A long but rewarding season has come to an end! This past weekend I was in Auckland, New Zealand for the World Championship Grand Final. After 5 weeks of training in the Florida sun I was greeted by some familiar west coast weather down in kiwi land. In the days leading up to the race we had a mix of everything including a full day of sun on Saturday for the women’s race. But when Sunday arrived the skies opened up and the rain came down, adding yet another element to an already challenging and technically demanding course.
The swim started fast and was aggressive as usual. After one lap I was just off of where I needed to be in the group. After diving in for the second lap I advanced my position and was well placed exiting the water. On the bike we had a large group that broke apart as we climbed the first of three hills. After 1 lap there were about 12 guys left with Jonathan Brownlee and Richard Varga still up the road. Around the halfway point of the bike we caught Brownlee and Varga and rode together for a couple of laps. This bike course is without a doubt the toughest on the circuit but I felt strong and maintained good position within the group. Kris Gemmell broke away in the late stages of the bike to get a lead coming into transition.
Starting the run my legs were a bit tight but I was able to work my way into it. I was running in 8-9th place for the first couple of laps. I came around in the second half of the run and was able to get into a good rhythm. With about 1k to go I was able to pull away from Richard Murray and was gaining on the guys in front of me. I started a long kick from about 500m to go passing Ivan Rana and Dmitry Polyanskiy. I chased hard to get Gregor Buchholz in the final stretch but came up just short crossing the line in 6th place, my best finish ever in the World Triathlon Series.
I’m very happy to finish off the season like this. In the last 4 months I won my first World Cup, my first Canadian title and competed in my first Olympic Games. To cap it all off with this 6th place, the best result of my career so far, feels amazing. I owe a lot to my family and sponsors for all their support and of course to my coach, Joel Filliol, for everything he does. Looking forward to carrying this momentum into 2013!
Photo courtesy of Mark Bates – 321photos.ca