August Athlete Report (Part 1) by AMANZI Girl Sophie Coldwell
The last two and half weeks have been spent abroad for a race and a training camp – the trip began with drive down to Luton with my mum, travelling buddy Katie Synge, two bike boxes, three people’s luggage, Molly the collie and Daisy the chicken – saying the car was full would be an understatement and yes, we did get some odd looks at the airport when Daisy was brought out of the car to get some fresh air before her onward travel to Kent!
Katie and I made it to Geneva however when we were waiting for our train to our hotel we thought we had ages to kill for the next train, we waited patiently on the platform only to realise we were at the wrong place and that we only had minutes to make the next train on the platform across the station, the lift was broken so it was back up on the escalators (not ideal with bike boxes!) we made the train and after an incident with a grumpy ticket officer and following a very brisk walk through the red light district we made it to our hotel.
The day before the race we decided to go figure out the bike course, it was also a good excuse to check out the beautiful sights! With no official briefing we armed ourselves with two maps and headed off, we may have got it slightly wrong to start with as it took us 35 minutes to do 5km…. safe to say we could have ran it quicker but we worked it out and we thankfully found the 750m climb as that would have been a bit of a shock in the race if we hadn’t! After a not so straight forward bike reccie, I was convinced the one for the swim would be easier as there was an official one for all the juniors – how wrong could I be! I caught up with the other GB juniors racing and we started swimming to the first buoy, we got 350m out only for a police boat to start circling us and then escort back to land as there had obviously been a lack of communication between the police and the ETU.
Race morning came and it was time to get ready for my last ever european cup as a junior – my first one was back in 2011 in Tiszaujvaros, Hungary where much to the surprise of myself and everyone else I won – since then I have enjoyed a couple of podiums but haven’t won since so was hoping to have a good finish to my junior cup career!
With transition sorted, warm up done and athletes lined up, it was go time! I, alongside youngster Sian Rainsley, set the pace on the swim and lead from the start – the current meant the swim was pretty slow taking over 6 minutes to swim 350 metres but in the words of Dory all we could do was ‘just keep swimming’! After leading the swim out, I had a quick transition and was first on the bike, I got my head down to try and split the group behind – they caught on the hill but there were only eight of us. I should apologise for my sarcastic shouted words of encouragement but I do wonder sometimes if I’m in a triathlon with three disciplines or just a running race with a very long and varied warm up. T2 was good as I was first out and got stuck right in to the run – I led from the beginning and held off the Italian athlete Angelica Olmo to take the win.
After watching the elite women on the Sunday we packed up and headed over to Banyoles in Spain – after a delayed flight we made it and were ready for some sunny training. The two weeks consisted of some track sessions on a track filled with trees, riding up Rocacorba where the views and descent made up for the climb, swimming in the Lake in the centre of Banyoles which was possibly the warmest and clearest place I have ever swam and of course eating plenty of ice cream!
It’s now time to get home, move into my new house in Loughborough and get ready for our national championships in Liverpool next weekend where I hope to qualify for the World Champs in Canada three weeks later.