11th Alanya Intl. Triathlon, Turkey
This race in Alanya incorporated both the European Under 23 championships and the European Junior + Elite Cup final. It also had a third open wave for age-groupers – all were catered for in Alanya. Consequently the race attracted over 300 competitors, 90+ in the elite men’s start and 46+ in the elite women’s start.Weather conditions on the day of the race were very hot and dry, with temperatures in the 30 Cs. Thankfully, having been there for a week before the race, both Caroline and Edith were well acclimatised to the conditions by the time the race came along.
The elite men started at 12pm that Wednesday afternoon. Unfortunately, they were not well behaved at all during the swim! Initially, there was a false start but they also reluctant to go around the marker buoys either and had to be nudged back on course by the marshals. Obviously, this had repercussions for the women’s start (at 1:15pm). They were taken out of the water enclosure 10 minutes before the start and were penned off into a small enclosure despite the sizeable beach. As the women were 4 deep before the off and all jostling for position, the swim was very aggressive and occasionally vicious. Leanda Cave was out of the water in 1st position, followed closely by 6 other athletes. Caroline was out of the water amongst the 2nd group and Edith was out approx. 30 secs adrift in the 3rd group (which included Annie Emmerson, Jo Hinde and the Aussie Kate Allen).
The bike course was a completely flat 4-lap course centre of Alanyathe . At the beginning of the women’s bike, four main groups had formed – 2nd was 1 minute adrift of the 1st; there was 30 secs. from the 2nd the 3rd and another 30secs from the 3rd (which was Caroline’s group) to the 4th(Edith’s group). Throughout the bike, Caroline’s group caught the 2nd group on the 2nd lap and Edith’s group caught this combined group on the 3rd lap. By the finish of the bike, The 1st group had made up 3 mins on the main bunch of approx. 20+ athletes. Needless to say, in the evolving situation, it was all down to the run and fast runners such as Tanya Allen and Annie Emmerson were able to pull up valuable places. Edith ran extremely well and made up some places to finish 28th overall in 2hr 07:22 and 11th in the Under 23 section. Caroline held her own, finishing in 32nd position overall and 7th in the Junior section.
All were delighted with their performances in Alanya – it was Edith’s best international result to date – and although the girls were disappointed with their swim, it was an outstanding learning experience for them and given the same situation in the future, they will know how to deal with it expertly. Caroline was also thrilled to find out that as a result of endeavours over the season, she finished in fifth place in the European Junior Cup series – a great result at the end of her junior career.