On Saturday 13th June I competed in the Challenge half in
Denmark. This was my 3rd half distance IM event in about 7 weeks so I was excited
to see how I would hold up, especially as I only raced Challenge Salou 12 days
I really wanted to race in Denmark as I have never been to any of
the Scandinavian countries and from the pictures on the event website it looked
beautiful. I can tell you that it didn't disappoint. I was lucky enough to get
a great homestay and they tried to show me as much as they could of the area in
the short time we had. It's a stunning place and the road surfaces are
probably the best I have ever ridden! It's well worth a visit if you haven't
Back to the race, I had a great swim where I lead out right from
the off. I think I put over 30 seconds into Mary Beth Ellis who is a top class
athlete and won many ironman and half events over the years.
Going onto the
bike I think Mary Beth and Michelle Vesterby were probably expecting to catch
me as I have never raced them before and they are also very strong on the bike.
However, my legs felt great and it was nice to be racing on the smooth
flat & fast roads. I did take a slight detour on my way into T2 which cost me
around a minute (stupid mistake of my own) but I still posted the fastest bike
split of the day by some margin and was leading going onto the run.
Run wise, I know there is still massive improvements to be made
but I ran the best I have over a half so I really can't complain as it is
getting better every race. Michelle, who went onto win the race passed me at
about 8.5km into the run and Mary Beth passed me at 16km. I finished 3rd
overall but was pretty pleased with the whole day. I stuck to my plan, raced
hard and showed a lot of people that I like to be at the front of the race.
also happy that my body managed to hold together for the three half's in such a
short space of time. I wasn't fresh going into Denmark but it didn't seem to
affect me too much which is a real positive going forward.
So, what's next... Well, I need to get back into training. Sounds
silly but whilst I have been racing so much in such a short space of time the
focus has been on recovering and prepping to race not training. I need to get
my head down for a few weeks now to put some solid sessions back in. I am
racing in less than two weeks at the Castle Tri event at Cholmondeley Castle
but this is only an Olympic distance race. I'm just going to treat it like a
hard training day as next week I will be hitting some big sessions in
preparation for later events. I think an Olympic distance race will now feel
pretty short, I'm looking forward to it.