Monday, July 5, 2010

Seu World Cup

After spending a week training in the lovely Pyrenees, and living in the local school, La Salle, World Cup #3 began.

Yesterday, Saturday, preliminary runs were held. The course was a tricky, off-set spotted thing, that supposedly favored right-handed C1s...despite this, I had a slow and yucky first run, and an absolutely horrendous second run (I flipped at the bottom of the course and missed four gates : / ). I was pretty bummed last night, finishing a dissapointing 18th, and barely making semis. They set the Semi-Finals and Finals course after preliminary runs. I walked it several times with other C1s, and although it looked intimidating, I was pretty determined to just go all out the next day...better to have lost trying than to have not tried at all, eh?
So today, I went down to the course, cheered on a couple of team mates, and then hopped in the boat to warm up pre-race. Seu is lovely, and the warm-up area is this gorgeous pool and canal with a fountain, all of the nations flags fluttering about, and the pyrenees mountains surrounding it. As I paddled around, it really occured to me how awesome this situation is - regardless of my penalty points, race results, etc. - to even be where I am, competeing against so many incredibly talented women in canoes!
I laid down a solid Semi-finals run. It wasn´t quite as fast as I had hoped (I guess that is an automatic athlete response :) but I only had two touches. I hurried to cheer on the other ladies, and once all was said and done, I looked at the score board to see that I had finished 11th. One spot out of finals, but I´ve got to admit, I am more than happy with that result. I was very proud of my fellow competitors, and I can´t wait to catch up to them :)
Tomorrow, I will head to Foix, France (a nice short drive of 2 hours - the drive from Prague to here was more like 18) for Junior Worlds where I will see how I stack up against competitors my age. I am really excited to meet new paddlers from all over the globe - that is probably one of the best parts about competing internationally - the boundless camraderie one experiences.

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