Coast to Coast 2021 race report :
First of all I want to say a huge thank you to everyone for all the lovely messages for my birthday the day before the Coast to Coast and for all the lovely messages after the race 💕🤩🥳.
I couldnt be more happier right now with my result over the weekend – it meant soooo much for me, for a whole lot of reasons.
It wasn’t just about winning the coast to coast 2021 again. It was about overcoming / conquered my fears from last year’s DNF and slaying them, and showing to every athlete out there it is not the end of the world when things don’t go to plan / don’t work out the way they should have. The key learning from that was: What am i’m going to do about it to make it better next time? And I made it better this time.
I did it and I did it bloody well! I couldn’t have executed my race plan any better than I did, I played my B card which was my safe/smart plan(!) – given that I don’t really write any plans before the race 🤦♀️. I do them as I go but was thinking about different scenarios before the race.
Because of last years horrible experience I just wanted to be safe and comfortable with myself, of course while racing neck and neck with Elina I wouldn’t say it was that comfortable (haha…) I knew as long as I was eating and not redlining I should be OK.
My plan was to keep chasing who ever is in front of me of the ladies, I guess we all had our eyes on Ali Willson like the year before.
She was first out on the run and amongst the fast guys on the bike, as expected. Things slightly changed when our bunch caught up with the leading men, with Ali in with them. Thats where I got just a little excited , still a very long way to go and my main focus remained play safe, stay safe!
Off the bike of course Ali went first out the chute, with me second and Elina right on my heels. I tried to just focus on myself, keep my breathing under control and ease into it on the first 3km flat running. As we came down to the first river crossing Elina grabbed me, I was a little irritated (what the F…. is going here) but I thought “well if you grab me I will grab you” because we both had Ali in front. We figured it was best to work together on the crossings to make it easier to reel her in.
We did end up taking different tracks straight after that but joined up very quickly, with me in front. I was happy that I remembered that shortcut and it made me giggle! Anyway Elina would not let me get away at all and I certainly wasn’t going to let her go, either. As we caught up to Ali we were all running together for quite a while. We also had two guys with us which I was kind of happy they knew the best, smooth lines to take up to the Goat Pass Hut, so I made sure we stayed with them.
Another slight new/nice experience I had with Elina – at one point I pushed her up a rock as I was right behind her and we needed to get moving – I did say “I’m sorry, I don’t really want to touch your bum but we just need to get going”. I thought it is nice when you can help someone, especially while you racing each other flat out. Later on, I took a tumble and Elina gave me a hand to get up (or not completely face plant, I can’t quite remember), but I thought that was very unique!
On the last climb up to Goat Pass Hut we did make a move and passed the guys, by then I couldn’t see Ali anymore but was still aware she couldn’t be far behind us. I thought she was just saving herself and would follow our path… and at the top she would unleash and smash us all the way down. Little did I know, Elina and I never saw her again, we just kept on moving the best we could, taking turns until just before Dudley’s Knob, where Elina took the lead and that was just perfect for me. I wasn’t feeling the greatest on that run, I knew I could do better but that day I decided to play it safe as the memories from last year were still stuck in my head and I didn’t want that feeling I had last year again.
Coming into Klondyke Corner just a few seconds down on Elina I was pretty happy with myself and knew I could catch her and pass her on the middle bike. I lost a few more second in the transition, as we couldn’t find my bike hahah…. just to add a bit more excitement. On the bike it didn’t take long before I passed Elina, we had a great tail wind. I also made sure I stayed focused over the one way bridge just after Klondyke with the hard lefthand turn coming up, because I also had some trauma memories from crashing there two years ago, haha… This time around I took it very nicely and off I went, making sure I kept eating and drinking as much as I could to refuel, with different food from the run where I could only manage gels and clif blocks.
Coming into the bike TA at the top of the Mt White Bridge was a good feeling as I felt way better than last year – hurray, happy me! But where was my support crew? Oh there she is, somehow I kind of stopped thinking that I could just get going myself down to the kayak TA but I was kind of waiting for Rachel, while she was running towards me with waving hands as I started to run down to her.
I did see I had a little lead over Elina, and took that opportunity to jump quickly into the bushes for a poo💩 which was much needed at that stage. I’m quite ‘efficient’, and as I spotted her I was out and about carrying on running down to the kayak transition. Over the bridge I spotted Marcel in his bright orange headgear – so good to see him there 🙌. My transition was OK, but Elina’s was slick and quick 👌, for me still room for improvement 😉.
Into the kayaks and off we went. I took the right channel and she went straight, we joined only a few km after that together and basically paddled within 50m of each other for the remaining 65km. Holy moly! Yes it was great, great for me – I was very happy to have someone to follow, as we all know Elina is a exceptional paddler I thought if I can just stick with her for as long as possible that would be amazing and really good for me. So I did but it wasn’t easy, she made me work hard and I loved it. I wasn’t sure how my legs would be coming out of the kayak and getting onto the bike, but as it turned out they where fine.
I was faffing a bit in the last TA with a change of clothing, while Elina just slipped through the transition again Very impressive, but never mind.
Onto the bike – man it was blowing hard, hard into my face. Did I say to my friends I would like some strong winds on that last final bike? Yup, I did. 🤦♀️🤪😆 I didn’t feel that great, but i don’t know what it is, you put me on a bike and something just clicks and I go. It took me a little time to get into a routine and after a bit of good food (kumara mash and coffee on the go) woop woop, away I went. It took about 30min to catch up to Elina and man, was I happy to see her, but also aware there was still 1:30hrs left to go and anything could happen.
As I passed her, I never looked back if she would stay with me. I kept my head down in my TT bars and pushed hard into the northeasterly headwind. Despite looking at my powermeter that kept telling me i’m only pushing 130/150W, I didn’t get too caught up about the numbers as I knew I was riding well – looking at my old school gearing at the front (sometimes old school / not having the latest greatest technology can be a good thing 🤪) +hint – I’d love a new bike The first time I turned around to see if anybody was behind me was turning from Tram Road onto the Main North Road, and lucky me! No-one in sight. Phew! But again still quite a few km to go so I just put my head back down and kept on riding.
Somehow I had this feeling I just have to keep pushing all the way to the finish line, even getting off the bike and running into the finishing chute, hobbling and trying to run, all I had in my head was “get to that finish line first don’t let anybody pass you.” hahah… So I did and man what a feeling ….
I would like to say a massive thank you first to my partner in crime Marcel Hagener the man that has been by my side and supporting me for the last few years. In great times and the most down times, like last year. He wouldn’t give up believing and supporting me to have a good comeback this year. I’m so happy we achieved this together 💕
There are more amazing people/ sponsors to thank for. Despite last year’s DNF they stuck with me, believed in me and helped me overcome the black hole, disappointment and trauma from last years race. They all backed me up 100% for this years race, and a massive thank you to:
and not to forget all my friends and Families a few special once to mention Graham Clark , Giselle McLachlan, 💕