At the start of the swim I found myself in a good position. I was out of the chaos of a large swim pack and right at the tail end of the front swim pack of four. At the end of the two loop swim I came into shore right off the back of the front pack. The distance from the swim to the transition was about 200 meters, and I ran hard to make sure that I didn’t miss the front pack again. If I were to choose a critical moment of my race, I would say this was it. I grabbed my bike and made the pack!
Our group consisted of five athletes including myself and Erin Jones, a fellow American. After doing the bike course preview on Friday I knew this would be my type of course. Like Edmonton there was a relatively long hill and a long downhill that we would be doing seven times throughout the race. We were led by two very strong riders from Great Britain and our group worked relatively well together! Enough to increase a 45 second spread to a 1:15 by the time we got off the bike.
As soon as we got off the bike and started running I realized I was running away from my group. At this point I felt really relaxed and remember thinking is this really happening? Am I actually leading a World Cup race? I knew better than to settle in; knowing even with a 1:15 cushion there were very talented and speedy runners in the pack behind me. I made sure to work the hills during the run and never get too comfortable. Coming down the final stretch to win I couldn’t believe it, and even now it is difficult for me to comprehend that I actually won a World Cup!
It was so exciting to be on the podium and be the reason that our national anthem played in Palamos, Spain on Sunday. It was an incredible feeling to know that I accomplished something that I never fathomed would be possible so early in my career as a triathlete. Originally the plan had been to compete in my first world cup in October/November of this year. However, as you learn in everything in life, goals are ever changing and evolving. Next up is a WTS race in Hamburg, Germany this Saturday. A WTS race is a step up from a World Cup and although it is more competitive my goals will be the same; to race as hard as I can in an effort to further exceed goals that I never thought possible for myself.