THE UPS AND DOWNS OF ERICA HAWLEY’S SEASON SO FAR

The start of the 2017 season for 19 year old Erica Hawley could not have been better. In March of this year Erica took  a silver medal at the Central American and Caribbean Junior Elite Triathlon Championships and followed that up by narrowly missing out on a bronze medal at the North American Triathlon Championships, finishing 4th. Full of confidence Erica then went on to win the US Collegiate National Triathlon Championships in her freshman year and was looking forward to the summer break when she would be based in Banyoles Spain with her team in training and racing in the very competitive European Cup Junior Elite Series.

But life can throw up some horrible moments. It all started with the tragic death in a bike accident of her close friend and fellow junior triathlete in Boulder, 19 year old Brazilian Alessandro Zarzur. Despite the emotional impact Erica suffered, she was determined to continue with her racing and training whilst working to honour her friend’s memory with a series of initiatives in his name.

Training in Banyoles Spain went very well and as Erica learnt to cope with her emotions after the loss of her friend she prepared to race in Austria in her first Junior European Cup race. But then misfortune hit as she took a tumble on her bike whilst previewing the course and ended up with a shoulder injury that put her out of the race.

Erica returned to Banyoles and received intensive treatment on her shoulder. Although not 100% she lined up two weeks later in Holten, Netherlands for the next European Cup Series event. However, her shoulder was too painful and she came out of the water too far back to stay with the lead cyclists, something she has been able to do this season. To cap it all Erica suffered a broken gear cable early on the bike that left her in her biggest gear and having to cope with climbing the hill on the course in that gear. She put in a gutsy performance to finish 27th with a solid run.

Erica then returned to Banyoles to heal and prepare for the Pan American Championships today ( Saturday 15th July 2017) in Magog, Canada aiming to qualify for the ITU Junior Elite Triathlon World Championships ( her last junior elite world championships) in Rotterdam, Holland in September.

But, bad luck (and also a guardian angel) followed her  as she was hit by a careless driver who entered a roundabout that Erica was on and went straight into her. Somehow Erica managed to escape with just road rash and severe bruising even though her bike was broken in two pieces and the front wheel totally mangled. The accident did however aggravate her shoulder injury

As a result Erica withdrew from today’s race in Magog and must now hope that her application for a wild card entry into the World Championships is accepted.

I met with Erica this week and the Digicel sponsored athlete was surprisingly upbeat and determined to come back even stronger as she anxiously awaits a decision on her wild card entry application. She leaves in a week’s time to train with two junior team mates in Slovenia and has scheduled a junior race in Sweden and possibly another race in preparation for Worlds. She is back in the pool and full of cautious optimism that she will be fully ready and able to line up at the World Championships where a good result would be a good ending to a season which promised so much but which got derailled by tragedy and unfortunate mishaps. I am sure that Erica will be stronger for these experiences however unwanted and tragic they were and I give her great credit for  her remarkable resilience and determination in the face of such physical and emotional challenges.

DUFFY LOOKING TO CONTINUE HER WORLD SERIES WINNING STREAK

After sitting out the first two ITU Triathlon World Series due to a hip injury, Bermuda’s Flora Duffy made a dramatic comeback in race 3 of the series as she blew away a stellar field in Yokahama, Japan to win by a record margin of nearly two minutes.

Flora then went on to an equally emphatic win at Leeds winning with over 1 min 20 secs to spare and finishing over 4 minutes ahead of most of the pre race favorites.

This afternoon ( Saturday 15th July AT 9.10 Bermuda time), Flora lines up for the Hamburg leg of the series looking to make it three in a row. As with last season, in her first two races in the 2017 series Flora used a slender lead out of the swim over other race favorites to team up with one or two swim / bike specialists and open up a significant margin going into the run knowing that she could easily outrun the athletes with her. This year she has backed up her swim / bike with a much improved run, recording two of the fastest run times in the field despite slowing in the finishing straight to accept the crowd’s accolades.

It is surely only a matter of time before Flora finds herself in a larger group coming of the bike that will include some class runners. I for one don’t care how Flora wins, so long as she wins, but it would certainly be a good test for her if she came off the bike in Hamburg with some strong runners. And if Flora was to outrun them then she would know that she can win either way and that would be a massive further boost for her confidence. Maybe today will be that day.

Here is the extract from the ITU website of Flora’s pre race interview :

Flora Hamburg 2017
FLORA AT THE HAMBURG PRE RACE INTERVIEW

Flora Duffy
On whether last season was the best ever for her:
“Absolutely. I think it will be pretty hard to top last year. Throughout the year I just kept doing one race after the other, and then I found myself in Cozumel, on the Grand Final, winning and winning the world title. It was incredible”.

On her performance on the start of this season:
“I am very happy. The start of the season was not very good for me, as I had a pretty bad injury and I had to pull out from Abu Dhabi and Gold Coast, so I was not very sure before Yokohama, but i think the extra rest actually helped me. I won my first two races, in Yokohama and Leeds, but I still have a lot to catch up the others”.

On what she needed to improve this season after winning the World Title in 2016:
“I had an injury at the beginning of the season, si I guess that my running was improving until then but I went too far. There are some really good runners on the circuit, like Gwen Jorgensen, so I thought I needed to improve mine a bit. It’s a long term plan, to improve my running for Tokyo 2020. Hamburg is usually a pretty fast course when it comes to the running, so we’ll see on Saturday so he race comes.”

On whether she likes to be the favourite for a race:
“Being the favourite definitely adds pressure and expectation on you, you have a few more obligations before the race, like coming to the press conference or doing some interviews, but it’s all about managing that. It is a privilege to be here and to be one of the favourites for the race, I really enjoy it, it’s part of the process”.

