A big update from the half way point of 2016

beautiful Valle Du Joux

The beautiful Valle Du Joux

 

Quite a lot has happened since my last blog as usual plenty of ups and downs but overall my most successful start to the season, the huge block of training, minimal racing and travelling during January-April has paid off and seen me through to a silver medal last weekend at the European Cross Triathlon Championships.

I can honestly say this has been the first time since leaving Australia 2months ago that I’ve had any time to myself to reflect on what’s been a hectic year already. I’m fully enjoying my coaching work but I’m still getting used to life on the road as a professional athlete with a job in toe. A few things have certainly had to change and I’m finally feeling I can mange the extra workload with help & support from my partner in crime and husband to be.

QLD Cross Championships and Xterra Asia Pacific Champs – April 2016

I’m going to backtrack a little to April where I felt the fittest and most confident I’ve ever been. I raced the final round of the Trex-Tri series and won the QLD state championships therefor winning the series. Most importantly I was in great form heading into my target race Xterra APAC. I made it clear to everyone I was here to win there was nothing more I could have done my prep was spot on, I knew the course better than anyone else and the race was mine to lose. Wow this was a whole new Jacqui actually believing I could win a race and telling people about it, it was in a whole new territory. Despite coming down with a sore throat a few days before I was more than ready to rock and roll I was up for it and ready to lay it all on the line in front of family, friends, local supporters and the Xterra TV crew : ) The swim was shortened a little and we swam with the current but I went for it from the word go and lead from the gun, I rode the bike course alone for 35kms and was running strong at 8km until BOOM I heard the motor bike behind and knew I was being reeled in by my competition my heart sunk they were here what was I going to do I had nothing else to give, I fought hard and ran with Lizzie for the next 1km until she gave me a few words of encouragement and took off with ease to take the win with a fantastic performance, not long after the fresh legged Carina breezed past and I had no response I wanted to scream at the top of my voice, in my eyes not winning that race was everything I crossed the finish line in 3rd fell to the ground and cried for what felt like an eternity. I then continued to cry for the next week or so no one could say anything to make me feel better, id given my all and it wasn’t enough to take the Gold medal I had to except that and move on.

“a very wise man AKA Simon Marshall said to me that in every defeat there was a victory” and look what happened next…

 

Xterra Malaysia

 

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After emotionally putting myself back together with the help of friends and family I went onto race Xterra Malaysia again against a strong field of girls who had all finished ahead of me in my last few races, I felt like an under dog the best I could do was 4th, no pressure maybe I could use a different game plan???? I went in relaxed to me my A race had been and gone and I had nothing to lose and wanted to enjoy the experience after all I feel very fortunate to be in this position. I crossed the finish line 8 minutes ahead of my nearest competitor and had a super race it almost felt like I breezed around the course and everything came natural, obviously crossing the line in 1st place I was elated but to be honest I would have gave that victory back to have won Xterra APAC but it wasn’t meant to be, sport is sport and that’s why we race each other.

At the very top level there really isn’t much difference in athlete ability’s everyone prepares to the best of their ability and who ever feels best on that day will take the W.

Winning isn’t everything and if you give your all on that day then that’s all anyone can ask for.

Now

our step sisters wedding, me, Dad and brother Ben

Our step sisters wedding, me, Dad and brother Ben

 

I’ve spent the last 2 months at home in the UK moving from place to place living with different family members & in hotels really not an ideal situation for an athlete but I made the best of it and ultimately I wanted to spend time with my family and friends. I certainly over indulged ate great food, drank at little wine and had a few late nights. The cold and nasty weather in the UK sometimes got the best of me but I made the most of my training sessions just enough to keep me in the game for Xterra Swiss.

ETU World Cross Triathlon Champs – Valle du Joux, Switzerland

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I love being in Europe whenever I’m asked the question where in the world would you like to live I always reply “if I had the money I would live in, Switzerland’ They are intelligent people, love the outdoors both winter and summer, eat fresh healthy food and have sports facilities galore it’s athlete paradise come rain or shine but I does come at a cost. Ben and I headed off to the Valle de Joux with our good friend and assigned soigneur in tow. Ian was here to assist Ben and I to perform at our very best for ETU Cross Champs and Xterra France him being here has enabled us to recover much quicker, focus on racing and training whilst Ian does all the other stuff like packing the car, bike servicing, cleaning, cooking, massage and many other things. He’s one of the best masseurs I know and to get a massage every day after training could be the difference between getting on that podium and not.  He’s also keeps things fun and light hearted this really takes the pressure of leading up to the big day!  Thanks so much Ian your help and support has been invaluable to Ben and I.

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               Ian & I with the silver medal ; )

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Ian packing the car

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      My best friend, husband to be and my rock

I went into Swiss super chilled with no expectation at all I was happy to be with my boy in this stunning country and didn’t think too much into the race. I was certainly feeling well rested as training had been limited however sometimes less can be more and I was able to pull off a solid race and finish 2nd in the most horrendous conditions I’ve ever experienced.  It was an exciting finish with places 2,3,4th finishing within 5 seconds of each other. I couldn’t quite believe I held my own on the run leg and dug deep when I was hurting to claim a silver medal this is something I’m most proud of as it shows exactly that my training has paid off.

I was over joyed with the result and will treasure this medal for the rest of my life. Medals don’t come round all that often and I’ve learnt to appreciate all the effort that goes into this tiny circle you hang around your neck, it’s been 5 years of hard work.

Results

Pos

Name, NAT

Time

Points

1

Michelle Flipo, FRA

3:18:40

100

2

Jacqui Slack, GBR

3:21:16

90

3

Myriam Guillot-Boisset, FRA

3:21:20

82

4

Renata Bucher, SUI

3:21:20

75

5

Ladina Buss, SUI

3:22:21

69

6

Brigitta Poor, HUN

3:25:37

63

7

Carina Wasle, AUT

3:28:18

58

8

Coralie Redelsperger, FRA

3:29:39

53

9

Morgane Riou, FRA

3:32:22

49

10

Louise Fox, GBR

3:32:45

45

11

Maud Golsteyn, NED

3:34:29

41

12

Jessica Roberts, GBR

3:34:47

37

13

Monica Cibin, ITA

3:35:55

34

14

Elisabetta Curridori, ITA

3:36:58

31

15

Kara LaPoint, USA

3:39:43

28

Thank you so much to everyone out there that follows and supports my journey I couldn’t do it with out the help from sponsors, family and friends.

Sponsors

 

Red Industries, On Running, Liv Cycling Australia, Flight Centre Active Travel, Power Bar UK, Champion Systems, Amanzi, Schwalbe, Scicon, Xterra Wetsuits and Greepers.

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