I won the silver medal but the city definitely deserved the golden one.
The ambience we have had in the World Championship was incredible. During
the week, we started to feel something different in Vitoria. The
triathletes, come from all over the world, gave color to the city, the
hotel occupancy 100% during the weekend and the expo area at the Plaza de
la Virgen Blanca, presaged the show we would live on Sunday.
I had quite relaxing few days before the big event. The set-up was very
well, and I was relatively calm. It is always a pressure point added to
compete at home but receive so much support, encouragement and love makes
up for far. On Sunday we started the day early, a good breakfast and we
arrived to Landa under a somewhat unpleasant drizzle. Forecasts gave clear
improvement over the morning, so nothing to worry about. I leave my new BH Aero bike and all the material ready in T1 and I put on my Sailfish Grange,
short warming and we put ourselves in the call room. We were called one by
one to the starting line, and in the same moment they name me, comes the
first emotional rush. I greet thanked to the abundant public who
approached to Landa and I try to disconnect and focus on what comes ahead.
I expected a hard and fast swimming race and so it was from the start.
With names like Reig or Sudrie the start would be fast. Even these
super-swimmers had trouble following the leaders in the swimming. I came
out strong, trying not to lose the first group, but at 1500 meters I began
to lose their feet. I started to feel hot, a sign that I were given
everything in the water. I lowered the rhythm a little, got my breath back
and followed with my rhythm. Leaving the water the difference with the
first was important, but not with the men who I wanted to monitor. I ride
the bike and roll strong during the first kilometers. I have Dirk Bockel
and Sylvain Sudrie in my view in the longest straights of the circuit, I
speed up to catch them as soon as possible, my legs are going well and I
put one eye on the Polar CS500 keeping the rhythm above 300 watts. Arriving to
Vitoria-Gasteiz I connect with them and I take a break, I’m in a good situation
but I don´t know as the race comes in the back but respecting to me,
everything is going well.
Photo: Manu Photodeporte
Except the Czech Martin Kravnek, who I competed with for many years in
Olympic distance, I don´t know who go before us, so I keep up my rhythm on
the bike to get as close as possible to them to the running. The ambience
by the side of the road is great, the animation in the villages is a
pleasure and despite the cool temperatures we begin to feel the heat of
public. We enter into Vitoria, I can´t believe it, to roll down the
streets of my city without traffic … I´m fascinating… we had a lot of time
waiting for this test and now is time to enjoy it. We approached Olaguibel
Street to leave the bike between a beautiful hall of people; it seems that
there will be a good ambience. I make a good transition and I run in third
position. I arrive to the Plaza Nueva and almost I was shocked …
thousands of people cheering with all their soul, I can´t believe it, I go
out of the Virgen Blanca and more of the same: Prado street, The Florida
follow full of public … how exciting, how beautiful, what a show!
Incredible as the city is responding and the public who has come to see
Photo: Manu Photodeporte
I focus on running, in some way I have to disconnect and focus on mine;
otherwise the emotion can distract me. Before arriving to the Universities
area I go first, running at a good rhythm but comfortable. This just
started, over 25 kilometers ahead waiting for me, and I don´t listen to
those who tell me that this is already done… again in the city center the
shouts in Plaza de Los Fueros are deafening, I had never experienced
anything like this, I’m hallucinating. I have to put back on myself, keep
running, stay focused, get all that positive energy from the public and
move on. Midway the second lap Macca is catching me, is strong and soon I
will have him with me. I low the rhythm, I relax a bit and prepare for his
arrival. Grabs me and puts me on the first change. He´s going a few meters
away, but slowly I become closer, the rhythm is very high, so I don´t
think we can go a long time as well, so we lowered the rhythm. We continue
running together, for now going with good sensations. At the start of the
third lap he changes the rhythm again, and now it costs me more to keep, I
decide to slow down, too fast for me.
For the moment he is not far, I can see him and we do the third round, but
at the fourth I find hard to keep up the rhythm. All the encouragement
from the public is becoming more necessary than ever to me. I´m giving
everything, but Macca is increasing the gap. I run like I can, my legs
don´t respond, I go quite locked muscularly, suffering a lot. I pass Ruth,
she encouraged me as ever, his spirits make me to endure a few more
kilometers this suffering, but I can´t go faster. I arrive at the city
center for the last time, I have no energy, I need each encouragement to
get the goal and people continue to encourage with all their forces,
incredible, it gives me goosebumps. Now I am driven by the emotion and
enjoying with one of the best moments in my career as an athlete. I enter
in the Plaza Nueva and I approach the finish line, today my effort has
taking me to the second place, Chris McCormack has been stronger than me,
I´m sorry not have given a victory to the public, but I have no doubt that
I give my best.
Photo: Manu Photodeporte
Thanks for an unforgettable day!
With Rut and Pedro both World Champions in their respective Age Group!!