Claire Hitchings Coaching

World Champs - it's a wrap

World Champs - it's a wrap

The World Cross Triathlon Championships in Denmark was a race of firsts for me! Unfortunately, my final position wasn't first but at a Worlds, second ain't too shabby and a result I'm pleased with!

Let's start with the firsts that I hope are one-offs...

1. Crashing badly on the bike. I'd settled in nicely behind a Danish girl and was hopeful this set-up would last the entire bike section. On a nice single-track straight section I must have not seen something and went flying over the handle-bars. Dazed and sore, I assessed the damage: a lot of blood down my left-hand side; saddle bag off; chain off; and a saddle at right-angles. No problem I thought, thinking the saddle was quick release. It wasn't and I was riding without alan keys (which I won't be doing again!). Despite numerous attempts I couldn't move the saddle back. Stress-central... and all the time athlete after athlete riding past; some with a token, "You alright?" Me muttering, "Do I look alright???!!!" I eventually sorted it...but 5 minutes lost and riding a bit more tentatively thereafter.

2. Swimming with jellyfish - not just the odd 'oh look there's a jellyfish'; friggin' loads of the stingers. They got my face good and proper and during the swim my face and lips were morphing into Katy Price's after a boxtox special.

3. Having my face shaved! Yep! At the end of the race I headed to the medical tent to get cleaned up and they suggested shaving my face to get rid of whatever it is that jellyfish leave in you. They assured me I wouldn't end up with a beard...fingers crossed!

And the firsts that I hope won't be one-offs...

1. Producing a race swim that isn't too far off what I can do in a pool. I swam in a pack, I didn't go off course or hate every minute of it. 

2. Running off the bike - I had the best run I've ever had in a triathlon. 

So overall a great experience. Frustrating about the crash given I'm riding better than I ever have. Next stop is the Europeans in Ibiza in October. Lots to work on but first a well-deserved break. Thanks to everyone that's helped: Hubby Hitchings, Jenny Copnall, Team Endurance (Mark and Tracey), riding buddies (Pete and John) and Chris Ball at Velocipede Cycles.



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