What’s been happening with Olivia Cummings
2017-8 has been a really awesome season to date with some quality training and racing, along with some very pleasing results. After not doing a lot of running through the 2017 winter, TriNZ Duathlon Champs was a great blow out. First run felt really good and then so did the bike surprisingly as IU don’t do a lot of bike training. The last run was solid and a comfortable win. I spent the rest of spring continuing to focus on my swim with a little more run loading from Craig.
December I raced at the Future ChampioNZ Festival again in Taupo. This was my 3rd year so it’s nice to meet up with people from around the country. It was my first time as a U19 and being only 15, I didn’t have any expectations. The first event was a new format of Lemans Criterium. I can only say I learned a few big lessons. I came out of the start and first transition in the front but then looked down to put my feet in my shoes. When I looked up the front group had dropped me by about 10m. I waited til the next corner and had another go. This time got my feet in but looked up into a strong head wind and the lead group now 20+ meters away – race over. I couldn’t bridge by myself but mentally toughed it out in no-mans land for the rest of the bike to run home for 13th I think?
The 2nd day was suited more to my strengths with another new event of swim-run-swim-run. No wetsuit, in a pool, 400m – my kind of event. I followed national swimmer Jacey Cropp out of the first swim and caught her early in the run to hit the pool in front and stayed there to win against Ari and Hannah so I was stoked with that. We did a team relay in the afternoon. Which was a bit short but fun. Last day was the traditional triathlon where racing in the U19 the distances suit me better. I got caught at the first bouy with the Japanese swimmers and got boxed in a little. Good learning. My bike was good as I didn’t really get dropped by the cyclists too much. My legs were good and I ran home for 3rd NZ and with the points from other events I got 3rd overall which I was really happy about.
February was the Australian Junior League Triathlon Series (race 2) over in Adelaide. My first race was the individual youth girls race. This is the first time I have raced in such a big field and it was definitely a beneficial experiance. With the swim having a lot more people than what I'm used to it was pretty overwhelming at first but I quickly regained myself and came out top 10. I was heading out of transition in the lead group this time only to have two girls crash in front of me. That split us from the front group of riders. We carried on in the 2nd group but another girl caused a problem on one of the corners and we got split again which was really frustrating. I got to the run in 12th place so ran hard but with the race being very short and only 3km I ran out of time to catch everyone so finished 7th. The following day my team and I raced in the Triathlon Mixed Relay Championships Junior race where we finished 1st to beat the Aussies which was pretty cool! Adelaide was such an awesome experience and I'd like to say a massive that you to Triathlon Tauranga for helping get us there and for all the support we had while we were over there.
Following Adelaide I raced in the Kinloch Triathlon. I ended up finishing 2nd in my age group to Hannah and 4th woman overall which was enough to qualify me for worlds in the Gold Coast! I am now currently back training before my next big race with Craig loading a little more biking into the program. He has done such a great job getting me ready for events so I am really excited about NZSS on the 19th and 20th of March in Nelson. Closely following this I will be competing in the Junior Elite Oceania Championships which is also the Youth Olympic Games Qualifier in New Plymouth.
Again thanks for the financial support for Adelaide Triathlon Tauranga.
Thanks to my sponsors: Smiths Sports Shoes, Compress Sport, Liz van Welie Aquatics and Craig Kirkwood Coaching, both sets of grandparents ☺