Seven GB Medals at the ITU World Long Distance Champs: Christine’s report
Christine Buckley was GB Team Sports Massage Therapist for the ITU World Long Distance Triathlon Championships, held on 29th July 2012 in Vitoria-Gasteiz, northern Spain. She saw the team win a total of 7 medals with 1 elite bronze, 3 AG Gold, 2 AG Silver and 1 AG Bronze:
“This is my third year working with British Triathlon as part of the support team at championship events so I am starting to see some familiar faces now and the long distance team are certainly a friendly bunch of people to work with.
The GB team consisted of about 100 age group athletes, second in number only to the Spanish team. When I found out before I went out the size of the team and with me as the only therapist I thought I could be in for a very busy few days! As usual Nirvana Europe did a great job organising travel and transfers from Bilbao to the team hotel in Vitoria and the hotel provided me and mechanic Rob each with the biggest rooms I’ve ever had to work in, perfectly situated next to a relaxing coffee area complete with TV so we could catch up on the latest Olympic action when not busy with clients.
The Spanish put on a great event, well organised in a really nice location. The weather leading up to race day was around 36 degrees so a hot race in prospect but it cooled down on the day to more pleasant low 20s temperature. With much of the run in the shade of trees the athletes just about managed to keep cool.
Team GB only had one athlete in the elite race; Jodie Swallow getting a well earned bronze medal. The age group team had some impressive performances coming away with three golds; Catherine Faux winning by an amazing 27 mins in the 25-29 age group, Tracy Cook improving on her silver last year in the 35-39 category, and Cristina Milton in the 60-64 category. Silver medals went to Steve Yates (45-49) and Nicky Deane-Simmons (55-59) and a bronze to Paul Lunn (40-44).
It was great to see so many good performances, it was a good and friendly atmosphere with many GB supporters. The enthusiastic Spanish crowds certainly got behind their athletes too.
Overall it was a great few days. I helped prepare the athletes beforehand: easing tired muscles from traveling, treating little niggles and giving advice on injury worries. There was a bit of Kinesio taping involved as well as general moral support and encouragement. An enjoyable and successful trip for team GB. I hope everyone keeps fit, gets faster and I’ll hopefully see some of you again next year.”