Ashley Powell - ITU Sprint World Championship Race Report

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The training road to Rotterdam, Netherlands has honestly not been the easiest nor the most fun of journeys to date, but the race itself was so much fun and such a great experience. Coming off of a broken foot just weeks before the World Championships brought on doubt and worry that my foot and body would not be able to take on the training load. There were no breakthrough workouts and my run game was far from what I would have hoped for prior to this race. Although I had a lot of self-doubt, I was willing to make the most of it and I was truly happy to be given the opportunity to compete among some of the world’s best age group triathletes. 

Race week came and with that came a long plane ride to the Netherlands. We arrived safely and picked up my bike (I couldn’t be happier to see my bike after a couple weeks’ separation!). The weather throughout the week was not the greatest; there was a lot of wind and rain, but Fortunately, race day was clear and made for a great day of racing!

The race itself was interesting. It was a split transition which required more planning on the athletes’ part. Check into Transition 2 started in the late morning and allowed for the sprint racers to cheer on some familiar faces during the Olympic distance race. Transition 1 started an hour later and included a nice ferry ride across the waterway with my bike in tow. I would stay on that side of the water until my race started three hours later. The swim was cold but really awesome with a great view of the city, and Transition 1 was super long but successful. The bike portion of the race was a draft legal, technical course with a lot of tight turns and narrow roads but it made for fun ride! Finally, the run was part trail and part road through a park. Overall, it was a fun course with a lot of great competition. 

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Although I had some setbacks with injuries which did not allow me to train to what I thought my full potential, I feel so fortunate to be given opportunities to race with some of the best triathletes around the world. The feeling of toeing the start line and crossing the finish line proves that even with setbacks, anyone can do anything they set their minds to do. I am blessed with so much support from so many people locally and nationally, and I can’t put into words how grateful I feel. Thank you to Podium Sports Medicine, Dr. Sprouse, my family and so many more that put their time and effort into helping me be the best I can be as an athlete and person; triathlon would not be the same without you all. Onward to the next challenge! 

-Ashley