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Volcano Triathlon: Melissa Brand
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Monday 30th April 2012


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We recently interviewed Melissa Brand at The Triathlon Show about joining Team Timex, where she also reported back for us on their annual Multisport Team Camp.

Melissa has been training out in Lanzarote for the past week or so, and on Saturday raced in the long-running International Volcano Triathlon over the Standard distance, a little shorter than her usual preference, and reports on the event here where she finished sixth overall.


28th International Volcano Triathlon, Lanzarote - 28th April 2012

On the 19th April 2012 I embarked upon a ten day training block in Lanzarote. Lots of wind, lots of miles and lots of fun. For those that don't know Lanzarote, the weather can be varied, but the one thing you are pretty much guaranteed is wind. The other thing you are guaranteed is hills. Over the ten days we didn't see as much sun as I would have liked, but there were wind and hills aplenty.

The end of my ten day training block coincided with the 28th edition of the International Volcano Triathlon in Lanzarote, so it seemed logical to use the race as a hard training day.

During the ten days prior to the race I clocked up a fair few swim/bike/run miles but also participated in a bike TT over 20km. I managed to win the (women's) bike TT, which fell half way through the week and straight after a tough run session, so that gave me a bit of confidence that although I may feel tired, there is often something left in the tank. That said, I was a little nervous about how well I could 'race'.

Club La Santa, Lanzarote

As race day dawned and my alarm sounded, heralding my first tri of the season, I thought 'if only I had a couple more days to rest and prepare'.... But I guess we all feel a bit like this, whatever the deadline. I didn't know my competitors and there was a mix of nationalities, amateurs and pros. Some people were staying on the island preparing for other races, some were local residents and others flew in for the race. Additionally, I have only raced two Olympic Distance races previously, so the distance is a little different to normal for me.

As I was staying at the race venue I had a leisurely morning, racking my Quintana Roo CD0.1 and then getting into my wetsuit for a relatively late 10am start. The lagoon felt cold but relative to open water swimming in the UK right now, it was almost tropical! The gun sounded and the nerves were forgotten, the race was underway.

I didn't swim as well as I would have liked and foolishly didn't cut out part of the swim by running down the shallow sand area which I later discovered half the women's field had done. But I came out of the water ready to attack the bike course. The bike course consists of a single loop and several long hills. Admittedly, none of the hills are steep but the wind really takes its toll on long drags. I rode hard, posting the second fastest women's bike split of the day, despite the protests from my legs! It was hard to know my position in the field so I just set about overtaking as many people as I could. Unfortunately there was a certain amount of drafting which is always disappointing, especially when it means that your biking advantage is diminished.

40km passes quickly when you are used to racing middle distance and I was soon back into T2. Scanning the bikes in T2 I knew there were some women ahead of me and set about making up any time I could. The run course was three laps and again was undulating. The temperature had risen by this time of day but the crowds around T2 and the La Santa Stadium provided great encouragement to dig just a little deeper.

The run finished in the stadium and couldn't come soon enough. My legs were very tired. I managed to race into sixth place despite the heavy training load. I achieved what I set out to do, which was to train hard for ten days, finishing with a hard race session, so I am pleased with that. The race provided me with the opportunity to test out my 'racing legs' and identify areas where I need to focus over the coming weeks and months.

The evening awards ceremony was a special event, starting out with the Club La Santa Song! There was much merriment and some special awards as well as the overall and the age group winner's prizes. Rasmus Petraeus of Denmark won the men's race and Luisa Keller of Germany won the women's race.

Full results can be found at: www.clublasanta.com/Volcano_Triathlon-10259.aspx

Now I'm 'recovering hard' ready for the next race, I can't wait!

Volcano Triathlon trophy


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