For me 2001 started off great, I was married in Sydney on January 27 to Kenny Mielke. For our honeymoon we drove down to Falls Creek, Victoria with both sets of parents to compete in the first Australian Xterra. I had a great race winning the pro women's division and placing top ten outright. Other contenders in this Xterra for the women's race were former world champion Emma Carney and Raeliegh Tennant.
After a great honeymoon of racing and parents(hehehe) it was back to training to prepare for the Xterra Series. Before heading over to America I competed in the Swim/Rock/Run. This was a race from point A to B heading down the coastline of southern Sydney to Wollongong. Swimming in the surf and running on beaches plus climbing around cliffs. I had another convincing win and was ready to head away.
I flew into San Francisco two days before the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon and finished 7th. I knew I was in good form for the first Xterra in Richmond,Virgina. We picked up our Yellow Nissan Xterra car and drove it over from LA. I had another great race winning the first Xterra of the series and braking the course record by 7 minutes while clocking the fastest run for my third victory in a row!
After this race we headed up to Sarnia, Ontario to stay with Kenny's family before heading to Keystone, Colorado for round 2 of the series. Three days before the race I had a big spill and ended up in hospital for stitches and cleaning on my knee and arm. The doctor got a laugh when Kenny arrived to pick me up with his arm in plaster from his crash earlier in the year while showing off to me how he could ride a see-saw on his bike. I did the race but had a hard time holding onto the handlebars on the downhill. I lost a lot of time on the bike due to the accident and finished up 9th.
After Keystone we drove over to California for Half Moon Bay. This is when I started my hard training for the USA champs and World champs. I did Half Moon Bay and finished 7th in a sprint finish for 5th 6th & 7th. I needed longer legs! We then headed to Lake Tahoe one month before the race so I could prepare properly. I put in some great weeks training and competed in Reno in a road triathlon which I won and was 3rd male, I knew I was in great form and excited to do the Xterra.
I hit the big 30 while in Tahoe, wow, and to think I used to think that was old, silly me! On race day I was feeling quietly confident and had a great swim and felt good on the bike. I had done a lot of training on the course and knew to stay in touch on the bike but not to blow myself away. I was doing just that and half way in the ride I got a double flat, yes TWO nails, at the same time!! I changed them both and had to keep going for series point even though I was bitterly disappointed and I knew it would be good training for Maui. I had the second fastest swim and run, and the next fastest run was 3 minutes down. Even though I didn't get the result I knew I could have, I knew I was ready for Maui.
I think it was a tough year for a lot of people around the world, especially in New York. On my arriving in Maui I got the bad news that my parents and aunty & uncle were not coming over to watch the race, they had been talking about it for a long time and were very excited but my uncle had a freak stroke and passed away. This was very sad for me as he had done a lot to make our wedding day very special just earlier that year. I had decided that I was going to win Maui for him, my uncle. I was keen to race. I thought my bad luck must have gone but I was wrong.
I had an excellent swim and felt awesome on the bike and I knew I had my good run up my sleeve as well. I was in a great position, the lead on the bike. I had the lead for about 1/3 into the ride and two other girls were there too. I was having great thoughts about being the world champion and then it ended. I got a thorn in my tire and green slime was going everywhere. I quickly dismounted and fixed it and I was still in third and then not far down the road a male rode past and flicked a piece of lava rock up and it hit my wheel and broke three spokes, my race was over. I walked for a long time and the other women couldn't believe it that road past. I truly think they felt sorry for me, anyway I was feeling pretty sorry for myself. I walked for a couple of miles and then a friend had broken his collarbone and gave me his rear wheel so I could get home. I finished the race but very, very disappointed.
A couple of days after I was planning to do another race as I had so much fitness and not the result, so for me and my sponsors I needed to have a good one, with no bad luck. I was looking at Noosa Traithlon in Queensland or going back to San Francisco for Treasure Island and then I got a phone call. Please come to China! Please, our female has broken her leg, please. I had always wanted to do an Adventure race and I knew this was the big one. I was in. I didn't know the three guys that were in the team but met them in China.
I had four days before going to China to learn to paddle and repel. We had a great race in China finishing 3rd and I believe that we could be a LOT better. We lost a lot of time in the first day as two of the guys went hunger flat and needed more fuel. We had a good three days after that being in the lead several times and one day beating the current world adventure racing champs, Nokia from Finland. I loved all the rope sections with repelling, flying foxes and canyoning. I have had a week off to recover and now I am getting ready for the Australian Xterra Champs on December 9th.
I am going to have two weeks off training at Christmas and then back to the drawing board to WIN some more Xterra Championships and prepare for New Zealand Ironman! I am very excited about next season, as I know I have a lot more in the tank.
Regards - Thank you,
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