Canada’s Angela Naeth has had an impressive year. She started the year by winning Ironman 70.3 in Panama back in February, clocking the fastest bike split. She then followed that up with a second place finish in Abu Dhabi and then went on to win two more 70.3 races -St. Croix and Syracuse, setting new course records in both. She won Leadman back in March in Las Vegas and the Portland Rev3 race in July. To say she was poised to do well at the 70.3 World Championships was an understatement. Naeth was definitely a favorite for a podium spot. Unfortunately, after a strong swim, as she was positioning herself for third on the bike, Naeth crashed. She punctured her front tire, damaged her wheel, lost her nutrition bottle and suffered severe road rash. But, instead of calling it a day and heading to the medical tent Naeth decided to persevere and finish the race. She finished 17th. Triathlon Magazine Canada caught up with her to find out how she’s holding up and her thoughts on the race.
Triathlon Magazine Canada: How did the first half of the race go, were you pleased with your swim or did you feel you needed to make up a lot of time on the bike?
Angela Naeth: I was ecstatic with my swim. A few of us (Heather Jackson, Melissa Hauschildt) were swimming together and managed to fill the gap we had at the start of the swim and caught the 2nd pack). On the bike I quickly rode away from them with Heather Jackson ready to roll as well. She made the pass and we both were in our groove.
TMC: You were in a good position on the bike, tell us what happened to cause you to crash.
AN: Yes, it was a tough day. At mile 19 I was getting ready to make an attempt at a pass on Heather Jackson, caught a rumble strip, and went off road. I managed to “surf” the edge of the pavement/dirt and either hit something then or prior, as I then lost control and slid down the road. :-). Unfortunately my front tire blew and I broke my front wheel either by hitting something or what, I’m not sure. It had a large hole in it and the tire was gashed. It’s hard to really know what happened. I received mechanical help and started riding again albeit in pain. I didn’t feel like anything was broken but my left hip wasn’t feeling too good. I lost my nutrition and tried to make up for it with Perform. I definitely was losing it at times on the bike and felt like I was crawling into T2.
I decided in T2 that I was going to grin and bear it. It was actually very inspiring for me to see the race in a different perspective – where finishing is what mattered rather than trying to win! I was able to cheer on all my fellow competitors and also received more than my share of “you’re a bad ass” and supportive/inspiring cheers.
No broken bones, but road rash on shoulder and upper body hip and lower legs, and seven stitches were required on my ankle. No swimming for a wee-bit, that’s for sure.
TMC: What motivated you to continue?
AN: In Panama 70.3, Natascha (Badmann) fell and finished the race. Win, lose or draw… you do what you can on race day. For me, that was finishing.
TMC: The injuries looked pretty bad, can you tell us the extent of your injuries and how long it might take to recover?
AN: Large laceration on ankle that required 7 stitches, deep road rash on shoulder, torso and upper arms (painful!), road rash on hip, bruised hip and possible muscle damage, my left is basically quite swollen.
TMC: How are you feeling now?
AN: Battered, but smiling. Planning what’s ahead!
TMC: So what are your plans for the rest of the season, when do you think you’ll be able to race again?
AG: Not sure just yet but conversing with Coach Mark [Allen] …