Belfort World Championship ID Triathlon
1st June 2013


Official Result

  9.5k Run 87k Bike 20K Run Total  

 Gill Fullen

41.21 2.56.76 1.29.92 5.12.33 4th lady, 1st L45

ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Chamionships 2013, Belfort France

There was snow still falling in the mountains only 2 weeks before this race, so when the organisers made the decision that the swim would be cancelled, rather than just shortened, it was a disappointment, but not a huge surprise. So instead of a 4k swim, 120k bike and 30k run, the run split into 9.5k to start, then an 89k cycle and a 20k run to finish. 

The weather was forecast to be pouring rain all day, so I was happy when it turned out to be just very cold, overcast and mildly windy but not soaking. Transition was in a field of bright red mud, which quickly turned into a crimson quagmire. The run was a rolling gravel track with one killer hill each lap. I came in leading at T1 after a steady paced run, with another Brit, Penny Gardiner, keeping well with me. 

The bike was tough, with the course climbing gently at first, but steadily through pretty French villages (with dodgy speed humps and cobbles), to the main long, unrelenting 2nd cat Tour de France climb of the Ballon d'Alsace, up to about 1100m over around 20k. By the time we reached the top we were in thick cloud, making visibility difficult and with drizzly rain chilling us and making the road surface very slippery. The descent was fast and technical with ambulances at the worst turns. Twisty, narrow lanes meant that drafting was inevitable towards the end of the course, with lots of bunching as we approached T2. Still marginally ahead of Penny, I ran out keen to push the pace and not be caught. 

With heavy legs and shuffling crab-wise up the hills, I finally made it to the finish  shute, grabbed my GB flag and gratefully ran across the finish line to win my category. I was very chuffed to learn later that I was 4th age-group lady home and 12th overall lady, beating quite a number of elites.


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