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Sarah Crowley - Race Report Kona 2017

Posted on3 Year ago 453
Sarah Crowley - Race Report Kona 2017

We have been working on my swim extremely hard this year, and at Kona, I had a fantastic swim that set up my day. I had one of the best performances I have ever had ending up the third set of feet in the front pack. This allowed me to make some early choices in the race that I would not usually have the privilege of making. However, it is a very big race to be ending up in a new position that I am not accustomed to I felt a little out of my comfort zone (albeit in a great spot)!

The bike was quite steady leaving town with Daniela Ryf and Annabel Luxford. Lucy Charles was 4m up the road. I was extremely conservative on the bike aiming to take full advantage of my run. At about the 70km mark I was knocked off the bike by a crosswind. It sounds dramatic, but I had slowed for an aid station and was drinking with only one hand on the bars when a wind gust hit me knocked me straight off my bike. Thanks to Annabel for calling out for me to get up because it snapped me out of my confusion quite quickly. This had a significant impact on the rest of my race. Firstly, I had to spend a match catching back up to my original position, but secondly, I was left with the aftermath of cuts and scratches and a shot of adrenaline.

I think I also overcompensated with eating my nutrition and with 20km to go I had run out of solid foods in my front food storage and was left almost feeling a little hungry (not optimal). I took a gel from my back pocket at an aid station and was not concentrating for a split second and Dani had taken the opportunity to do another surge. She just unleashed.

I got off the bike in fourth overall. Lucy and Dani were 4m ahead, and my body was feeling average. I took an extra minute or so in transition because of the injuries and then headed out onto the run quite gingerly. This was when my battle with Heather Jackson began. After jamming in some nutrition (a banana and a gel) within the first two kilometres, I started to feel better. I ran conservatively with Heather in my sights until the long moderate slope before the Energy Lab. This was when I clawed heather back. We ran shoulder to shoulder through the Energy Lab. When we exited the Energy Lab, I felt good enough to put a solid last 40m effort in to get home. Approaching the finish, I knew that Heather was not far behind so I pushed hard through to the finish.

It was such a thrilling result not possible without the support of my family, coach, supporters, and sponsors. The best thing is that immediately after the race I knew I could do better and am excited about the next opportunity.

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