Report and Photograph by John Coxon
Currently Pip is based in Annapolis Maryland , conveniently just a thirty five minute drive from the race venue at Centennial Lake and Park, Ellicott City so she was pleased that travel didn’t impact on her training regime this time around. The event, in its second year features a 1 K circuit of the Centennial Lake followed by a 17.5 mile bike through rolling farmland countryside ( including four challenging climbs) and ending with a 3.3 mile run within the park. The event weekend also included a Women's Health and Fitness Expo and lecture series.
photo John Coxon
Organised by the Columbia Triathlon Association the event clearly demonstrated its stated mission “ To provide a platform to enhance the experience of women who are part of a healthy, balanced and active lifestyle through premier events, not about a particular type of event or distance but rather an attitude toward living a healthy, active lifestyle through events.” Describing the experience Pip said “It was an amazing event – very low key and friendly with the emphasis firmly on participation and having fun. There was a very friendly chatty vibe in transition, clean(er) race loos and excited screaming as each wave was sent off. Just fantastic to see though for the sport - over two thousand women and girls of all ages and abilities all doing the same thing and nearly all with a smile too.
Given Pip’s fairly torrid time last year and her time out from the sport through what can only be described as burn out leading to a crisis of confidence , she has made a remarkable and carefully planned comeback which has been no surprise to those who know her. Effectively though never content with second best she was pleased enough with her performance in what she saw as a training race and essentially her USA residence is in pursuit of the lucrative Lifetime Fitness Series where she is currently in third place. Her eyes are now set on 27th August and the Accenture Chicago Triathlon , the third event in the Lifetime Fitness series where the purse for first place is a cool $67,000. She is particularly looking forward to that because her mum will be there and it will be the first time since May she will have seen her since she left Australia for the States.
Pip is one of the most candid though modest of triathletes; the openness of her official website diary entries provides a unique insight into the ups and downs of the sport and how best to deal with them. She tells us “I have been pretty happy with my season so far – for me it has been a season just to get back into the racing (after my break last year) and just race, race, race – get used to the non-drafting scene, get to know all the US races and courses and really build up some race fitness to hit next season even harder with some definite goals and plans. It has also been a big learning season – although I have been in the sport of triathlon for some years now I am still very much learning the game and what it is exactly that I as an individual need to do to perform my best. This is true for both in training and preparation as well as key race tactics and racing smart – all the very, very small things in races that actually add up to huge differences – the differences between 1st and 2nd, the difference between being happy with your race or frustrated. I may be a slow learner but I feel as though finally I am starting to get a pretty clear understanding of many things and will be making a concerted effort to sit down and consolidate all this learning to really hit next season hard. For now though I will concentrate on giving everything I have in Chicago and then LA – you can’t do more or give more than what you have on race day – sometimes it is enough and sometimes it isn’t!! I know I have the fitness and preparation behind me so from here it should be fun!!”
Keep up with Pip’s progress by visiting her website at Pip Taylor