First Win of 2019 for Carolyn Hayes

Carolyn Hayes_Durban Podium 2019

Carolyn Hayes has continued her recent strong run of form, picking up a win at Durban ATU Triathlon Premium African Cup. The win will add valuable points to her total in the run-up to Tokyo 2020.

Top of the podium

Taking the top spot on the podium four minutes thirty seconds ahead of her nearest rival, Hayes finished the standard distance course in a time of 2:10:09. Thanks to Carolyn for sending in the below report on her race.

I continued my Tokyo 2020 points hunt with a recent trip to Durban, South Africa. Pre-race there was no certainty that this event was going to be a triathlon - having travelled from Dublin in the hope of maximising ITU points I was praying it would stick to format. The race brief couldn’t promise and plans were in place for a duathlon 10km/40km/5km run/bike/run.  Race start was scheduled for 14.05 so it was important to plan well nutritionally to cope with the humidity and midday heat 31C . Race day arrived and I stuck to my normal routine (something my coaches and I have worked out over the past few races which works well)."

The course consisted of a 1500m sea swim with a beach run in start, a 42km bike route (x8 laps of King Park Stadium) before commencing the 10km run along the beach front (4x2.5km laps). The women were delayed starting as the juniors and age-groupers had their swim shortened so the buoys had to be reset for the elite men. We had no swim warm-up due to the sea conditions so it was straight into the waves on the starters orders. I enjoy a choppy sea swim but Durban was wild- nothing like I’ve experienced before. I biked smart and picked up two athletes during the 40km ride. There was an athlete ahead and with no idea what the time gap was I exited T2 and chased, closing the gap within the first 1.5km. I could see the chasers at every turnaround so I kept running at a sensible pace. Crossing the tape in first position meant so much. I was really happy with how I coped with things on the day and proud I got it together after the swim. Both Triathlon Ireland and my coaches had trusted me to come here and deliver and I’m glad I did. I have two more races to gather points before the first Olympic qualification period closes on May 10th- and then we go again.

Thank you to my coaches (Gavin and Eanna), my HupHup teammates (who push me daily) and to Triathlon Ireland for supporting me.

Full results on triathlon.org. You can follow Carolyn's journey through her Instagram and Twitter.