Monday, May 21, 2007

World Duathlon Results and Race Report

Pictures of Sandra Yaworski, Catriona Morrison, Magali Tisseyre, and Nicole Vogler

Results for the Duathlon World's can be found here:

Don't put too much weight on the run times as the courses were short. My guess is around 700 to 800 meters. The bike course was short too but I think they note that in the results.

Race Report

I arrived in Gyor on Monday night before the race. I hard a really hard time adjusting my inner clock to the time change. As such, my sleeping and eating pattern was way off. I really was not able to eat until Friday night. That night I spent with Grant instead of going to the opening ceremonies. Grant Burwash and I had a quiet dinner and had a really good chat. His race was Saturday and mine was on Sunday.

Earlier in the week I checked out the course and took a day trip to Budapest with a group of people from the Canadian team. I got to know Magali Tisseyre who was on the Canadian Elite team. She is 25 years of age and has a really good head on her shoulders. She was both excited and nervous about racing. Watch out for this young woman in both the Duathlon and Half IM distance over the next several years. She definitely has alot of potential. I also spent some time with Stewart Guynan, my friend from Great Britan. Catriona Morrison arrived on Thursday but I did not see her in person until Saturday.

I watched the Women's Elite race on Saturday but was unable to watch the Men's race. Thanks to Grant for convincing me not to. I instead spent time with Catriona, grabbed a bite to eat and rested. It was a hot day but I really wanted to watch Catriona, Magali and Nicole Vogler race. I have coached Nik Vogler but never have seen her race so I was pretty excited to see how her form, which we worked really hard on, would come together. I spoke with both Mag and Catriona about their races. Mag was pretty happy and felt she may have gone out too hard on the first 10k. Catriona felt off the week going into this race. A little flat coming off her HIM a couple of weeks ago. She also had mechanical difficulties with her rear wheel. Actually, had to get off her bike and make adjustments. She is now going to be focusing on European Championships. Catriona will be finally getting married in July and then coming to Calgary in August. Totally looking forward to that. I was unable to chat with Nik about her race. She appeared to run well. On the bike Nik and Mag did more than their share of the work in the pack they were in. I kept yelling on the last two laps for them to break away but that did not happen. Catriona ended up 9th, Nik 21st and Mag 18th. There was an under 23 that placed ahead of Mag and Nik so she was taken out of the results which moved both Nik and Mag up in the results and in the top 20 prize money. There were 30 elite women competing.

My race was on Sunday. It was really hot and humid. I stayed out of the sun until about 40 minutes before my race. I decided to do a shorter warm-up than usual. Not too sure if that was a good or bad decision. All the women went out together. The pace went out hard. I started out a little slower and made my way up throughout the first 10k. I really was not happy with my 10k run. The transition zone was really long and I had really quick transition times comparatively. The 10km run was two loops with the a slight rise in the road when we went over an underpass. The bike was 2 loops and only some rises going under overpasses. We had five 180 degree turns on each lap which generally slowed things down. I struggled a bit on the first lap but had a great last two laps. My 5k run off the bike was really strong. I was really happy with it. I pushed and my legs felt pretty good. All those hard brick sessions which I dragged Mike, Ryan and Bart out with me really with paid off. I ended up 6th in my age category and 44th woman. I had hoped for a bit better placing but generally am happy but not satisfied with the end result. My running has been just starting to come around. I had some awesome workouts in the last month leading up to the race. Thanks to Scott, Ryan and Bart for doing those 3 sets of 4x500 and the gruelling 3x500/ 5x1000/ 3x500 with me. My running form seems to be coming back to true form. As soon as I get the HIM out of the way, I hope to continue to push my running back into a better state after trashing myself the last two years with IM.

Geoff get prepared to do some hard track workouts when you get to Calgary. I am looking forward to doing some really hard running. The passion of running is back! Ryan and Scott will be gearing for some faster running too so it will be awesome. Now we just need to recruit Jenn back and we will have some good runs and pancakes!

