Race Report: Laura Siddall Challenge Wanaka
Posted on2 Year ago 682
Challenge Wanaka is just an amazing event. This year the event for the Pros was raced over the half distance, so it was a bit of an unknown going into the race, having previously raced the full distance the past three years. I knew with Scody team mate Annabel Luxford in the field, and also Amelia Watkinson I'd have my work cut out. It was a typical Wanaka day weather wise, but perhaps not with quite as much wind as normal, or as I was hoping for. My swim wasn't great. I feel I've been working hard on my swim but haven't yet been able to convert it into a race performance, so I lost a fair bit of time to Annabel in the swim, coming out five minutes down. However at the time I wasn't too aware of the relative performance, and just once out of the water focused on riding my bike to my ability.
That had always been the main focus for the race. I'm pretty happy with how the bike went. I love this course and hoped my knowledge and experience of the past few years would be an advantage. I found I was moving through the field quite well and pulling back time on Annabel, managing to catch her with about 15km to go. We came into T2 together and started the run side by side, exchanging the lead over the first 2-3km, but then Annabel moved ahead and started pulling away. Again I was hoping that my knowledge of the run course, which is 70-80% on tracks / trails, would be an advantage. I think Annabel got to about 45seconds ahead of me but then her lead seemed to hover around that time. With 10km to go I could see Annabel up the road and worked hard to start reeling her in again. I was chipping away at the lead and I still felt strong running, but just didn't have enough of a change of pace to catch her.
Coming down the main street in town into the finish, with all the support was amazing, and I was split between wanting to acknowledge and thank all the supporters, yet was still chasing Annabel with that chance of maybe catching her on before the finish. But Annabel is a world class athlete and one of the very best in the sport over the half distance, so even if I'd come up along side her, I know she'd have dug deep and been hard to beat. In the end it was 11seconds between us. It's always an honour to stand on the podium in a race, and particularly when it's in the company of an athlete like Annabel and even better with it being a Scody 1-2! Whilst I of course wanted the win, I'm very proud of how I raced and have taken some big positives and good learning away from it, with another great experience and opportunity banked. It was fantastic to have the Scody 1-2, and to come second to an athlete of Annabel's calibre, over the half distance, is something I've got to be pretty happy with. Oh and my new 2018 Scody kit was awesome!! Release the bubbles!