On still competing also on the cross triathlon world championships:
“Both events complement each other, but at this moment my focus is 100% on ITU and ITU races. It’s a bit tricky to race both events, makes my season a bit longer, but at the same time for me is fun, it’s different and it helps me to keep fresher and happier on the sport”.

On her expectations for the race on Saturday:

“Of course I’d love to win, but lots of the girls here have the same goal and expectations. I need to do the all three legs really well. It will be great to win but if I could get on the podium will also help my chances on the overall ranking, as well as a top 10 finish”.

TO WATCH THE RACE LIVE GO TO WWW.TRIATHLON.ORG AND CLICK ON THE TRIATHLON LIVE ICON AND SUBSCRIBE.

ADSY GORDON CAMP PROVING POPULAR

Adsy G camp pray to Adsy
Camp participants pray to their coach Adsy Gordon…. or is this something else ?

By all accounts, Aussie professional triathlete and coach Adsy Gordon has made a big impression on the 19 triathletes in his camp which continues this week.

Adsy gordon camp swim.jpg
A camp swim session this week

Adsy has certainly put the participants through a punishing but fun schedule that has included core strength sessions, bike intervals, open water and pool sessions, a brick session on windtrainers and step run repeats at Elbow Beach. But he has also included some unusual fun sessions including a games routine that included an egg and spoon race !

Adsy gordon brick session
A brick session at National Stadium

The camp winds up this weekend.

BERMUDA JUNIORS LOKING TO SHINE IN MAGOG, CANADA

Caleb Ingham ii
CALEB INGHAM

A group of leading Bermuda triathlon juniors and their parents are headed to compete in Magog, Quebec, Canada this weekend in one of the leading triathlon weekends in North America .

Leading the way will be junior 16-19 elite triathlete Tyler Smith who will be competing in the Pan American Championships, his qualifying race for the Junior Elite World Championships in Rotterdam in September 2017.
Nick Pilgrim , Caleb Ingham  and Amber Simons will competed in the Under 15 Quebec Cup with Megan Hands and Zoe Hasselkuss (under 13 Quebec Cup) and Jasmine
Hasselkuss (under 11 triathlon) also going to the start line.

With the exception of Jasmine and Tyler, the other juniors who are under 13 or under 15 will be doing 3 stages. Stage 1 is an aquathon, Stage 2 is a duathlon and Stage 3 is a triathlon. Stage 1 and 2 are on Sat. July 15th and Stage 3 is on Sunday July 16th.
Jasmine is doing the triathlon for her age group (stages not offered until under 13).

Some parents are also tentatively racing :
Dirk Hasselkuss – combined Sprint/Olympic (over 2 days),Nancy Stevens – Sprint  and Karen Smith -1/2 Ironman. Otis Ingham is undecided.

THURSDAY NIGHT SUPER SPRINT RESULTS

BTA Super Sprint Results 6 July 2017

Standard Distance – 200m swim/8K bike/1.6K run
Time Name
24.09 Alan Potts
25.01 Neil de st Croix
26.11 Sam Boaden
27.29 Steve Millington
27.43 Alec Shepard
27.49 Otis Ingham
28.05 Tim Palmer
28.08 Liz Stewart
28.38 Rebecca Shepard
29.02 Chris Harkness
30.43 Randy Smith
30.47 Lea Osborne
31.3 Neville Grant
31.59 Maddie Durkin
35.12 Malcolm Hardman
39.12 Kirstie Jones
40.38 Gary Stockley

200m swim/3 lap bike/1 lap run
25.35 Steve Petty

100m swim/2 lap bike/1 lap run
18.04 Theo Griffiths
18.04 Charlie Griffiths
22.19 Charlotte Hillington
27.43 Ella Shepard

100m swim/2 laps bike/1.6K run
25.53 Jake Smith

ADSY GORDON CAMP UNDERWAY

The Adsy Gordon camp got underway this morning, Saturday 8th July, with at last count 19 participants signed up to learn from the Australian professional triathlete and coach.

PARTICIPANTS are reminded that you can sign up for individual sessions with Adsy by contacting Ashley Couper on ashleycouper@gmail.com

GOOD TURN OUT FOR THURSDAY’S SUPER SPRINT

Neil de ste CroixPerhaps in preparation for the weekend’s Bank of Bermuda Foundation Triathlon, Thursday’s ( 29th June) Super Sprint Series event at Clearwater produced a strong turn out.

Neil de ste Croix turned back the years to  hold off the youngsters and win in 24 min 38 secs ahead of junior mountain biker Robin Horsefield and the talented youth triathlete Tommy Marshall.

 

Liz Stewart ( 29:08) edged out junior Jessie Marshall (29:14) to finish as the top female with another junior Amber Simmons in 3rd.

BTA Super Sprint Results 29 June 2017

Standard Distance – 200m swim/8K bike/1.6K run
Time Name
24.38 Neil de st Croix
25.02 Robin Horsefield
25.11 Tommy Marshall
25.39 Dominic White
25.39 Connor White
26.53 Derek Atkins
27.51 Gerhard Boonstra
28.46 Yannick Hillier
29.03 Otis Ingham
29.08 Elizabeth Stewart
29.14 Jessie Marshall
29.59 Amber Simmons
30.58 Randy Smith
31.24 Megan Hands
31.49 Marc Brown
32.28 Lara Rogers
33.23 Rachel Ward
33.3 Nancy Stevens
34.06 Paul Fielder
35.17 Joanna Heaney
35.37 Litanya Smith
40.05 Liz Arnold

100m swim/1 lap bike/1 lap run
23.25 Mackenzie Heaney
30.54 Gabrielle Smith

100m swim/2 laps bike/1.6K run
28.34 Jake Smith

200m swim/no bike/1.6K run
28.47 Kailen Hillier