Infamous Abu Dhabi Int. Triathlon & Mallorca training camp
My first big race of the season was supposed to be Abu Dhabi International Triathlon, Long Course. Unfortunately I couldn’t compete at this event as the visa were organized by IMG – event organisers and here is a short story of what happened.
I received a letter from IMG and Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority as a local sponsor of the visa stating that my visa are in process and that the airline should let me board the flight as the visa are granted and will be received at my arrival.
When I arrived, passport control didn’t have any records about my visa and I was told I am in the country illegally and possibly Etihad airline can help me.
After the night flight, I spent 9hrs at Abu Dhabi Airport , waiting for an emergency transit visa. These visa were only for 96 hrs and during my stay in UAE, IMG (organisers) didn’t manage to get a proper tourist visa for my stay (they had 3 weeks to do it) and I had to fly back to UK after 3 days, otherwise I would be illegal in the country and could end up in jail.
IMG gave me a there word to cover my expenses that were caused by this journey for nothing.
Not the best start of the season really, as it was costing me a few sleepless nights, stress and possible loss of the prize money. In the end, there were only 6 Pro girls racing in Long Course race and the prize money went 6 deep.
When I got back to UK I decided to put this experience behind and quickly entered MTB duathlon in Grizedale forest (Lake District), organized by High Terrain Events. I was a bit unlucky to sprain my ankle and get unfixable puncture, first ever DNF….
Mallorca training camp
We were trying to figure out for a long time where to go for a squad training camp and in the end, Mallorca, Ferrer Janeiro Hotel was the winner. We were very happy with our decision as in terms of facilities, the resort has it all. Exactly what competitive triathletes are looking for. A 25m heated lane pool, gym, spa, running trails near by, beach access, on top of the blue skies and famous Mallorca hills.
Coach Tom Bennett has made an absolutely great job at selecting new athletes to our T2Coaching elite squad. I feel really lucky to be part of Tom’s team with amazing teammates.
I was very lucky that my ankle sprain which happened few weeks ago didn’t put me off from running for too long and after 2 weeks break I could get back to training again.
At this time I am on my way back from probably the best 2 weeks of training I ever had. We did many quality sessions, but also some quantity to my liking for IM training :-).
While we were there, we found out about local triathlon race Portocolom Triathlon, 111 distance. (1km swim-100k bike-10km run)
Coach decided 3 days prior the race that me and my team mate Amy Forshaw should race to get some experience. Mainly for me racing in the pro field for the first time and test my new equipment. Colnago TT bike, Vision wheels, Huub Axena 3:5 wetsuit and ZeroD 1piece tri suit. Kit was great!
I had the opportunity to be on the start line with some very fine PRO girls-IM and 70.3 winners like Eimaar Mullen, Eva Wutti, Julia Gajer, Susan Blatt….etc..
Wow, it was one hard day as I was nowhere near fresh on the start line, but if you ask me now, I would do it again! I learned so much about myself on this race, plus I got the benefit of having my coach watching me racing, that will definitely enhance our athlete-coach relationship. In the end, I finished 6th in Pro wave.
Just a few lessons I learnt yesterday:
Lots to improve-no surpriseJ (speed, technique) I wasn’t fast enough to stay with first pack, and second pack was behind, first solo swim ever.
Next time when my goggles start fogging, I will stop right away to clean them instead of swimming 200m the wrong way thinking the people ahead of me (AG men – earlier wave) are going right direction.
Legs not fresh, aching all the way, but still; hills hills hills-lots work to be done there.
I think I discovered why I was having GI issues on my last IM races in the past. I suffered again yesterday with quite few diarrheas. Will skip the troublemaker from my pre race diet.
Good thing, run was only 10km, this doesn’t take as much from your legs, no need for more than 1 recovery day.
Now let the season start!