate in places I didn’t know I had places, we can rest and sharpen up over the next 10 days before Glasgow. Myself and Jacko will be in Aix, and will spend the next week recovering from the races, the last training block, as well as our time in the altitude tent, and hope to improve a bit more before we leave next Sunday for the Athlete Village. It’s an exciting time, just crossing the i’s and dotting the t’s (or possibly the other way around, but I’m sure no-one actually noticed that before I pointed it out…) in the final preparation for the race, and it’s a race and experience I’m really looking forward to! I’ll bring you another update from the Games Village with a few pre-race thoughts!
Until then, take care friends,
Check out the Racer ST – Dan’s Brooks Race Day shoe of choice.