My philosophy is that not only are you responsible for your life, but doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.
Oprah Winfrey

Article on Catriona:

Best of both worlds

Scotland is not blessed with too many world champions, so you ought to be able to name them all. Sport Scotland recognise six who have won global titles in the past 12 months, including three cyclists, a bowler and John Higgins, the snooker world champion, but not the national elephant polo team.

The Sport Scotland list does, however, include Catriona Morrison, the duathlon world champion, although clearly there is a pecking order even among world champions because the 30-year-old from Broxburn defends her title in Hungary this weekend as that rarity in modern elite sport: someone who works for a living.

Duathlon is the run-bike-run variant of triathlon. Triathlon gets Lottery funding, duathlon, which is not an Olympic event, does not. Morrison's 15th place in last year's Commonwealth Games triathlon saw her funding cut, a decision that was transmitted to her just before she went to Canada last summer and won the duathlon world title by a comfortable three-minute margin.

But triathletes are supposed to be capable of dealing with transitions, so armed with her gold medal and her determination, Morrison went out and got herself a job.

"Actually, I do enjoy it," she said as she laced her racing shoes. "It's a break from constant training."

With a summer marriage to her long-term partner Richard Jennings to plan, Morrison, a graduate from Stirling, is looking beyond her sports career. "We can't live on baked beans for five years. I really do have to think about my future. I'll do what I can on more limited training."

She works three days a week as the sports co-ordinator at Broxburn Academy, which includes duties with local primary schools and responsibility for the fitness programmes of more than 1,500 children.

So far, her race results have been encouraging. But compromises still have to be made. Work commitments saw Morrison last week leave for Gyor in north-west Hungary a day later than the rest of the British team. Thus, she had to endure a 12-hour journey by air and road on Thursday.

Typically undeterred, Morrison looked ahead to the World Duathlon less as a title defence ("It's a strange feeling, going into a world championship as the defending champion") than as a stepping stone towards two other events closer to home, and nearer to her heart: next weekend's Corus Glasgow Triathlon in Strathclyde Park, and then the European Duathlon Championship in Edinburgh on June 16.

"Duathlon is not as well known as triathlon," says Morrison, who has also won two world silvers in the past two years, "but I think it is tougher in many ways. It has 15km of hard running. For a lot of triathletes, running is not their favourite part of the race, so a duathlon with a 10km run, followed by 40km on the bike, and finished with another 5km run, is harder. A lot harder."

Duathlon is more popular in northern latitudes, where low temperatures restrict the opportunities for open water triathlon swims. Not that Morrison sees herself as a "triathlete who cannot swim", as some triathlon purists chide duathletes. "Actually, I think I am quite strong as a swimmer," Morrison says.

By training with Alison Sheppard's husband, former Canadian Olympic swimmer Gary Vandermeulen, Morrison has improved her swim phase, as she showed with her excellent win at the start of the month in the gruelling St Croix long-distance triathlon.

Not that her world title and recent form has done anything to improve her relationship with officials: "After St Croix, I asked whether they would pick me for the long-course triathlon world championship, and all they said was that competition for places was very tough," the world champion shrugged.

Having helped plan the Edinburgh duathlon, with a tough course around Arthur's Seat that should suit her strength as a former British Student cross-country champion, Morrison could have several points to prove in the next month.

"It is great to have a top-level event in Scotland. I want to prove to myself that I can combine working with top-level sport. But it is also important because I really want to win on home soil, because such opportunities don't come around very often."

9:25pm Saturday 19th May 2007

By Steven Downes

Read about Catriona's training schedule:


Anonymous said...

Excellent job Sandra, you ROCK!!!!

We're all very proud of you and enjoy your timeoff in Vienna.

Kyle Marcotte said...

Congrats Sandra! Awesome race!

Mike "Chewy" said...

Good work Sandra and great race report.

Ryan said...

With the distances being off a bit at World's, I can't tell if you were happy with your race. It looked like it was pretty competitive based on the times shown. Regardless, I'm pretty pumped that you showed up with your game face on considering all you went through this year. Based on your place and the competitions' times, it looks like you gave it your all.
Nice work. We'll see you soon.
Enjoy your vacation.