The Road to ITU World Champs with Tommy Norton - Camino Apparel
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The Road to ITU World Champs with Tommy Norton

October 20, 2018

The Road to ITU World Champs with Tommy Norton

 

5 Months since the last blog! Wow it’s been a big 5months.

Jump in where we left off last time, 6months into this crazy sport & had done enough to qualify to represent Australia at the World Championships in my age group (30-34) for Olympic Distance. This meant one thing…. it was going to be a tough 5 months

In the lead up to WC I had 2 races I was going to do. One being the half marathon on the GC the second being a Long Distance Triathlon at Yeppoon, which would be my first Long Distance Race. The plan after Worlds was to turn my focus towards 70.3 racing, these 2 races would be used to build my bodies conditioning & at the same time help with being able to handle the OD distance better (being so new this was still a issue stitches etc.) they would also be a good indicator to see where I’m at after a solid 16 week block of long, dark, wet & cold winter training.

The half marathon was on the 1st of July so I had 8 weeks of this 16-week training block under the belt & it also meant only 3 weeks until the Long distance race at Yeppoon. It was go time! Time to see how my run was coming along & what pace I could hold for 21.1.km. I set myself a target of going sub 78mins (1hr18mins). I just went under finishing in 1:17:41 (3:40/km Avg). Happy with the result & a great confidence booster for myself leading into my race in a few weeks.

 

3 weeks went by fast & next thing you know I had my wetsuit on, toes in the sand, awaiting the gun to go off at Yeppoon Triathlon Festival start line. Nervous was an understatement thinking to myself this is basically a double Olympic Distance race length being 2km Swim, 80km Bike & 20km Run was the body ready & able to handle this? Turns out it was. I finished the race in a time of 3:53:09 which put me 5th place overall & I was first Age Group athlete overall. Beyond stoked my first age group win & at a distance I had never done before.

Alright it was time to knuckle down, 6 weeks until World Champs! Had worked on endurance now as we were back to OD racing I had to pick up my top end speed on my Run, focus on holding a high bike average & minimise the gap coming out of the swim (as the swim is my worst leg). Training was full on & I was lucky enough a training partner of mine was racing as well which helped we basically had 6weeks of pushing each other to get to that start line Fitter, Faster & the best shape we had been. Goal was Sub 35min 10Km, Break the 2hr Race time & finish top 20. Those 3 things I would be stoked with & would hit 2 goals I’ve wanted ever since my first race at Kingscliff 10months ago.

Day of the race was finally here! Growing up all I ever wanted to do was represent Australia & wear the Green & Gold. Just didn’t think it would be in a sport I picked up 11months ago. 6:44am the call came out over the speakers 30-34 age group enter the water, it was go time 109 of the best Olympic Distance 30-34 age groupers from around the world were fired up & marshalled into the water for a deep water start. I had never done a deep water start so went left of the line as I always do at a race start & hoped for the best. Triathlon swims aren’t the friendliest so nothing different here kicks leg pulls and swimming over each other. Even tho the swim course was point to point guys still swim on you & pull you back. I ended up coming out of the water in 38th place 4mins behind the leader who was a bloody fish & swam within 17mins. Onto the bike leg thank f*ck, I can settle the nerves & now make some time up. Bike course had some some tight sharp corners & a 8% hill climb in the mix but with a massive straight up & back. Head down pushing whatever the legs would give me for 40km first time I had no data on the bike so was all about feel. I got into T2 clocking a 57:53 bike split (PB), which had me in 17 place heading onto the run. I knew I had to make some ground up & just go for it. Didn’t feel that great in the first 1km as I pushed harder than I had before on the bike so legs were bit wobbly. Worked my way up to speed I wanted to sit at for the first lap (5km) & got the breathing under control and into a rhythm. 3km in body started to feel good & rid those bike legs so stepped up the pace a bit more as I was ticking off athlete after athlete slowly. Came back around the main area near the finish chute for the start of the second lap where family & friends were cheering so took that little boost & stepped up again & pushed the second lap all the way to the finish chute coming across the line with a run time of 33:45 which had me finish 8th overall in a total race time of 1:56:48.

Seeing my finishing time of 1:56:48 I was speechless & couldn’t really believe it. I had done what I set out to do since my first ever race 10 months ago I cracked the 2hr Race time & a sub 34min 10km. What a day & what an experience. Never would I have thought I’d be representing Aus & cracking the 2hr time 11months ago. Hard Work, Dedication & sacrifice anything is possible. Bring on the next goal…… 70.3 World Championship 2019 Nice, France

Much love to the boys at Camino for all the support! Stoked to be part of the Camino Comrades team #flytheflag




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