Verity Smith is competing in the ITU World Triathlon Championships and has reported in with the latest! (Pics included):
We finally arrived late Tuesday night after a ten hour flight to Cancun, Mexico, followed by a 45 minute coach transfer to the ferry terminal for the final leg to the island of Cozumel. The walk from the coach to the ferry terminal was a little tricky; cobble stones are certainly not the easiest things to negotiate with a bike box that seemed to have a mind of its own! After a 35 minute transfer on a very refreshing open top ferry we finally arrived at the Cozumel Palace, the official GB athlete’s hotel. The staff were very friendly and extremely accommodating; as we stood waiting to check in we were offered tropical juice drinks, greatly received. Our room has a magnificent ocean view and to the delight of my ten year old son Albie there was a Jacuzzi in our room!
My greatest concern having arrived was unpacking my bike; I had heard various horror stories of bikes being damaged on route in the bike boxes they used to transport them. After removing the metres of bubble wrap that I used to protect my bike during the journey I was overjoyed to discover that my time trial bike had survived – phew what a relief!
My schedule for Wednesday morning was to build my bike, so after a gorgeous breakfast of various fresh fruit including pineapple, melon, dragon fruit, and water melon. I then set about building my time trial bike. I am certainly no pro at building a bike from it being packed into a bike box however I had taken plenty of short videos of my bike mechanic putting it together back home. These videos made this job a great deal easier and I also asked the GB bike mechanic to give it a quick once over to check I had put it all together correctly. To my surprise it was good to go so that was a big relief and one thing less to worry about.
Next thing on my schedule was a 30 minute training run. So on went my new Asics Nimbus Gel trainers kindly provided by Coes and a run along the beach road was wonderful with glorious views of the beach just metres away from the pavement I was running on. The temperature by this time of the day was well above 30 degrees – very hot but good to try acclimatise to the heat and humidity of Cozumel.
Later in the day I went to the expo with my husband Rick and son Albie. The expo consisted of many shops in gazebos selling anything and everything to do with triathlon. I also collected my registration pack with my numbers and timing chip ready for Sunday’s triathlon. They give you a number for your helmet, bike, bag, number tattoos for your arm and leg, a wrist band with your number and finally a number for your race belt – surely there will be nothing left without my number on! 995 is my official number for Sunday’s race!
Chilling out by the pool was next on the to-do list, just bliss with beautiful ocean views.
Thursday’s training schedule was a thirty minute sea swim and siting where you choose a point out of the water to aim for whilst swimming so in the actual race you aim for the yellow buoys. The sea was a wonderful temperature and completely clear and the colours of the fish were amazing, it was so beautiful it reminded me of Finding Nemo. I struggled to concentrate on swimming, the fish were just mesmerising!
Friday’s training schedule was to check out the bike course and I arranged to meet up with some other fellow GB triathletes at 6.30am to ride the course before it got too hot. The view along the route was stunning as the road followed the beach to the West of the Island; tree lined and certainly to my liking as it was completely straight and flat. I compete in a lot of time trials back home and this type of course is my favourite. We returned to the hotel around 9am so after a quick shower it was off to breakfast for the all-important refuelling and later on in the day I had a wonderful sports massage by the GB physio to release any tightness I had in my leg muscles. The last job of the day was to take a stroll back to the expo to purchase a visor; many people recommended one to stop the sweat running into my eyes on the run and also to keep the sun out of my eyes. Everyone who had competed in the sprint triathlon on Wednesday had struggled on the run because of the heat, so anything that could make it easier and was definitely worth every penny in my view!
Tomorrow is the team briefing for the standard distance triathlon and later on in the afternoon is bike racking where I take my bike and set it up in the transition area! The nerves will be kicking in then for sure!
I’ll send a report after the triathlon in a few days.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all at Coes for your continued support, kindness and generosity. My Asics Nimbus gel trainers you gave me are awesome and will definitely make the run more comfortable.
Many thanks and kind regards,