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Vanessa Jackson

I’m meant to write a race report. But really all I want to say mostly is, “You have to believe in yourself when no one else does…”

That’s what it feels like sometimes. Especially out alone on a tri course, the parts of the course when no-one is around….it's just you and your thoughts!

There’s train to race but there is also train to think in a race.

“Be Strong, You Never Know who you are inspiring”

Someone who has been inspiration for my world’s efforts and I have witnessed as a great train to think in a race person is Kenny. I’m not sure I could push out pain mentally as well as Kenny does…that’s still something to aspire to!  

Two other people who make it a pleasure to get out of bed at 5am every day and in the cold are Kim & Mel…watching their journey for Ironman since Yarrawong last Oct 2014 is inspiring for me. Big respect for what those girls are doing :)

I do appreciate many awesome people in the Melbourne Tri Club + Fluid Movements Team….all the little chats & many coffee’s make training all the bit easier & enjoyable.

Foz told me back after the 1st duathlon race one morning at Kew, you could have a real chance at this thing and in Foz’s way gave me some words to get me amped so I did make a good effort to stick to the programme. (Ness with burning flames inside!... you would be surprised)
As it turns out my running came into great form, cycling may have backed off near the end but I was running more like how I used to run when I was younger…it was fun.

So I wanted this race report to be brief…. my sis texted me I should just write “I ran awesome….Signed by me (verified by my sister)” Haha totally appealed to my sense of humour. Unfortunately…it's not that brief…jokes on me!

But I’m happy to say I did run awesome and that’s what won the race. In fact, I lead the whole way due to my first run.

“Actually, I can” - this was my mantra for this race.
I’m very grateful my family decided to come for a holiday in Adelaide. As it turned out the apartment dominated by minions was just what I needed.

Come race day I was pumped.

I’d already had the flat on my bike Thursday, taken it to the shop for a tune, flown around the course Friday morning and practiced the corners….I was ready. No equipment to blame (why would I)…its all up to me!

We started the morning with the minions dressed at 5.30am for the All Blacks vs France game.
 …watching an AB push 3 french guys over then punch a try… proud to be wearing the black and silver fern myself for the day.

Mum walked down with me in the dark to the race course at 6.15am…pretty special considering Mum had to learn to walk again after a hip operation half way through this year.
I saw Foz outside Transition. He looked stressed - made me feel slightly less nervous!  I was ready.
We had to stand in waves along the lake edge waiting for our start. I couldn’t wait to start…after a few days taper, I had energy to burn.

I felt like a race horse ready to go. I didn’t have time for small talk. All I said to myself while I waited was…”I’m not going to see any of these chicks again”…not till the end of the race…that was my goal. Burn them off…I visualised the race….that’s what I do….I go through it all in my head before. Imagine it all…I had already been around the run course in my head… I was ready.

Finally we were at the line….the horn went and then I was off….after a few hundred metres I knew no one was following me…exhilarating with a slight hint of stressy J  Now to pick up the back of the M 30-34 ahead and then start picking through the other age groupers.

It was a beautiful + great course around the water. I passed the main bridge and heard my family up on the bridge I knew they would be there, Pete & Jan were along here as well. I found Kenny across the last bridge and cheered him….but I know he will have been thinking what the hell was that J
“You have to believe in yourself when no one else does…” – Serena Williams, Tennis Champion.

Into T1 I could hear Foz yelling out and later who I realised was Aaron….the tone was slightly stressy though like someone could be chasing me down….so this got my heart pumping through T1.
After T1 I spent my first 1km on the bike swearing that I look forward to never pushing my bike through long grass uphill ever again. Well not that day anyway. Why did they not mow the grass? I find it very easy to swear when I am on my bike… J

On the bike I knew I had to work hard. As based on my last few races. My bike leg was not as strong as usual. I just talked to myself the whole way around the bike course…“Ness you can’t mess around here…get your ass moving…” “Stop having a picnic…you’re racing…” and the main one for this race “Actually, I can”. Towards the end of the bike the first girls to pass me came past….an aussie girl in particular looked around my age but her age marker was rubbed off already….” This got me fighting again…

They had got a few hundred meters ahead going into T2…so I knew I had to run them down….only thing was by then the Standard Distance had started…there were so many Aussie green & yellow athletes out there it was like Lemmings. Next best plan was just to run down any female I could find….
2.8km really was not far at all so I had to tell myself to not leave anything out there. In hindsight my run time was not my best but at the time I was passing plenty of people. At the first bridge I came across a name I recognised Wade…I’ve never actually met Cailtin but she said go Vanessa as I went past which was nice…I cheered her but realised I was on a mission when it didn’t come out that coherently….
In these races you have no idea where you are. I was pretty sure I was up somewhere near the front….but you’re never 100%.

So I just went strong for the finish….as I came down the finishers chute the guy said congrats Vanessa Jackson you are a World Champ. I was relieved but also still didn’t feel like I could relax 100% til I saw it written down in the results. I met Foz, Aaron and the family at the end of the chute though. They were excited, it was great.

I waited for Marzia and Kenny in the finishers area and it was great to just take in the moment of everything being done. Marzia (my Italian mate racing for her other country of Sweden) has been a great training buddy, I love hearing about the experience’s of age group triathlon in Sweden + California she brings with her.

My sis had already posted a photo of me on fb and said I was a World Champ…she’s very efficient….I was very touched by this…almost wanted to cry when my little neice came over at the end and said Aunty Ness! She was pretty cute for the rest of the day saying “today you did Run Cycle Run”. I must say it was very special for me to share this with my family and one of the best things after this race was carrying my niece around and not worrying about saving energy any more.

Later that night was the medal ceremony. I really appreciated the MTC / Fluid support in Adelaide and they were all there for the medal ceremony.

First up I saw Kenny (Ken Murley  AUSTRALIA) up on the podium, very cool J One of the NZ team managers had given me the flag, I’m happy I used it and I was pretty stoked the 86yo guy from NZ wanted to use the flag after me. It’s not every day you get to stand up there.

One of the best things after this race was going out for dinner with Kenny, Jan + Pete….when I was in Edmonton it was Jan, Ken & I and it’s a pleasure to have shared the experience of Edmonton & Adelaide with them both. Due to Adelaides weird kitchen closing times it was rather epic journey to get dinner and we ended up 1 ½ hrs later back with the others across the road from where we started.
I must say I did holiday for the next week around South Australia and kept my medal in my handbag just so I could look at it.

It ‘s pretty cool to say you are a World Champion at something.
Train to Race…but also Train to Think in a Race!