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Latham's Golden Year

It's been a splendid season for Planet X's triathlon star Jenny Latham. Riding her Exocet to an extremely impressive age group Gold in the ITU Word Sprint Triathlon she destroyed the field with a massive winning margin of over 3 minutes! It had been a very successful year...

Here's Jenny's report on the ups and downs of life in the top flight of triathlon...

"After finishing last season with three open water sprint races completed I bought a second- hand turbo trainer and went to my local triathlon club wondering what winter training was. This led to the first race of the season in April at a local event to put into place the transition practice and training over the winter months.

"The ETU European Sprint Age-Group Championship, Athlone Ireland, July 2010 was the first big event for myself this year due to qualifying the previous year. After re-building the Excocet on the ball room floor and getting grease everywhere, many of the team commenting on my bike and asking technical questions I had no idea about, race day arrived. Despite the nerves of a big race, the pressure from everyone I was racing against in the GB team and the team managers as they were expecting me to medal, I set off in my first ever river swim. The race went without any issues and managed to have an almost perfect day, putting in one of the fastest bikes splits.

"The European success was then followed by gaining second place overall in my first Olympic distance race (Ripon Triathlon) and then again at Blithfield and Stockton Olympic distance races. Now deciding that this longer race course suited me more, I headed to Budapest to compete in my last race of the season.

"Over the season many things have gone wrong – been ill in the swim, helmet and glasses knocked off and away from my bike in transition, elastic bands snapping, crashing my bike and gaining a DNF (after only having the Nanolight for about 2 weeks!). Putting these misfortunes behind me I set off to the airport with my bike and enough kit to cover any weather possibility and boarded the plane to Budapest.

"On arrival in Budapest the Excocet arrived in one piece shortly followed by the kit bags. Loading everything into the taxi we ventured to the apartment. Bike built, I woke up early with plans of a nice stress-free ride to check my bike set up and make any small adjustments. This turned into one of the scariest rides I have ever done as I headed towards the GB Team Hotel to meet with others to head out along the course. Due to traffic and apparent lack of road rules I left the bike with the bike mechanics deciding I would prefer to make it to the race alive and received many strange looks as I spent about an hour figuring out the public transport services and how to get back to my apartment dressed in cycle kit and still in bike shoes as didn’t have this adventure in my plan for a quiet ride.

"Race morning came and, unfortunately the weather report had been correct – torrential rain was falling from the sky as we made it to the race centre and into a very wet and beginning to turn into a marshy transition area. The swim was uneventful and was finished by a long run up to transition and then a large run through the transition area and onto the bike section. Lap one went well and as speed was picking up it went drastically down hill. I hit a dip which was followed by a bang and a front flat. The remaining 8km of the race was then ridden on a flat tubular with me gripping the bars as tight as possible on the wet roads. Dismounting the bike 50m prior to the dismount line and feeling much safer with feet on the floor I re-racked the bike, slipped and went flat on my face before heading out and up the river to the finish, 5km up-stream. The atmosphere was amazing, especially as we ran across the final bridge into the finish shoot.

"The end of the season finished with a high, and perfect blue sky under which to watch the elites compete that afternoon and then on the Sunday both the elite women and the age-groupers."

Jenny Latham riding Planet X Exocet

Jenny Latham Planet X Triathlon

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3 November 2010

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