Team TGR athlete Kodey Hodgson had her first triathlon of the season last weekend. The race was a qualifier for the World Triathlon Champs on the Gold Coast. Kodey competes in the 16 to 19 year age category.
Yarrawonga, what a ripper weekend. Filled with so much encouragement, support and happy faces everywhere you looked.
My weekend commenced on the Friday. Parents thought it would be a good idea to drive down on the Friday evening, and look I wasn’t complaining about that I would definitely be struggling sitting in a car for 3 hours then having to race.
Had such a good sleep woke up bright and early, even though my race didn’t start till 1:33pm, I decided I was going to treat it like every other race. Defiantly did not want to over sleep but also was cautious that I got enough sleep too. Had a shower to wake myself up just that little bit more, and then got into the packing and getting ready. Made sure to triple check everything just so I knew I wasn’t going to forget anything that was needed…wetsuit…race flats…rubber bands…talcum powder…goggles…Alpha Keri…tri suit…helmet…drink bottle…towel…bike shoes…and of course my bike. Once that was finished it was about 8:00am; I then rolled out my muscles getting rid of any tightness that I had, Put all my stuff in the car, then parents drove into town to get some breakfast. I on the other hand rode my bike down just to check over all my gears to make sure everything was working smoothly, also wanted to keep my legs ticking over. Once breakfast was finished I rode over to the race venue. Went through a bit of the bike course just to familiarize myself, checked out the mount and dismount point, practiced a couple of times just so I knew how much room I had before the line. Nerves where started to kick in a lot now, got off my bike and walked into the race briefing area. Still had 4 hours to wait, all I was thinking was that’s 4 hours to stress and get even more nervous. Saw the coach so walked over to him; he could see how nervous I was just by my eyes and the way I was standing. He said it’s good, being nervous will boost your adrenaline levels up. Helped set up some tents. Before I knew it I had 3 hours before my race, that little clock in my head was slowly counting down. Wasn’t long now, I got my coach to double check my bike, make sure the tire pressure was good and that the gears were working well. Transition was opening in 10 minutes so I picked up my race pack, stuck all my stickers on and into transition I walked. I started racking my bike, I saw that the girls I normally race with had a different Colour drafting band and where racking there bikes somewhere else.
The men I was racking next to were just looking at me, “you do know you are racking with the 40+ men” I looked at him, all that was going through my head was you have got to be kidding me. They gave me the wrong Colour band, well yay that’s just great. I didn’t realize I looked like a 40 year old man. I went over to one of the officials and explained my situation to him and he helped me sort it all out. I then moved my bike to the same rack as the other girls, set up my bike all over again and then walked out of transition to go and get the right colour band for my bike. I got to the race pack pick up point, and the head coach of TVDP walked over to me. “ I have been looking for you” I looked at him and surely not that cant be a good sign. He then started explaining to me that I am the only senior racing in the School Sports Victoria qualifying race, as the other girls I normally race were all racing in the Worlds qualifying race. He then gave me the option to either be the only senior but set of with the intermediates or go and do the Worlds qualifying race. At this point my mid was just running, going in big loops and I was starting to stress out a lot. My mind set was definitely not in the right spot at this point. Dad said I needed to go and talk to my coach so that he could calm me down a bit because my race was just not going as I planned and I hadn’t even started racing yet. I spoke to my coach and he gave me the best pre race briefing I have ever had, he helped me focus and clam down and understand that this sort of thing can happen to anyone and not to worry about it. We then decided that I would go ahead and compete in the 16-19 Worlds qualifying race as bottom age as well. So I got the right drafting Colour band quickly went back into transition and swapped it over with my old one. My friend Grace was really excited that we were now racing together because we are the only two that are the same speed in the swim so we came up with a good race plan which meant we could help each other but also do really well individually. I love a bit of healthy competition.
It was about 1 hour till my race now, time flies when your having fun they say. The whole ETPA group (my training group) were getting ready to all do a warm up swim together. I went through my usual wetsuit set up. Covered my body pretty much head to toe in Alpha Keri oil for extra help when taking my wetsuit of. Then started pulling on the wetsuit, wetsuit was on and more Alpha Keri was put on the leg and armholes. Cap and goggles were put on and into the water for the warm up we went. Wasn’t as cold as I thought it was going to be, so that was nice. Just before we were getting out of the swim we did a couple of 100m efforts, then hopped out of the water. 15 minutes until race now. Started walking over to the start line with Grace, heart was racing and I was getting very pumped now. Off the boys wave went, and into the water we jumped. My nerves get to me weirdly, at the start line I start to talk a lot to just anyone around me. It was 3 minutes now, race conductor explained that we were then in the starters hands. Next minute you know the gun went off and we started the swim. It was a deep-water start but was only waist deep, wadded out a bit then dove in to start swimming. Of course it was me, what else could honestly go wrong today, well apparently a lot more then I thought. There I am standing up in the middle of the group because my goggles had been knocked off my head. Fixed them up and quickly sprinted up again to try and catch Grace. I suck at the swim, its my worst leg, so I wasn’t hoping to much out of it cause I didn’t want to disappoint myself. I get into a good rhythm pretty quick, which I was stoked with. Started exiting the water and saw that Grace was about 3 seconds in front of me. Running into transition goggles and cap off holding them in one hand and ripping the wetsuit off with the other hand. Get to the bike the rest of the wetsuit comes off and helmet on.
Grab the bike and running towards the mount line, flying mount onto bike and off I went. Grace tailing on behind me, rolling turns everything was going as we planned, until I rolled to the front looked behind me and Grace was no longer there, had to quickly change race plan. But turned out to be better then I thought. Tail wind on the way down, picked up a couple of people made them do rolling turns with me and stay with me cause I knew I was going to need them for the way back. Got to the turn around and started heading back to transition. Picked up two more groups before the dismount line, so was in a really big group now. About 400m before dismount line and I moved my way to the front of the group so that I had a clear dismount. Off the bike I came and into transition. Bike racked, shoes on, helmet off, pick up race band and run out of transition, that’s what I was playing over in my head and it went exactly like that very smooth. Felt really heavy on the run, found it hard to get into a rhythm, just focused on breathing and trying to get just a little bit faster. Got to the turn around, was feeling a lot stronger. Picked up the pace a bit and started heading back.
Saw Grace going towards the turn around, best high five I have ever done was in that race. Last 200m I could just feel the speed of the legs getting faster. Excitement was building, I was almost home. Sprint finish to the line. I was done, my grin was bigger then you have ever seen, so many vibes through the air. Congratulating everyone around you, best feeling you could have. Finished and placed better then I thought I would, which I was happy with, especially after all the muck ups that happened in the build up to the race.