World Championships London
The build-up to the Worlds had been promising; I had set myself 4 weeks hard training and a week’s tapering leading up to the worlds. In those 4 weeks my aim was to get more quality sessions in rather than quantity. I already had a good base from racing so much earlier in the season, Speed work was the aim. I came to the conclusion I needed speed in all disciplines at the worlds, on the swim because it would only be 250m to the first turn mark so it would be eye balls out until then, the bike because there was 2 dead turns and some tight technical corners so would be doing a lot of accelerating out of the dead turns and corners and the run because I wanted to go fast!!
At the end of week 3 on my hard training block I had the Waveney Autumn triathlon. In short I had a good race and had knocked off 1min30sec from the same race in May and to take that amount of time in only a 48-49min race was great. I was quicker on all 3 disciplines. This was a good boost for me as I was starting to get tired in my training, this result on tired legs gave me some faith that the work I was putting in was making a difference and gave me good motivation for the last remaining week of my training.
The weekend of the Worlds had finally arrived!! I awoke Saturday morning feeling excited but also very nervous. Up and out early off up to Hyde Park. First of all I settled into the grandstand to watch the Elite women’s race!! That got me buzzing even more, what a fantastic race for the GB athletes.
On the Saturday we had to register, rack our bikes and get our race kit checked. The problem being when they have 2000-3000 people competing in one race you have to do all of this at select times because I can imagine it would be mayhem if all of us turned up at once to rack our bikes!! Once I had registered, racked the Boardman and put him to sleep for the night I headed home to get some much needed sleep myself.
Sunday 15th September had FINALLY arrived. The main focus since I started triathlon 2 years ago, the early mornings, the late nights, the tough sessions, the pain, the tears had all come down to this day and it was finally here!! I opted to head up to Hyde Park with Dad and Louise in the TriHarder/InASpin van, Vicky headed off to my sisters wearing her ‘Team Proctor’ t shirts… I soon realised she had bought them for the whole family to wear…
Once in Hyde Park we were lucky enough to have a parking space as Mr In A Spin was the Irish team mechanic. A short walk over the serpentine bridge and we were in. I headed off to transition to set up. I always like to get this out of the way first thing so I can forget about it and get on with my preparation. Once I had set up transition I had just over an hour until I had to be at the start area. I took this time to try and chill out, sit down and have a last little something to eat.
One thing was apparent and that was it was going to be chilly, dry but chilly. My start time was 7.10 so at 6.40 I started the wetsuit wiggle into my Aqua Sphere Phantom. While putting on my wetsuit I could hear whispers that they had shortened the swim. A lot of the GB athletes got annoyed by this, Mainly the faster swimmers as they wanted a longer swim to build up a healthy lead on the slower swimmers.
Once I got my Phantom on I headed off to the holding pen where it was confirmed the swim had been shortened to 750m, I wasn’t particularly worried about it being shortened I just aimed to swim harder than I had planned where it was shorter. As there were a lot of Age Group starts there was no time for us to have in the water to get familiarised or to warm up, so a quick swing of the arms on the start pontoon. We sat with our feet in the water at 1 minute to go then we had to lower ourselves in and hold onto the side with 30 seconds to go. With 30sec to go I lowered myself in, looked to my left and to my right and said to myself I hope these 2 can swim in a straight line.
5,4,3,2,1, GO and we were off, I went off hard and soon left the 2 either side of me behind so I had no problem of arms in my face, I got to the first turn mark without much trouble but it looked busy so I took it a little wide to stay out of trouble! After that it spread out and I settled into a high but steady pace. I jumped out of the water in 10.40 a good swim time especially in the cooler water conditions!
Now the next stage of the race… Nope not the bike… The long old run to transition. 2.40 Later I had my wetsuit off and was jumping onto my bike. Although a bit nippy I was happy on the bike, felt strong, taking in the atmosphere and the sights of London. Cycling down the Mall on closed roads wearing a GBR trisuit, it doesn’t get much better than that, 1.01.53 later and I was jumping off my bike and back into transition. My slick little Newton MV2 running trainers on and I was off out onto the run… The plan was the 1st km hard then settle into a high pace which I could hold, as soon as you left transition it hit you, the crowds were fantastic, cheering ‘Go GB’ ‘Go Proctor’ then family and friends cheering, it really was a fantastic atmosphere, the 1st lap seemed to drag on a little bit but laps 2 and 3 flew by, I’ve never had people shout my name so much for a good cause, it was fantastic and I thank every single person that shouted support. 3 laps done and I turned into the finish Shute, I headed down the finish straight with a smile on my face.
I had done it, competed and raced in my first World Championships, In Hyde Park, London. It being in London really made it, a fantastic event and I don’t think any other race will match this. A truly special day.
My overall position was 30th AG 20 – 24. So 30th best triathlete in AG 20-24 in the World, I’ll take that after just over a little 2 years in triathlon.
Swim – 10.40
T1 – 2.40
Bike – 1.01.53
T2 – 2.36
Run – 37.34
Some great performances were also put in from other TriHarder team members. Becky Schofield competed in the Sprint distance on Friday and finished in a very impressive 8th AG 30-34. Toby Morrell who has been suffering from a bad back and was unable to walk 7 days prior to the race came 42nd in AG 30-34, finally Iain Robertson flew home in 3rd place in AG 35-39. A little mention for Tri Anglia member and local lad Matt Ellis who won AG 35-39 and is now a World Champion!! Fantastic results all round and well done to all. Now for a much deserved rest all round.
Lastly I would like to say a big thank you to my family for the support especially over the past year, some of you may know it’s not always easy juggling training in the normal day to day life but they have supported me and never doubted me. Finally Mr In A Spin (Dad) and TriHarder for their continued support with kit, advice and friendship.