Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Fluid Movements Most Successful Ever Worlds Results.

As a coach, its with great pleasure that I report on how our teams fared at a series of Triathlon World Championship events over the previous 10day period.
A positive outcome of our coaching methods has always been our ability to prepare athletes to a high standard in all distances of Triathlon, from Sprint, Standard, 70.3 and through to Ironman. Getting them to the Worlds stage is one thing, but seeing them be successful at this level is another.

This year was no different to any other, Fluid had representatives in the ITU Sprint, Standard World Championships, and also at the 70.3 Worlds. These events have now been completed with the big dance at the Ironman Worlds in Hawaii still to come with 4squad athletes competing.

Our Sprint and Standard Teams
We always have a mix of relatively new athletes that are racing overseas for the first time and more experienced campaigners. One of our seasoned athletes Ken Murley who had previously won an age world title in the Sprint had qualified for three distances this year. Another athlete Jenny Zenker who has trained with us for a couple of years was racing in the 70.3 Championships in Mt Tremblant.

As always its a tough, long road preparing through our Melbourne Winter. Lots of relentless early starts and late finishes week after week, seeing each other more than our own families. Luckily our Worlds athletes and coaches always gel well together with this common goal. A real camaraderie develops when you train together up to 10times a week and we help each other to stay focused for the 20+weeks of the prep.

In the days leading up I had a feeling that this group could produce some great performances. That's a bit unusual for me as I am fully aware that the level of completion at Worlds is so much tougher than domestically, and I never want to get ahead of myself as a coach.
We had had some tough times with some injury and illness through the prep, but that's expected and they were all were coming good at the right time.
Friday 29th August, the day arrived for the Sprint competition in Edmonton Canada. We had 3 athletes race, and in Melbourne we were all trying to stay up to watch the live feed online. I ended up falling asleep as they were on the run, but woke to many Facebook updates that Ken had won the World title by a margin of 5minutes, and that Jan and Tom had had great races with PB's.
We were all so excited and buzzing with the news at morning training a few hours later, and our thoughts after congratulations immediately turned to our guys racing the Standard distance 3days later.

Our 70.3 team
We had our newly crowned champ Ken Murley racing again, plus Vanessa Jackson and David Ferrier. The anticipation seemed to make the days drag on for so long between Friday and Monday for me, as it was pretty clear by the Sprint result that they were all in form and I just wanted them to start.
The day arrived and once again all of our squad were burning the midnight oil watching in darkened rooms around Melbourne. In an astonishing performance Ken wins again in the Standard race by a whopping 10minutes. Vanessa has a great race to finish top ten in her age group and David performs really well in his age after a heavy week of commitments as the National president of our sport.
There was lots of amazed reactions on social media, at training and at Edmonton to Ken winning the two championships he had competed in. We were all very proud of this great achievement.

The circus of athletes and supporters from all around the world now descended on Mt Tremblant Canada for the 70.3 World Championships which were 6days later. Fluid had 2 athletes, Ken Murley and David Ferrier backing up after the Standard distance in Edmonton to now race the 70.3 event in Quebec. Levi Hauwert, Anna Moore and Jenny Zenker had flown in to join them, and spirits were high amongst the team of 5 Fluid athletes after the great success of the week before.
Ken addressing the Aussie team

Now minor celebrity, Ken was asked to give a speech to the Aussie contingent at the welcoming breakfast. This was a bit of an honour and a recognition of his efforts so far ,and supposedly it was quite entertaining!
The days breezed past for our athletes, and in no time bikes were checked in and it was race eve. It was on late Sunday Melbourne time, and an ever growing army of supporters were glued to their screens to see how they would all go. 
Jenny was first off and we were keen to see how she went, she has dynamite swim and bike speed.  Jenny was out within a minute of the leaders and onto her bike which she was very strong at. Ken was 4th out of the water in his swim, 6minutes down but had monstered his competitors in the shorter events on the bike so was hoping for a fast ride also from him. Anna, David and Levi had solid swims and were also on their way.
The excitement for me was how they all rode, it was late, but I was up checking and comparing speeds at each checkpoint.
They were all riding very fast, Ken was an amazing 4km/hr quicker over the first split than his closest competitor, Jenny was quickest, Levi was flying and David and Anna were holding their own.
By the end of the bike, both Ken and Jenny had hit the lead in their categories. Now it was just down to the run.
Once again I had nodded off and woke up just after Jenny had finished. Agonisingly Jenny had lead most of the run but was just pipped by 25seconds for gold and took the silver. Her age group was easily the fastest in the females and Jenny swam and rode nearly the same splits as the top pro women. Ken destroyed them on the bike with a bike time at the finish none of his competitors could believe, and held them on the run  to win the 70.3 World title by 20minutes.
Levi had a great bike and just ran out of legs within the last 5k of the run, Anna sucked up the experience of her first overseas race and smiled all day, finishing strongly and David did a great job and killed it all the way to the line, putting the week before him well behind.

Ken and Jenny receiving their medals
I as a coach was so proud of every one of our team in each event. Ken won 3 World Titles, in the Sprint, Standard distance and the 70.3, I think this is the first time this has ever been done. Jenny took second in the world to cap of an amazing week for the Fluid Movements Triathlon program and myself as a coach. Our squad took 2 of the 6podiums for Australia at Mt Tremblant.

Just to finish off, in true hard ass Kenny style, after the race I let ken know via Facebook that he had beaten a guy that was unbeatable in 70-74 long course racing from Canada. He had also won the 70-74 age group at the Hawaii Ironman last year. Kens response 'Yes, they told me after the race he has been unbeatable. I told them I didn't know who he was and I really didn't care.' Classic Kenny. I hear Kenny wants to race Kona in 2015, stay tuned.

What a week!! Now we set our sights on The Big Dance at the Hawaii Ironman in October. Cant wait to see our team race there.

Coach Foz

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