It’s cold, dark and pouring with rain. It’s been a long days traveling and now I’m running around the French Town of Nancy dressed in a lot of lycra, very lost and looking for my Hotel. I stop to ask a passer-by for directions “excuse me do you know where… “Je ne comprende pas.” is the answer I get before I even finish my question. Bugger I think to myself. I forgot they speak French in France.
Wishing I had paid more attention in French lessons at school, I thank the passer-by as best I can and continue to run aimlessly around the streets hoping in vain to find my hotel. After 30 minutes of going round and round in circles some students hanging on a street corner which I’ve already passed 5 times finally take pity on me and with a smattering of English they have offer to walk me to my hotel.
2 minutes later and I’ve just been delivered to its entrance. (Turns out it was only around the corner!) I rush inside quickly dry off and grab some food which I bought at the airport before hitting the hay. It’s not been the best start to the biggest race weekend of my life but at least they didn’t lose my bags or my bike at the airport!
An air raid siren bursts into life in my room shattering my blissful sleep. I turn over and grab my phone which is producing the abominable sound, tempted for one second to press the “snooze” button I refrain despite it being 5am. Its race day and it’s time to get down to business.
Thankfully after Fridays night’s game of hide and seek with my hotel Saturday flew by without a hitch, team meetings and race briefings all done, there is only one thing left to do now and that’s race.
I don my Team GB kit with pride and do my final bike checks before making short walk over to the race start and transition from my Hotel.
Bike racked and warm up done the race starter has us all lined up and ready to go. My heart is pounding is the only sound I can hear.. I take one last deep breath…. BANG and we are off!
A 10km run, 40km bike and another gruelling 5k run later I drag my body across the line, with less energy than a dead dog I grimace a smile for the photographer before folding like a deck of cards onto the floor. I’m cooked and pain is searing through my limbs. I’ve just come 2nd in the world championships! Never again I think to myself, well maybe until next year……..