This summer’s schedule was a bit different than previous years in that I spent three months based in St Moritz, Switzerland to train and race under the supervision of my coach. An outstanding locale to train and world-class training company throughout the summer gave me a big boost in fitness and motivation. While I was in the Alps I took advantage of the proximity of my current sponsors’ headquarters and visited several of them. It is so important for me to meet these hard-working people and get an inside look at where product innovation, design and manufacturing occur. Those were invaluable trips and make me excited and proud to represent the brands that believe in me and produce the highest quality products for athletes. Being based in Europe this summer, I had the opportunity to check a few ‘bucket list’ races off my list. I headed to France for the iconic L’Alpe d’huez and Embrunman races, placing 3rd and 4th place respectively. These are notoriously difficult races with 2500m & 5000m of climbing on the bike course alone! I was thrilled with the podium finish at Alpe d’huez and look forward to racing Embrunman again in the future to see if I can crack that podium as well. With a full summer of training under my belt and in prime racing condition, I decided to go for an iron-distance double with Challenge Madrid then Ironman Louisville three weeks later. Three weeks is the absolute minimum amount of time I will have between iron distance races and I'm glad I was smart about my preparation and recovery in between races to get the results I did. The Challenge race in Spain was spectacular, with a finish line in the center of Madrid, difficult point-to-point course, lots of elevation gain and spectacular scenery, this inaugural race did not disappoint. Meanwhile, the conditions at Louisville were cooler and windier than usual, but in both races I managed to come off the bike with a lead and extend that lead to get the win. The added bonus is my mom and aunt finally got to Louisville to see me race a triathlon after all these years. Perhaps I set the bar a bit too high for them in experiencing future races with me!
I will finish 2017 by racing Ironman Cozumel and will then take a bit of downtime, honing my baking skills and spending time with family and friends. My 2018 goals are lofty with quite a lot of racing around the globe at many of my favorite events in New Zealand, the US and of course Europe!