Victory at the Portuguese Cup

Sunday, we secured the overall victory at the Portuguese Cup in triathlon for teams.

We have been racing 10 stages and this race was decisive. The battle was between our team and Alhandra.

I could not have finished off this important race better than with an individual victory. It was the first time I took the tape this season. There is always something about crossing the finish line in first place…

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The overall podium

For some reason, I was quite nervous prior to the race, woke up with a very sore throat and wasn’t feeling that well. For the first time, despite being a team race I felt the pressure of a perfect execution, haven’t had that pressure on myself for a while…

I did what I expected of myself and executed a perfect race. I swam with my team mates, took off hard on the bike and caught the first girls during the first lap on the bike. Two girls didn’t manage the hammering pace and fell behind.

I was feeling strong over the hilly course.

I entered in the transition together with a girl from Alhandra, but opened strong on the run and went away. I managed to win with a bit more than a minute and it was just great to take the tape and to know that we had won the Portuguese cup.

Ill rest a few days not until I start to prepare the last races of this season…

 

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Racing for David…

Sunday, I raced the most important race of this season, Triatlo David Vaz. For those who dont remember I lost my dear friend David to cancer a year ago…

David, a man who had a tremendous passion for sports and life always wanted to set up a non-drafting triathlon race where he was born, Fundão.

By the effort of many people, the Portuguese triathlon federation and his family last Sunday, on the 10th of September the first race was held in his name in Fundão, an Olympic non-distance drafting race.

I was a bit tired on Sunday after racing a duathlon on Saturday where I came 2nd overall, but the spirit was good. I think I never felt so calm before a race, so peaceful.

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Finished 2nd Overall on Saturdays Duathlon 

There is no doubt that I would have wanted to win the race, but the most important was to be there.

The course was beautiful, but hard, probably one of the hardest courses I have ever done.

I finished 2nd, which doesn’t really matter. It was overwhelming to cross the finish line and run straight into the arms of Davids father…Alvaro Vaz… It was overwhelming to see how much it meant for them that I was there racing to honor their son, my friend…

Bem Haja!

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One step closer…

After this weekend’s victory at one of the last stages at the Portuguese cup we are one step closer to take home the overall victory this season.

Its missing two races and we must win one of them…

It will be a close battle between us and Alhandra Sporting club.

As for my performance, I’m very pleased with 3rd overall and 2nd senior.

We have had a few days of quite some high temperatures and I knew the heat would be a factor as the race was set at 4pm. I spent all the day at the race venue, supporting our youngsters during their races. Its so much fun watching the young onse race. Im happy that i can support and share my experience with them.

The swim was without wetsuit as the water temperature was above 22 degrees. Swimming without a wetsuit is not something that I appreciate at all. I’m a swimmer that doesn’t use the legs very much and my legs tend to drag me a bit down and worsening my position in the water.

The swim didn’t go well. Had to struggle to get to the first buoy as I had a girl beating me constantly and I couldn’t swim properly. She was blocking my stroke completely. had to stop and yell at her at one point. These days I don’t stress that much if the swim doesn’t go my way, because I know I have a better bike than all the girls in the field. I still make a difference on the bike.

I went out on the bike and hammered and before passing the 5km mark I was in the front pack, leading the race.

I was feeling good.

Everything would come down to the run. The heat was painful when we went out for the last 5km. The course was a mix of tarmac, sand and gravel.

I tried to go with the first two girls, but lost them after 1km.

I ran the last 4km with the girl who did 4th. When it was missing 200m I did sprint and could pass the finish line in 3rd.

I’m happy with my performance and the performance of the team. Its good to see the younger girls performing better and better…

Now its time to rest a bit and next week its finally time to race at home in Malmö…cant wait

Sporting Tri-team

Sportings female triathlon team – Happy after another victory!!

 

 

Racing at home

During all these years, I have just raced in Sweden once, at the nationals back in 2011. Since then I haven’t raced in Sweden…

On the 6th of august ill participate in Malmö Triathlon and ill actually race twice during the same day.

At 9am ill race the open race over the sprint distance and at 11am I will participate in a Tetra Pak’s female relay team that I have put together. It all started off as a joke during a dinner in Lisbon with the management team but it became reality.

I’ll do the swim segment. I’m happy that I will have the opportunity to share my biggest passion with my colleagues. But above all it will be special as ill race at home, in front of my family. I hope to have almost all family members there cheering on me and all other athletes.

But before heading home ill race this Sunday at the Portuguese cup. We are currently in 1st place and another team victory is important at this stage…

 

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I have updated my site www.katarinalarsson.com with a new video from Sporting TV 🙂

Happy

I might not have any individual objectives this season and I might not train that hard, but honestly, there is nothing that makes me happier than training and racing.

I get nervous, its stressful, but I love it… its part of me

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All smiles before the start

One cannot leave the stage in one day, it must be gradually.

This weekend we raced in Cuba, Alentejo. I finished 2nd overall, 1st senior and the team won.

I did a good race. After focusing on the bike for some time I put on the triathlon suit again. I was a bit worried with my swim as its usually my stress momentum.

My swim was better than expected, felt strong on the bike and ran with what I had left in the body. I can feel lack of training, but my body knows the drill by now ;o)

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Entering T2, just missing to run 5km…

All team members did great! Helena won, me in 2nd, Ines 3rd and Lucia 4th… we dominated.

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Happy passing the finish line in 2nd

Now ill focus on training for about 2 weeks then its race time again.

Bittersweet

Bittersweet…

That was the feeling after Fridays time trial finishing 4th, 27 second from the bronze medal and 28 second from silver.

