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Hola, Bonjour, Hello! It’s been a while between drinks, in more ways than one, but here’s my most recent race report from the Paratriathlon World Cup in Bescanson, France.

A bit unsure where to start this exactly, so I guess I’ll back track a little bit so everything makes sense.

So prior to the race, I had made the long awaited move from Melbourne to Girona, Spain for the European summer, running as quick as I could from the coming winter months at home. The build up to this move has been pretty incredible, as it required a lot of external support to make it all possible.

I’d like to say a big thank you to the Tattersall’s Club up in Sydney, The Black Dog Institute for taking me on, Phil and the team at Tenants Leasing Group, all the family, friends and strangers who contributed to this, and have become official Team Twomey crew members. This all wouldn’t be possible without a great team behind me. Lastly I’d have to thank my coach for agreeing to put up with me for a few more months.

Okay let’s get stuck in! The trip over here was timed pretty well, arriving in Girona two weeks prior to the race. It gave me plenty of time to adjust to the time zone, shake the long travel off and put some finishing touches on training before driving over the border to France.

I didn’t feel very confident about how I was going to perform on the weekend. I allowed self-doubt to creep in a little bit and strip me of a bit of confidence. I had to do something to shift that. I try not to take myself too seriously as much as possible, and this week was no exception. By making a mental note to just enjoy the experience allowed me to enjoy my team mates and coach’s company for the week, and it turn, get out of my head and free of that thinking.

One big thing I’ve picked up this year is it doesn’t matter how good or bad I feel going into the race, how I race is the only thing that matters.

Now most people know I love my food. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, second breakfast, afternoon tea and especially desert! I also love a routine, so I eat pretty similar food a lot of time, and I have to say whilst the traditional French restaurant we went to one night was nice, you probably won’t be catching me there again. Give me meat and three veg any day of the week.

Racing always seems to be one of those things, that’s built up for so long, and without even realising it here I am about to get in the water to start.

The key focuses for me going into this race, was to run my own race. I had a plan of how I wanted things to go, not so much times, places, results, but the process. All I can do is focus on how I race. Being so fresh this all means, every race is a great opportunity to gain some knowledge on what works, what doesn’t, and how to move forward.

This was also my first race with a new cycling prosthetic, and running blade, thanks to the guys at Ossur Corp for the running blade and Promotion Prosthetics for getting me all the bells and whistles in time!

Sitting on the side of the lake I was ready to go. All the anxiety of the day or two previous fades away. I do my best to just do my own thing race morning, and drown out any distractions with music and warming up and preparing properly.

Here we are at the start line, waiting for the horn to kick it off. Just like that we’re off, and executing my plan of swimming my lines, and how I needed to swim worked how I wanted to, coming out at the front end of the group.

A smooth T1 (First transition) was a big focus so I was happy with that, heading out on the bike feeling confident. Having done the beautiful hilly, lush bike course a few days previously had allowed me to test out a few different ideas of how to best ride the course, and also soak up the views, because race day isn’t for being distracted by the beautiful trees and hills out there.

I was really happy with how I rode, doing it to my plan, working hard up the hills, and I was glad to see definite improvements in race performance since my last race, and to be riding in the right direction.

Out on to the run and I have to admit this was a battle from the very start. I love hot weather…unless I have to run in it. I’ll be honest too it wasn’t even that hot, but I still struggled, plus still getting back into the swing of running post an injury left me feeling pretty flat and tired the whole run.

To finish up 8th on the against some of the best in the world, is something I’m pretty happy with. The best part about the day was to have raced exactly as I’d planned to for the whole swim, bike, run and the process.

Now back to Spain for some serious sun and I guess some serious training too!

Until next time.

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