Rolling into Race Week

Today. The first true race week of 2018. Tapering. Finally! This Saturday I race at Challenge Lisbon (middle distance) and I can’t wait!

So what have I been up to since my last post?

Challenge TriCamp

I spent two weeks on Challenge TriCamp. Which was awesome as always. At the end of last year I decided 1 week just wasn’t gonna cut it. The last two years I have attended the camp in sunny Mallorca at Hotel Viva Blue over on the east side of the island. Without fail I always cry on the last day, much to the coaches amusement. But it is their fault really for creating the best week of training!

My Top 10 highlights of the fortnight as follows:

  1. ‘The Magic of Mallorca’. The coaches on Challenge TriCamp have this amazing ability to create the most perfect relaxed and yet motivated atmosphere for training. All the routes are planned perfectly and the timetable set out clearly so you get the most out of your week (or two). Although you might be nervous on day 1, by day 3 you have made 10 new friends and can’t stop chatting!

    30571806_1585357481512867_5640228800605192192_o.jpg
    Brent, Helen, Nick, Bernat, Dawn & Mark – some of the awesome coaches on camp
  2. Training 50 hrs plus over the two weeks. Big bike miles, 1 rest day – showing how far I have come. No chance I would have managed this a year ago!
  3. Making new friends and catching up with old ones. Sharing with Barbara (world champ) and catching up with Trish & Iain, Steve all from previous years. Although I now say ‘Car’ in an Irish accent. Thanks Paul. Its great to follow everyones progress on Strava afterwards!IMG-20180413-WA0010.jpg
  4. Smooth roads. Rarely do you see a pothole out in Mallorca.
  5. Outdoor swimming. The best 25m open air pool and sea swimming, even if it was freezing. And improving my 400m time by 6 seconds.
  6. Sunshine. Tanlines.
  7. Running 10k off the bike at the end of 2 weeks of training, negative split (thanks Coach Simon)img_20180414_145203_611.jpg
  8. The buffet. Enough said.
  9. Cake stops. Always a must in Mallorca!
  10. Final night antics – Banana club. It went a little like an English(wo)man, a Scotsman and an Irishman walked into a bar…. and I will leave it at that!

Team Hatch

Whilst on Tricamp I was lucky enough to spend time with James (Hatch), Tom, Alistair and Steve all members of Team Hatch. I have been following their inspiring journeys on the road to Challenge Roth all in aid of Great Ormond Street. It was great to finally meet Hatch and some of the team who are all EPIC (this word comes up a lot). James has incredible energy, kindness and enthusiasm all of the time. Its hard not to be awesome when he is around.

Now it seems myself and Rachel made an impression (either in cake eating ability or cycling ability….) and so we were invited to join the team! Some of the team are racing Challenge Lisboa and since I was already entered it seemed the perfect opportunity. It didn’t take long for Rachel to sign up either as part of her build up to Ironman Copenhagen. Not only are the team raising money for a great cause close to our hearts but its also brilliant to be surrounded by athletes striving to be their best. Whether it be sharing tips and tricks or motivating each other through the tougher sessions.

In the words of the Team: “We’ve joined together to raise money for Great Ormond Street Children’s Charity in memory of Emma Rose Hatchley. We have nine people aiming to complete the Challenge Roth full distance triathlon in July 2018. None of the nine have ever done a full distance triathlon before. In addition, Team Hatch has an additional five (alongside all but one of the Challenge Roth team who are doing both races) team members competing in Challenge Lisbon 70.3, a half distance triathlon, in May 2018 and one amazing soul has already done Challenge Wanaka in New Zealand – one of the toughest full distance triathlons in the world – in February 2018.”

Now since I am doing Challenge Lisboa, Challenge Prague and the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in South Africa this year, I will be doing all of these in support of Team Hatch and wearing an EPIC Team Hatch Trisuit. If you would like to donate to this fantastic cause please go to my page here:

www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sophie-kirk-teamhatch

You can see our ambitious team fundraising target here:

https://www.justgiving.com/teams/teamhatch

and follow the Team on Instagram here:

@team_Hatch

Team Hatch is kindly being sponsored by some amazing brands: Trek Bikes, Challenge Tri Camp, Athlete Lab, Huub, and thatcameraman.

Challenge Lisboa

And so the race. 5 days to go. It promises to be a flat, fairly hot course. It should suit me. And it will be a great season starter to see where I am after all of the hard winter miles. Of course I would like to go faster than last year. But as is the nature of triathlon, you never know what may happen. Every course is different. I’m excited. I’m ready, because I’ve got a great team with me.

Team Hatch.

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