Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Bad day at Krakow Town Square

Well I have been avoiding writing this blog for the last couple of days because i was trying to forget my race at the IAAF Challenge in Krakow. What started out well ended very slowly. After going through 10km in around 45.20 (not sure exact split) and sitting comfortably in about 3rd or 4th position I walked slower and slower each lap; pratically going backwards and it was a long last 10km finishing in 1.32.59 in 6th place. I'm very disappointed with the result as I usually get faster throughout the first half of the season in every race and was confident after World Cup. But who knows? The good news is that my hamstring pulled up ok and is feeling good (I hope so at that slow speed!). Ryta Turava made a great comeback to form winning in 1.28.33 (for full results see I will still race La Coruña on 7th June the last round of the IAAF Challenge before the Olympics. It will do me good to have another hard hitout and it's better than training alone here in Girona.

I'm off to Italy tomorrow to see Matt as his team competes in the last five days of the Tour of Italy and to get some treatment from physiotherapist, Karin Stephens at the AIS cycling headquarters in Varese. I will train around Lake Varese which is great for race walking but terrible for allergies at this time of the year. Hopefully I can find some good form there too!

Monday, May 19, 2008

World Cup Part 2!

It's been a week since the World Cup and my body is finally recovering. My hamstring pulled up quite sore when I tried to train around Moscow airport on Tuesday morning after the race and so I gave it a rest for two days. I have been receiving treatment all week here in Girona and it's slowly improving. I was quite tired for a few days after the race in Cheboksary (I'm getting old!) but Nat and I enjoyed a day and a half of sightseeing around Moscow before leaving Russia. Left: Nat about to board the specially decorated World Cup Bus and Below: Men's 20km walk

In my last update I didn't congratulate the Aussie Team on their overall performances at the World Cup. From the Juniors to the senior races everybody raced their guts out. A lot of personal bests were done and some overall incredible performances especially on Day 1 with Jess coming in 5th in the Junior girls and Daniel Coleman leading the Aussie Junior boys home with a PB. Luke bringing the Aussie men home in 7th place and a PB, Jared 10th and Chris with a PB in 31st and an Olympic A time. The men were awesome as a team and picked up a bronze medal for their efforts to go with the one from two years ago!

Duane was our sole representative in the 50km on day two and once again showed his determination to finish even though it was tough day at the office. The men's 50km produced a World Record by Russian Denis Nizergorodov and the local crowd went crazy about. Unfortunately it was Nathans' record that had stood since his amazing effort in Geelong in December 2006. But I have to say if the men couldn't beat the record in Cheboksary then they weren't going to break it in a long time; they had perfect conditions, no wind, not too hot, not too cold, completely flat course with only two turns and Nizergorodov was pushed hard by his compatriot, Kanaykin the World 20km record holder. Nathan had completely opposite conditions; windy, undulating course with lots of turns and he did it by himself from the gun! I know Deakesy was disappointed not to race the 20km in Cheboksary as a small injury flared up again just a week out from the race. But I know how determined and competitive he is and will be on the start line in Beijing with only GOLD on his mind!

In the women's 20km race we came away with 5th place in the teams overall!

This photo is at the party after the World Cup: Me, Eder Sanchez (3rd men's 20km Mexico), Luke Adams and Nat! We had a great night even though the organisers ended the party early we kicked on! That's one thing about the race walkers we know how to have a good time.

I will add some more photos to my gallery on my website soon. Hopefully I can locate one of me racing!

Finally Olympic Nomination!

I have just been notified today that AA has nominated me for the Olympic Games in Beijing! It certainly is a relief to have officially been nominated. I know my performances should speak for themselves but in this current selection climate who knows what will happen! So now I can relax a little and focus on Beijing. Although I'm a little sad to not have Nat competing alongside me again as we did in Athens and the last couple of Comm. Games and World Cups. But Nat's not a quitter and she is keen to get back to her best for next season.

Next Races

This Thursday I will travel to Krakow for the "NA RYNEK MARSZ" IAAF Race Walking Challenge ( to be held in Krakow Market Square on Saturday afternoon. The Market Square is one of the biggest in Europe and a great place to show case and promote race walking. The meet is organised by Robert Korzeniowski's wife and is always a fantastic event.

I also plan to race in the IAAF Race Walking Challenge in La Coruña, Spain on 8th June. So I just have to stay on top of my hamstring niggle and I will end my first half of the season at this event. I will also attend my first IAAF Race Walking Committee meeting in La Coruña.

