World Triathlon Championship Finals Abu Dhabi

28 November 2022 - By Anita Grainger

Anita headed off to Abu Dhabi to compete in the World Standard Aquabike Age Group Championships.

It was a bit of a shock going from 8-9 degrees to 32 degrees and Sunny… nothing like a bit of winter sun. Anita arrived late on Tuesday evening ahead of Saturday’s race to acclimatise, put bike back together, register, rack and recce the course. It seemed to be non stop from the moment we arrived to going home early Sunday morning (5am leave) with the added bonus of watching both the Ladies and Mens Elite Finals on Friday and Saturday afternoon (very exciting)

Bike racking was on Friday afternoon 1-4pm and Anita left it as late as possible to allow the temperature to drop a bit and not have to let the tyre pressure down to avoid tyres popping in the heat and then have to reinflate the morning of the race.

On race day Anita headed down to transition at 7.30am (3.30am UK time) to leave bike shoes etc. and check the bike was ok which it was (phew) then headed back to the hotel to get swim kit and head to the start via the hotel pool to stay cool. The team hotel was perfectly placed between transition and next to the swim start.

The race start was at 10.10am (6.10am UK) after the standard triathlon waves and Anita’s wave had 88 ladies which was a bit crowded at the start. Anita started on the right only to realise that the ladies on the right didn’t start when the gun went so she quickly headed to the middle and set off sighting the 1st buoy with ease. There was a bit of a bundle round the 2nd buoy where someone grabbed Anita’s feet but she gave a good kick to release her legs right under the nose of one of the officials in a canoe which was good as they probably saw everything. About halfway round Anita saw about 10 jellyfish (yikes) luckily there were about a metre deep… probably looking up at the swimmers wondering what was going on! After navigating the 3rd and 4th buoys Anita headed to the exit clocking a slower than anticipated time, about 4 mins off pace and with a bit of a sore left eye from a goggle leak.
T1 was about 500 metres mostly on blue carpet till the road and transition area.

Anita headed out on the bike course at speed enjoying the 2 lap course which had a few dead turns, the tightest being at the far end of the lap after a bridge over the motorway. There was another technical section along the seafront and Anita enjoyed the views then remembered it was a race. The bike time was technically a PB , definitely more to come as Anita continues to get used to the TT bike.
T2 was a dismount, bike rack then run 150m to the finish in bare feet.

Anita finished 9th in 50-54 Age Group and has already qualified for next years finals in Pontevedra Spain in September (yay). Time for recovery and recharge after a long tri season.

Finish time:1h 53min 05sec
Splits below
Swim (1500m) 31min 50secs
T1 4mins 49 secs
Bike 1h 14min 35 secs
Finish: 1min 51 secs

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