Age grouper, Cyrma Hearn, along with twelve other Australian female triathletes, make the long trek to Spain to compete at the ITU Long Course World Championships. She checks in between frollicking in the sunflowers, siestas and checking out the World Champion course.


Hola mi amigos,

Arrived in Spain a few days ago after long-haul flight from Melbourne. 35 hours – Ouch! Left Melbourne’s cold wet winter behind and was greeted by a perfect warm sunny Spanish afternoon. Fabulous!

Met up with 12 other Aussies in Madrid and yes, all our bikes travelled great too. Jumped on board with Sierra Sports and Tours, the hosts for the Aussie Team, for the four hour road trip from Madrid to Vitoria-Gasteiz – the Green Capital of Spain.

A gorgeous 30deg day and sunshine all the way – it was still sunny at 10pm. There were fields and fields of sunflowers, foothills of the Pyrenees, farmlands, wind turbines, fresh summer fruit stores everywhere (ummm cherries!) and small elegant cobble-stoned medieval villages. Life IS good!

Paul D’Andrea runs Sierra Sports and Tours, and along with two awesome Spanish coaches and a German Physio/Masseuse they will be our guides, support team and new found friends for race week prep and race day. They came prepared for everything! I’m talking – best coffee and cider in town, support vans on bike recon, bananas and race gels ad lib, ingredient translations in supermarkets, swim course strategy, breakfast negotiation in hotel, bike re-build mechanics, excellent range of wine tasting and my favourite… Organised an Aussie photo in a massive field of sunflowers during the bike course recon.

Race specifics: Race day is Sunday 29th July. Approx 1400 age group athletes and pros competing from 32 countries. Up to 78 Aussies racing.

Checked out the swim, T1 and the first lap of bike course. There were a bunch of Aussies, all testing out their race suits – the green and gold looking bloody brilliant!

Swim – 4km, Ullibarri-Gamboa lake in the heart of the Provincial Park of Landa, about 20km north of Vitoria-Gasteiz. The lake is an enormous reservoir, the water pristine due to surrounding oak forests and wetlands. It’s flat, still and fresh. We’re expecting temps around 16-17deg on race day.
Bike – Two loop bike course, 120km, through the beautiful landscapes of Alava and riding parallel to the Elguea mountain range. The course takes us along side lake Ullibarri-Gamboa, through cobble-stoned elegant villages of Gordoa & Salvatierra Agurain and along a fast stretch of open plains and farmland. A small climb heading out of T1, strong winds for first 25km and a few technical turns through the villages, but the road surface is excellent for most of the course. The gentle rolling undulations and some long sections will be smooth and fast. The first lap, back around the lake and then you repeat the loop. The second lap of bike course then takes us back into Vitoria-Gasteiz and T2.

Run – 30km, four laps through the heart of the medieval district (old city), park promenades and central square of Vitoria-Gasteiz. The finish is in the Plaza Central Square. Superb for spectators! As the run time coincides with the Spanish afternoon siesta, shops will close and the locals will be out in coffee shops and bars watching and relaxing in the afternoon sun. The city is green, energetic and spotlessly clean. The old section is full of history with loads of character. The atmosphere on the run will be epic!

Good luck to all the Aussies racing. Incredible location, superb atmosphere. Race fast, hard, and enjoy it!

Get on the live feed and cheer the Aussies on. Race starts at 8.30am (V-G time), 4.30pm (Melb time) this Sunday.

Live feed:
Live coverage (tv):


Good luck to our Aussie athletes!

Sarah Crowley PRO
Melissa Clark 20-24
Clair Rockliff 20-24
Caitlin Bridgland 25-29
Karen Brown 30-34
Melanie Gillespie 30-34
Rochelle Youngson 30-34
Cyrma Hearn 35-39
Shaye Hatty 40-44
Anne-Louise McLean 40-44
Cristine Ashcroft 45-49
Debra Kempe 50-54
Karla McKinlay 65-69


NB: We will have a look at the pros racing next. Rachel Joyce our “not so foreign correspondent” and last year’s ITU Long Course World Champion checks out this year’s field.

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