Shetland triathlete Lynsey Henderson rounded off an excellent season with a fifth place at the age group World Championships in Budapest.
Competing in the “sprint” distance of 750 metre swim, 20 kilometre cycle and five kilometre run, she qualified for the event after her second place at the European Championships in July. She was targeting a top 10 finish while also gaining more valuable experience.
Starting at 7.20am, the swim was in a bay adjacent to the River Danube. Lynsey’s power was put to good use as she came out the water in a comfortable third place. There then followed a long run to the transition area.
Multi-tasking is the order of play, sprinting while taking off your wetsuit, hat and goggles and at the same time looking for your bike among thousands of others as well as thinking about getting cycle shoes and helmet on. After a smooth transition Lynsey set out on the 20km bike course.
The cycle ride was two laps of a technical course on very wet roads which took the competitors around the inner city. Despite spectacular scenery like the Hungarian Parliament building, there would be no time to take it in as this was a sprint distance with no let up.
Lynsey had a great bike ride, jostling with her fellow competitors the whole time, at one time taking the lead. Having overtaken the two faster swimmers, she held her own to re-enter the transition alongside the leaders.
The run was a 5km stretch up the River Danube, over Chain Bridge and finishing in the grandstand area. Exiting the transition in third place, Lynsey started well but the girls around her were just too strong.
She dug in deep to try and desperately hang on to her position but unfortunately was passed twice with just one kilometre to go. Crossing the line with a total time of one hour 12:03 minutes was enough to take fifth place.
Lynsey may have been a little disappointed to lose out on a podium place so close to the finish but can be extremely proud of herself and her achievements this year. She will move further forward from this experience to target a podium place at the World Championships in 2011.
Lynsey said she would like to thank Intertek for sponsoring her travel and accommodation, as well as providing support.