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I somehow knew that a medal would be hard as I have not been training as much as last year and my fitness is not great, but there is always a hope somewhere…that little hope.

I have done the Nationals 4 times now and for the first time I liked the course and thought it would fit me well. It wasn’t flat, but the hills were ok, at least that’s what they felt like during the course recognition.

A time trial is by far the hardest competition you can do, at least for me. You go flat out for almost 23km. The heart is pumping at its max and there is a strange blood taste in your mouth, Its painful. To be able to perform well you need to be able to push yourself hard when all the body wants is to stop. I’m good at that :o)

I went out flat out, maybe too fast. Maybe I should have gone out slower, but I turned on the gas right from the beginning. I kept a good pace till about 10km and then I felt quite tired and the headwind was getting strong. I passed four girls during the course and I knew I was doing a good race, but I wasn’t controlling the girls that started after me.

Waiting for the result was nerve wracking… I hoped that my performance would have given me a medal, but it didn’t. When I found out I was 4th I got very disappointed… deep down, being as competitive as I am I wanted more.

I gave it all out there, didn’t leave any energy. It’s a bittersweet feeling, but I should be satisfied. I’m competing against girls that only focuses on cycling and that surely has been training more than me for the race. So…in the end the result was fair.

Now ill get back to focus a bit more on the swim as ill race a few triathlon races in July

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After the race with the junior men from Sporting Tavira… and the great crew! 

Time trial

2014 i was National Champion in time trial (cycling), 2015 was a disaster and last year i got on the podium, bringing home a bronze medal. Last years medal was special as it was the first medal in Sportings history in female cycling.

Friday im on the start line for 2017 Nationals. In the beginning of the season i had set the Nationals as my only individual goal, i wanted a medal. The goals have changed and the main objective is to participate and have fun. I guess ill suffer a bit too.  Its not a common goal for me, just to participate. I cant ask more from myself as i have not been training enough to reach the podium this year…Its all part of a learning process.

Below is my favorite picture from last years race…

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Having so much fun

The very good feeling and positive outcome on races continuous.

Racing, after many years has become pure fun and I enjoy it more than ever. It seems by having this relaxed approach I’m performing better than ever.

Did another great race at the Portuguese cup this weekend over the sprint distance. Finished 5th overall in a very competitive field and 3rd senior. I was the first member from Sportings female Tri-team to cross the finish line, but we just finished 3rd overall. It was great to share the podium with the Olympic silver medalist in Triathlon, Vanessa Fernandes. Vanessa is back to triathlon after a longer break. Its amazing to see that girl race.

The race went well from start to finish and I ended up doing the 3rd best run of the day. Its interesting to see how I’m doing my best run splits now that I’m training less run. Never put in so few running hours. I know I have a lot of training in the luggage that gives me some base, but I haven’t been training speed for a long time. However I still believe that more training is needed to improve… but in my case I have found the perfect balance. the balance that fits my body. Im doing less sessions with more quality.

The swim was also another positive segment. The sea was stormy and my past as a surfer came to my advantage. I had so much fun swimming, battling the waves. I just left the water 20 seconds after Vanessa.

Its funny how mother nature can change the natural outcome of the swim segment to something completely different.

Now I will have a break from racing for some weeks and focus on the bike. I do have one individual objective this season which is the nationals in time trial. I want a medal and i will fight for it.

 

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Naked

Some weeks ago, I was asked to participate in a photo shoot for the most popular cycling magazine in Portugal, Ciclismo a Fundo.

The idea of the shoot was to capture the beauty of the athletic female body.

It was a different session, but I liked it very much. Despite not wearing any clothes I felt comfortable and I’m very happy with the result.

Thank you Gonçalo Barriga and Ciclismo a Fundo for this oportunity.

The magazine, Ciclismo a Fundo is out now, get your copy

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Challenge Lisboa – 2nd at the battle of the sexes

If you ask me which race I have enjoyed racing more during all these years I will probably say this one, the battle of the sexes of the first edition of Challenge Lisboa.

Finishing 2nd overall, only losing to Melanie Santos, U23 World and European bronze medalist was just a great bonus. The 3rd place went to an English woman. This meant that the men didn’t manage to catch us, girl power.

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The Overall podium

It was great taking part of a race with such a stature. Challenge is one of the biggest brands in the world organizing triathlon races.

The weather, organization and the atmosphere was just fantastic. I love that fact about triathlon. World class athletes mixing with age groupers and the once that are in it for fun. We are one big happy family.

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Melanie and I 

I had no idea how did race would go. It was my first Olympic distance of the season, not so much training in the luggage and a different approach.

The swim went well. Melanie took off fast and I was chasing behind. We isolated ourselves from the rest as soon as the gun went off.

I was out of from T1 about 2 minutes after her and I did all I could to catch her on the bike. My effort wasn’t enough and some lack of fitness made my mission impossible.

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another great shot by “That camera man” – lovely pictures

I also knew that Melanie is a much better runner than I am so I would need to gain quite some time on the 45km.

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pushing the bike

I came into T2 isolated in 2nd place and enjoyed the last 11km on the run, even stopped for some selfies.

We were received at the finish line with a huge media attention and we were all smiles.

I had so much fun and I simply love everything about this sport, it makes me happy!

Unfortunately my dear friend from Sweden, Mikaela didn’t finish her half Ironman due to a heat stroke. But she did a great swim/bike and was battling the best woman in the world…well done Mikaela

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Race morning

Big thanks for the challenge family for inviting me, loved the experience

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Melanie and myself at the finish line – all smiles