Sunday, August 28, 2011

ITU Premium Pan American Cup- Kelowna, Canada

Hey Everyone,

Last week I travelled over to Canada to compete in my first race in the America’s. It was set to be a very high quality field and close to 60 starters. In the weeks and days leading into this race I had to overcome a number of hurdles and it almost seemed by race day that the world just didn’t want me to compete in this event. First it was a broken bike, followed by a niggle in my left knee, and to top it off, the day before the race on a very light jog, I was reduced to walking with really bad pain in my left foot. I tried to put everything out of mind and just have a crack. Apart from everything though, the sessions that I had managed to do recently had really raised my confidence and I was feeling pretty strong and was really pumped for a good result.

Then the race came and I am still lost for words.

I had a horrible swim and never felt like I could grab any water, immediately out of the water my stomach felt like it wanted to explode and I ended up throwing up twice during the hilly and hot 40km ride. By the end of the bike I was in a terrible position, had dribbles of spew on me and my bike, but was still hopeful that I could at least put something together on the run as to not make it a completely terrible day. About three steps into the run I knew this wasn’t going to happen. I really struggled even just to stand up as my stomach was again feeling like it was trying to escape me. No more than 500m in and I was again hurled over in a garden and barely able to stand up. My race was over.

I have wracked my brain trying to come up with answers and what I have come up with is still just a guess. I really don’t understand what happened when, despite the obstacles, I had felt so good beforehand.

I am back in Australia now and will have a good chat to the coach and try to work out what went wrong and to get back up. Canada was certainly not the trip I was hoping for but it will not keep me down. I am getting straight back into training and want to make sure something like that never happens again.

I’m sorry this update couldn’t have been a more positive one but again, thank you all for your support and I’m sure next time I can come to you with some much better news.

Aside from the race I have to say a massive thanks to Greg and Sarah Johnson who hosted me for the week I was there. They were so helpful and made my trip so much more enjoyable.

Ben Hammond

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