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Hefei 70.3 Race Report - Robin Pomeroy | Professional Triathlete

Hefei 70.3 Race Report

Hefei 70.3 Race Report
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Beautiful flowers from my husband in celebration of our 4th anniversary!

I was excited about the opportunity to race in China when this race first came out. I took a nice recovery week after Timberman in August, then went into a high volume training block. I raced frequently during the season so I didn’t have time to build in a training block like this. I knew I was going into this race in great shape, but I also knew there were so many unknowns I would be dealing with, including jetlag. I did what I could to get adjusted and gave myself the best possible chance to do well, but I took pressure off by knowing this race was a little bit of an experiment. Plus with Brian going, we thought it would be a great place to spend our anniversary! :)

The support here was amazing. Ironman did a great job at this inaugural race, and the Chinese soaked up the experience! Roads (2-3 full lanes) for the bike course were fully closed and there were 15,000 security guards and over 90km of fencing along the bike course.

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About 2,000 athletes competed at the inaugural race.

Swim was in Swam Lake, which was a shuttle ride away from the hotel that most athletes were staying in. The second transition zone was in Wanda Park, where the hotel district was. Swan Lake was a nice body of water to swim in given the circumstances and was very spectator-friendly, bringing hundreds of spectators to watch. Nearly 2,000 athletes were competing, and over half of them were first-timers! There was also a large percentage of age groupers there who were gunning for a Kona slot. We had quite the mix of athletes, but everything went very smoothly during the race, running exactly on time and with no hiccups that I could see.

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Pre-race interview. There was a lot of media coverage before and during the race. It was a really big event here!

We had a small but competitive group of pro women. There was a group of 4 that started off together. Heather and Radka pushed a fast pace, and I lost contact with the leaders. My shoulders felt loose and comfortable and the pace I was holding was not strenuous, but they were just pushing a faster pace than I could keep. I lost more ground to the front 3 during the last 500-m. My form felt sloppy towards the end and I was just looking forward to getting out of the water!

T1 – exited the water with some stairs. We had our helmets in bags and had to run through a changing tent and discard our swim stuff into the bag before heading to grab our bikes. Having never gone through this before, I was totally off my game and very slow through transition. I tried running and stuffing my bag at the same time, but ended up dropping everything which just cost me more time. I had mentally gone through this transition process before racing but was not smooth going though it race day.

Bike – legs felt tired starting out, so I just took some time to get up to speed. Eventually I just put my head down (I looked up

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Finishing up the bike leg.

every once in awhile!;)  ) and focused on my breathing and strong pedal strokes. Spectators lined the whole course – it was unbelievable! I tried to use this amazing crowd support as fuel. Maybe 45k in, I saw lots of racers up the road.  I kept doing my thing and putting power to the pedals, and I was just reeling them in. I felt strong nearing 60k when I fully caught up to the group of 7-8 people. I relaxed my pace for a few minutes contemplating what to do. The line was spaced apart just right, but I didn’t want to stay where I was. So I put in a bigger effort to pass everyone. At the turn around to head back for the final 30km, I had clear space in front of me again and just continued on, now in the lead for the women’s race. I was tiring a little towards the end and we had a decent headwind now but I continued pushing hard. I had a film person near my side for the entire last 30k (the race was live broadcast across China). I wonder if they caught me blowing snot rockets! ;). Finishing off the bike in 2:20:31 was good enough for the fastest split of the day. I felt solid and was excited to see my hard training pay off!

T2 – same deal as T1 with the bags and changing tents. This one went a little smoother. The top 4 women came in at once.

Run – The leaders took off fast and I followed. I wasn’t sure how my legs were going to be after that ride, but I felt great. I tuned everything out and enjoyed the empty course for the first loop of the run. The second loop was a little more con

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These were some nice softer paths to run on! Fun to have an escort behind me the entire run ;)

gested but it wasn’t too bad and the others racers were all so encouraging as I ran past. I ran a consistent effort, tiring at the end, but still holding steady. I finished in 3rd, my first podium! Radka, Emma, and I were awarded with flowers and champagne on the stage right after. An amazing experience here in China. This race has a great future!

 

 

 

 

 

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Me and my Number 1!!!

 

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We were awarded with some champagne and flowers!

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Post race interviews..

 

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