2013 European Championship Age-Group Triathlon Qualification

YEEESSSS!!! – Q1, Rother Valley Triathlon. Get in there, Alanya, Turkey here I come!!!

OK, it wasn’t quite as exciting as my qualification for the World Championships earlier this year but I’m still pretty pleased. For a start this time I only gave myself one chance by only signing up for the final of 3 qualification events. If I didn’t manage to perform at Rother Valley Triathlon then I didn’t have another shot at qualification. Secondly it hadn’t really been a target this year so qualification for the European Championships was a bonus.

In effect this was my third qualification event that I’ve raced. I did two for the World Championships. Big Cow back in May where I managed to get the fastest qualification time in my Age-Group and secure a place on Team-GB for the World Championships. I then raced at Bristol Harbourside Triathlon in July which was another qualifier for the World Champs. I didn’t need to qualify here as I’d already done that at Big Cow, but I managed to win my Age-Group so would have had Q1 again had I needed it. Rother Valley at the weekend was my qualifying event for the 2013 European Championships and the quality of athletes was once again pretty high. As you can see from my Rother Valley Triathlon Race Report though, all went well and I managed to win my age-group, thereby securing the fastest qualification time – Q1 again!

Here’s the confirmation from the BTF website.

Qualification Confirmation

Qualification Confirmation

Once again I’m excited at the prospect of racing for Team-GB again and over the moon at having qualified. I still don’t really believe that I’m doing this, but everything seems to be going to plan and I must be better at this than I thought. I wonder when that fact actually settles in and I’ll start believing in myself though. Getting Q1 three times can’t be a fluke.

I’ve always known that I was fairly good at swimming, biking and running and that when you put all three together in a Triathlon that I’m even better, but I never thought I’d be good enough to qualify for European and World Championships – even if it is Age-Group championships. In fact I didn’t know anything about the Age-Group Championships until earlier this year when on a whim I decided to sign up for them. When I did so it was really just to see how I got on, with what I thought would be a very slim chance of maybe scraping through with a roll down place for qualification. Here I am now, 6 months later having qualified for both the World and European Championships – It’s been quite a year so far.

It’s not over yet though as I have to World Championships themselves to compete in next month. These take place on October 22nd in Auckland, New Zealand. I’m then looking forward to a bit of a rest after that and some time to relax and take it easy. I shall still be active but I think I’ll drop the training plan for a month or so and just do whatever activities I feel like doing when I feel like doing them.

It’ll then be back to it though in preparation for another round of qualifying events next year and the 2013 European Championships which take place in Alanya, Turkey in the middle of June.

It has all happened so quickly. A couple of years ago I hadn’t been swam, cycled or ran properly for about 20 years. I hadn’t been on a road bike at all in that time and my feet didn’t know what a pair of running shoes were. I’d been windsurfing and surfing plenty during that time and had been mountain biking for a few years but I certainly wasn’t a triathlete. I have been training fairly hard for the past 12 months though and probably would now consider myself a triathlete – although I’m still not really sure about the ‘athlete’ part of the word.

Maybe I’ll start believing in myself after I’ve actually competed in Auckland or Turkey, but somehow I doubt it. I wonder if it’s just me, or do all ‘athletes’ whatever their level still amaze themselves when they achieve what they achieve. I’m sure some must be more confident in their abilities and expect to achieve, but I can’t see myself ever being one of those. Maybe it’s a self preservation thing – Better to go into these things with low expectations and come away from them delighted when you do achieve than it is to go into them expecting great things and only getting disappointment.

Whatever it is, I really do enter them not really expecting much but seem to come away from them pleased with myself. It’s going to be a completely different ball game in the championships themselves though. EVERYONE there will be fast and just getting around without being last will be an achievement. I shall be going into them with no expectations and planning on just enjoying the experience. I’m not at all worried about my time or position as it’ll be the first time competing at such a level for me so I have no idea how good the competition will be or how I’ll repsond to the challenge. I’m certainly looking forward to it though and can’t wait to don my Team GB kit and mix it up with some of the best age-groupers in the world.

 

2 Responses

  1. mum says:

    well done again Al, Podium place in Auckland next. x

  2. steve monaghan says:

    Hi Alan

    A very interesting read and a similar story to myself, without the world and European championships qualification bit. Having completed my first season last year, become aware of qualification events and looked at times required (ag 50-54) I am a bit off the pace but one can dream.

    Please read my blog http://stevemon50.wordpress.com/
    if you time and any advice would be much appreciated.

    Steve

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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