So, my 3 prep races (Hyde Park, Mid Sussex and the Brownlee Tri) are all done and now it’s the big one: the European Triathlon Championships in Kitzbühel/ Austria. The ETU Championship is always a special race, since I’ve won in Eilat/ ISR in 2011. The European Triathlon Championships are also special, because I get to spend some quality time with my mum and sometimes my dad and my brother, if it’s within a reasonable distance.

Racing abroad with Team GB is always a special experience and this year I am team captain for two age groups and I know there are always a lot of new people who are very nervous about their first big championship. So I thought, I would take you along on my pre-race week. So here we go, Day 1 and 2 at the ETU Triathlon Championships in Kitzbühel.

Day 1: Travel Day
Straight after the Brownlee Tri, I got picked up by my club mate, Michaela, and we headed over to Kent to stay the night at Tanya’s. From there we had an early start on Monday to catch the tunnel train, from where we headed to my parent’s house in the lovely Saarland for the night. The girls got an introduction to my region’s way of BBQing (Schwenker) and we had some time to relax.

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On Tuesday morning, the girls headed off early and I followed with my mum shortly after. The journey was uneventful and by early afternoon, we arrived in Brixen im Thale/ AUT, just a few miles outside Kitzbühel. My mum has booked us this amazing holiday apartment with the most amazing view at Appartement Annemarie.

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The rest of Tuesday, we wandered around Brixen, found a lovely place for dinner (and comparatively inexpensive) and then crashed tired into our beds.

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Day 2: Bike check and mountain tour
Today the first race prep started. I had an appointment to get my bike checked through to make sure there’s little opportunity for a mechanical. Because my bike looked the pits after 3 races, I gave her a quick before we went to Kitzbühel to see the Team GB mechanics.

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While my bike was checked, we went and had a look around Kitzbühel and explore the town a bit. Find registration and all the other important places. Kitzbühel has quite a nice pedestrian area enclosed within the city gates. The scenery around the town is magnificent, the mountains majestic. Bike checked, back to Brixen.

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Because the weather was nice, we decided to go walking for a bit and decided to visit the Filsalmsee, on top of the mountain just behind our house. Originally, we wanted to walk up, but because the afternoon had progressed quite late, we took the cable car and had a great aerial view of Brixen.

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The Filsalmsee has an experience playground where you can experience barefoot walking on different natural surfaces, including a moor walk way. We had a great time feeling young again, playing about, wading through the moor (interestingly, I’ve still got warm feet from it).

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The lake contains a giant’s statue. Legend has hit, he got banned to the depths of the lake because he wasn’t kind to nature. You can walk on a little stepper and make the giant rise from the depths and then see him sink in despair back down again. Can you tell, I’ve had a great time.

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The Filsalmsee is crystal clear and the view is simply breath taking. Hiking around Hochbrixen is well signposted and there are plenty of opportunities and options with great views around every corner.

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A few drinks with our friends Angela and Ray ended the evening. Tomorrow is when the circus really starts. Swim recce and Opening Ceremony at the ETU Triathlon Championship in Kitzbühel.

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