Jodie Swallow LDchamps Race Report
Well…... It feels amazing; great; awesome - all of these things but most of all it feels like a chapter finally concluded. It feels like my comeback tale is finally over and now its time to turn the next page.
They played the national anthem and I had my own flag and everything!!!
Everybody, in life and in sport has difficulties and dilemmas and mine are no more difficult or severe than everybody else but I will allow myself that the past year and the year after the Olympics were incredibly draining and upsetting for me, for different reasons and it is after these bleak times that the good times seem so great. Never have I felt as happy as when I win now, never do I feel as thankful as when I remain uninjured and never have I partied and smiled so hard when the results do roll in. I value the good times more now as they are rare in elite sport and are equally matched with disappointing times.
Ultimately I raced the way I know how….I built a minute on the 3km swim, pushed hard on the bike building to eight minutes and built to 11 minutes on the run. I finished in 4hours 7mins. Rebekah Keat of Australia was second and Delphine Pelltier of France 3rd.
The swim was one of the toughest I have ever done. Although the men started 90 seconds ahead there was no chance of even seeing them as the sun beamed down the swan river and the wind hurtled wave after wave at us for the 1800 metres straight out. A number of times I had fear I could have passed the buoy or be totally off course. Occasionally I passed a white capped male or stroked a jelly fish but that was the most contact I seemed to have for the whole thing. The last buoy was a little confusing and i was briefly steered back to the correct turn by a surfboard. I came out about 1min ahead of Lucie Zelenkova and Pip Taylor the next girls behind me.
I hurtled through transition and felt amazing running so I kind of knew it would be a good day. I simply eyed the little men’s group ahead of me and pace judged off them. It was the right thing to do - I didn’t hold them but my focus forward made me push harder and although isolated from then on (just passing age groupers on the course), I had already set a precedent pace and so the women’s group chasing dropped back first 3.30mins after lap one and building to 8mins on lap 4. The bike was tough - it was incredibly windy out there and there was no let up. I just concentrated on fuel and water and pace for the 80km and occasionally a little ‘Rocky’ soundtrack stimulus!!
I entered transition and hurried out. I felt fresh and good and knew I’d be okay - I slowed myself down and settled. I was joined on the third lap by Kevin Clarke an old friend and so had stirling company on the run leg. I actually ran equal splits - the first 5km lap just 4 seconds faster than the last 5km. Total run time was 1 hour and 18mins in blistering winds and 32 degree heat.
Flag in hand I savoured the moment down the finish chute. It felt amazing and I am so glad I pulled it together.
I have worked hard over the years and so have people around me. Special thanks to my previous coach Livio Salvador-Aylott for helping me build a foundation to build from and also to my coach of two months Chris Jones. I am even more assured that we can reach our goals now.
Next up is Clearwater 70.3 Worlds. No doubt I won’t fall under the radar at this one but I feel good and hope I can pull a better one in three weeks.
The party is done, the rest day almost done and I remain here in Perth for a while training up until Clearwater on the 14th of November…....Be there or be square :)
O'Donnell & Swallow Sizzle to go the distance down under11:29 - 25 Oct, 2009