Australia’s Christie Sym has been living and training in the States for the last few months as she sets about making her mark on the international Triathlon circut. She spoke with Trizone about her fourth place at the Austin 70.3.
“The race was great, my best of 2010 and my best half ironman distance race taking into account performance in all 3 disciplines.
After a disrupted lead up (salmonella poisoning post Ironman Canada, bronchitis post Cancun 70.3 only 3 weeks later, and a trip to Kona to get inspired by the big dance for 2011) I headed off to Austin straight from Kona to discover a 5 hour time difference isn’t so easy to adjust to over a few days. I went into the race a little unsure of my form, and with the largest and most stacked male and female professional field I believe seen in a while, was a little nervous and doubting my ability to perform.
I worked a lot on my open water swimming technique in Kona with my boyfriend who is one of the sports top swimmers and it paid off in this race. I have never before swum in a pack in a triathlon or open water swim, I always drift into my own space, but in Austin I joined the lead pack of about 7 girls including Heather Wurtle who had swum 4 minutes faster than me in Ironman Canada only 6 weeks prior. Eventual race winner Nicola Spirig and Nina Craft had broken off the front to create a nice lead so I was happy to be included in the main lead pack following these girls.
Onto the bike and out of T1 with a good bunch of girls I soon found myself off the front and feeling strong, ready to race a smart bike leg and feeling in control. All was looking good until about the 42 mile mark when my gears suddenly jumped and I guess I reacted a little too suddenly, my chain snapped and catapulted up the road. With marshalls just up the road tech support were called in and arrived within a few minutes, able to pin my chain and get me back on the road again quickly. Having now lost a fair bit of time and back in the placings I rode hard to minimise the damage and get onto the run.
Austin 70.3 comprises a tough 2 loop run course which is hilly and about 60% off road. About half way into lap 1 I had moved up into 5th and was feeling strong, hearing the 4th place female Heather Wurtle and 3rd placed Sam Warriner were hurting. The chase was not easy though and I finally caught Heather at the final aid station at the crest of a hill, she went for a drink and I opted to skip the station to sprint past for the final half mile into the finish.
Another 4th place, I’ve been knocking on the door of a podium finish all season and feel I’m gaining valuable experience with each race.
Next up is Miami 70.3 in 2 weeks time, and then back to Oz briefly before flying over to Thailand for the Asia-Pacific 70.3 champs in Phuket.”