Back in February Josh and I decided that I would to attempt to qualify for the 2011 World 70.3 Championships which are to be held in Las Vegas in September. The new WTC qualifying criteria for professionals state that the top 25 females on the ranking points as of July 18 would gain a start, with points from an athletes best five 70.3 results going towards ranking points. As of the end of April I had not yet raced in any 70.3 races, so it was always going to be a tough ask to fit in 5 races between then and now. However we worked out a plan that would hopefully provide me with the best opportunity to make the cut, as such I have raced five 70.3's in the past 10 weeks - Port Macquarie (April 29), Busselton (May 7), Kansas (June 12), Buffalo Springs (June 26) and Muncie (July 9). Not surprisingly my best results have come when I have been at my freshest (2nd at Port Mac and 4th at Kansas).
After having a more than average race at Buffalo Springs two weeks ago, I was looking at putting in a better performance at yesterday's race in Muncie, Indiana. I had managed to recover well from Buffalo Springs and had put together a week of really good training between the races. I was confident going into the race, with an aim of gaining a top 8 finish and some more valuable ranking points. The field was stacked, and it was once again awesome to race against some of the best athletes in the world (congrats to Mel Rollinson for a rocking 1st place and smashing the field!).
I raced fairly well but didn't feel my usual speedy self, with my legs feeling flat and the body tired. However, I still managed to finish within 5 minutes of my best time, finishing up in 9th place (one place out of my goal). It is going to come down to the line as to whether I make the cut for World Champs. I have done all I can in such a short period of time and it will now depend on results from athletes racing next weekend. I have learnt more about myself over these past 10 weeks than I could possibly have from just training, and I am so thankful to have the opportunity to race at the highest level in 70.3 competition.
I am looking forward to having about 6 weeks off racing and putting in a huge block of training up here in Boulder. I am still having the time of my life and I am loving training in such a great environment. Once again, thank you to my sponsors Malvern Star, Peak Bike Hub, Brooks, Selle SMP and Giro for joining me for the ride and making it that bit easier to achieve my goals :) Also thank you to Bill and Melissa for providing a great home stay in Muncie, I will definitely be back to race again next year.