Liz Dunlop finished off her season with a double silver medal in the Age Group World Championships event in Cozumel, Mexico. High temperatures of 90degrees + 100% humidity and strong currents made all racing very tough…
Liz took on the challenge of 3 races in 5 days having qualified for all 3 events in the 60-64 age category.
First up was the Aquathlon on the wednesday.
Liz had a great run of 11.35 for the first 2.5km run to lead her age group into the 1km sea swim, just 10secs ahead of the American triathlete. However, she was quickly overtaken by the American who then swam 3mins faster than Liz’s 21.27. Onto the 2nd 2.5km run, and into the heat and humidity of what Cozumel had to offer, Liz completed this with a solid 13.47 second run to take 2nd place and her her first World Championship Age Group Silver medal in 49.55.
After a busy afternoon racking her bike and then attending the medal ceremony for the Aquathlon, the next day she took on the Sprint distance triathlon.
Liz had a very good swim to exit the sea in 16.13 in 2nd place again 3 mins down on the same American, but also 4 mins ahead of the next competitor. Although feeling much stronger on the swim, her time was slow due to the strong currents, which saw many swimmers taking up to 50 mins for the 750m swim or even being hauled out of the sea onto safety boats…
Onto the 20km cycle route, which was Liz’s first experience of draft legal racing..(this is the first year the sprint event has been draft legal).
Liz had missed a pack but worked on her own to 5 km, where she was joined by an American and Mexican from a younger age group. Working together on the bike, and picking up a few other triathletes for the final 15km helped Liz to retain get 2nd position with the 3rd fastest bike split of 36.46. The final discipline of the 5 km was tough due to the heat and humidity, and about running safe, taking on lots of water and ice. Liz completed this in a 28.17 to take her 2nd silver medal in a finishing time of 25.55, behind the American. ” I loved racing the draft legal format.. Brilliant experience”
3 days later, she completed her 3rd race, the longer distance triathlon..(1250 swim, 40 km bike, 10 km run) ..the swim had been shortened to 1250m due to the strong current. However, this did not stop several athletes taking over an hour for this distance or having to be taken out if the water for safety reasons.
Liz had another good swim to come out in 5th position in 31.52 behind 3 Americans and and a Canadian. Onto the bike which was back to the non drafting format..
However due to a combination of tired and tight legs and wrong set up on her road bike, made the 40 km tough for Liz.. Not being able to take her Tri bike out to Cozumel was a big disadvantage as she felt very uncomfortable and struggled on her road bike, being overtaken by another 2 Americans and just not able to do anything about it.. However, she still completed the bike route in 1.21.31 to then start the 10km run. Running out of transition, her left hip and legs cramped further. Learning from the previous day’s runs, this was about survival, so Liz ran sensibly at a much slower pace, taking on lots of water and ice to overtake one of the Americans to complete the run in 1.02.03 to finish safely in 6th place overall in 3.00.51. This again was a fantastic achievement in such a strong field of stronger and fresher triathletes..(this was their only race)..and under such horrendous conditions on the swim and run..
This completed a fantastic season for Liz who won the Gold medal at the European Age Group Championships in Lisbon in May..