In June 2016 I was able to qualify for the Western Australian Cross Country Nationals State Team. For me this was amazing and something I really appreciated after missing Triathlon School Sport Nationals in April due to injury. On August 18th, I along with the rest of the WA Team, left for Canberra. Canberra is really different to Perth; there are less people, more tourists and its really cold. On Saturday the 20th of August we each race our individual races, mine being 4km. I didn’t have to race until mid-afternoon so I was lucky enough to have a sleep in and race in the warmest temperature of the day, 7ºC. It was raining, the course was muddy from all the previous races and the kangaroos that seemed to hop along the track, not phased by the races that were taking place.
The commentators described the weather conditions as “a lovely day in Scotland”.I must admit, I was freezing cold and running in only a crop top and shorts didn’t help that at all. My race went really well, although from my start it wouldn’t appear that way. I started in the second line of competitors, having being one of the last girls to qualify for the team. As soon as the gun went off everyone took off and started elbowing and pushing each other as we headed towards the first bend.
Within 100m I was securely holding last place.All it took was a single look back to realise I was last and that I really didn’t like it. Coming last was not on my things to do for the day, I pushed my way through the crowd of girls. Over taking most of them on the hills that were scattered along the course. By the end of the race I had got myself into 46th place. I thought that was pretty good considering I was in 82nd at the beginning. Not only that, but I was the 3rd WA girl to cross the line (0.01seconds behind the WA girl that came 2nd). This really surprised me considering I had been 7th qualifier from WA. The race was really cold and the head winds around the back of the course made it really hard to run. The cold air also made it harder to breathe and I found myself puffing like crazy after the first 200m. But as Paul always says “it is the same for everyone”. Overall I was really happy with my race. On Monday the 22nd we races the relay events. For me it was a 5 x 2km event. The top 5 girls for each state from the individual races made up the relay team with the others doing a 2km time trial. Coming in 3rd on Saturday meant that I ran 3rd in the relay event for the 16/17 WA girls. The relay was race on a criterium bike track so that was pretty cool. I didn’t run that well in the relay event. We had go to the venue late which meant we couldn’t do a proper warm up and it was only 5ºC. The air was so cold that when I was running it felt like my muscles were being stabbed by tiny needles and breathing was near on impossible. Again, everyone else felt the same so that was ok. Everyone was happy with our efforts in the relay, coming in 5th. Overall the nationals experience was amazing. The opportunity to race against girls of a higher level was a great experience and im sure will help me in the long run. But this trip was about more than just racing, I got to have a break from routine and chill out which I think has done me the world of good. I was also lucky enough to make some new friends which was really nice. This has been a great experience, something that I really appreciate. Now looking forwards the warm weather and the beginning of the triathlon season!
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