Giro D'Italia

Whilst I have been competing Matt has been directing his Slipstream - Chipotle Pro Cycling Team at his first grand tour; the Giro D'Italia. The team won the first stage which was a team time trial so it was a great start for Matt as Director and also the team. The Giro finishes in Milan on 1st June and hopefully they can get a stage win or two before they hit Milan!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Hello from Cheboksary!

Well it's just before 2am here in Cheboksary and the World Cup party is over! Unfortunately they ended the fun early by closing the Disco but it has continued on level 3 of Hotel Russia where the Aussie Team is celebrating a successful weekend. I'm a little tired but will just give you a brief account of my race! I competed in the last event of the World Cup on Sunday and finished in 7th after being with the eventual Bronze medallist for the first 12km. I was really happy with my race although I hurt in the last 5km and dropped off the pace. My time was 1.29.27. It was two races in one with four Russians taking off at the gun and having their own race out in front with the rest of us to fight it out. One Russian was DQed and the another in the lead pack did not finish, so that left the eventual Gold and Silver Medallist out in front. Vera Santos (Portugal) walked the race of her life to take bronze in a huge PB! Nat finished 37th in 1.36.32 and was a little disappointed but raced a smart race and was going well until about 12-14km and then she "hit the wall."See all the results at Hopefully the selectors will look kindly at my results and now nominate me for the Aussie Olympic Team. Fingers crossed. In 2 hours Nat and I will travel back to Moscow with the other athletes on a Charter Flight (quite an interesting, albeit scary experience on the way here!). We're spending a day and a half in Moscow before I head back to my base in Girona and Nat travels back to Australia. The entire Aussie Team competed extremely well here and I will talk more about that and add some photos when I get some sleep; probably when I arrive back in Girona on Wednesday! Cheers

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Training partner!!

Nat and I training at the track
in Girona.
A training partner again!

Nat arrived in Girona nearly two weeks ago so it's been great to have a training partner! For the first week she was a little tired from the 36 hour travel (love airline delays) but this week she has picked up and felt much more comfortable training. It's a shock to her system as here I don't train until 9.30am or 10 o'clock so her usual 5.30am wake ups in Australia have been discarded for training "spanish time!"

My training has also improved over the last two weeks and my hamstring is holding up quite well during training but still gives me problems sitting. But I'm continuing with lots of treatment here in Girona with some great practitioners and also my daily pilates exercises. I also found a float tank just around the corner from our apartment which I tested the other day! I used one of these recovery and relaxation salted water baths at the AIS in 2000 during my preparation for the Olympics when I was injured and found them very beneficial. I came out of my 50 minute "float" feeling much better than I was before. I will try and have another before I travel to Russia next week.

A "fun" race in Madrid!

Sonata (2nd), Kjersti (1st) and Me(3rd)

Nat and I ventured to Madrid for the XXXII Gran Premio de Marcha de Moratalaz in Madrid last weekend. It was unseasonably warm on Saturday afternoon but we only raced 5km so it didn't really have any effect on our performances. However our two red cards at 3km certainly did but we weren't the only ones in that boat! Nat and I just cruised through to the end to make sure we didn't get DQed and came away with a decent training session. Kjersti Platzer continued her superb winning form with Sonata Milusauskayte from Lithuania (competing for Barcelona FC) was 2nd with me 3rd (23.04) and Nat 5th (24.23). The mens race was fantastic with a large crowd coming to watch the main attraction Paquillo Fernandez win in 38.28, which is a fantastic time considering the course was quite tough for all the walkers. Ilya Markov (Russia), one of the most consistent race walkers in the World over the last 18 years (World Junior Champ 1990!) was second after a great battle with Juan Molina (Spain).

Olympic Selection and World Cup

In my last blog I was waiting for the selectors to respond to my email asking about my Olympic selection. They have decided to wait until after World Cup and some of the other IAAF Race Walking Challenge events to name the third female walker even though I have the fastest time this year in my first race so it's a little disappointing. But I had to prove myself in international competition back in 1996 when I had an Olympic A qualifier (and third at the trial) so it's just another challenge!

So Nat and I depart on Tuesday for our three day journey to Cheboksary stopping off in Munich and Moscow for a night each! We will join the rest of the Aussie team in Moscow before travelling to Cheboksary on Thursday night! It;s great now because AA today reimbursed our flights so that's good news a week out from the World Cup. Should be lots of fun to race well and catch up with all our great international walking mates! I hope to be able to update you direct from Cheboksary but it might have to wait until I return to Spain. Thanks for your support.