Black and Blue – You should see the other guy!

I would prefer to be writing a blog about a great race I just had, where I won the swim by minutes, built my lead on the bike and held on for the win in the run. But unfortunately luck isn’t on my side at the moment and a friend asked me yesterday if I had done something to really annoy the triathlon gods.


I was in a pretty bad crash and I have had so many texts, emails, calls, tweets and facebook messages (so overwhelming, thank you!) wishing me a speedy recovery and asking for details, so here they are:
I have been in Boulder for 3 weeks now and absolutely love it. The weather, the facilities and most importantly the people around me make it an ideal training base. All it needs is Bondi Beach and a few less angry drivers and then it would be perfect (and a direct flight from both Auckland and Sydney would be great too so my friends and family could visit!). I am over the injuries of the past and have been training so well and looking forward to racing.


Wednesday long ride and we were aiming for around 5+ hours. A good group of us rode up to Estes Park (Liz, T.O, Rinny, Crowie, Callum, Greg Bennett, Josh, Matt and a few others). The descent down from Estes Park is a long and fast one. We were probably clocking around 65+ km/hr. At about half way I decided to back off a bit and not ride too close to the others as we descended, so that it was safer (irony).


It all happened very fast. I was well in the shoulder when I saw a vehicle swerve in before turning a bend, narrowly missing me. Unfortunately attached to the back of the vehicle was a blue trailer that was swinging side to side probably due to the speed the driver was going at. The trailer whacked into me and the vehicle continued on the descent. I don’t know exactly how I fell but the damage to me and my bike suggests that I did a bit of a flip to make sure all sides of my body received good impact with the road. I’m hypermobile so it seems I bent in every direction to distribute out the damage well.


I was extremely lucky that 1) the trailer didn’t send me over the cliff edge and 2) there wasn’t a car directly behind to run me over. First reaction was to get myself off the road and I also dragged my bike to the shoulder and lay there hoping someone would stop. Next I checked my garmin and was happy to see I could still put 120km in the training diary. While not the planned 150km, it was still a good ride.


A few minutes later (about 10 cars later) a kind man, John, stopped to pick me up. He was very sweet and tried to give me a small band aid but I think I needed a lot more than a band aid! We managed to find the others to let them know what had happened. I kind of went into process mode. I asked John to drop me home as I didn’t want to take my bike to the hospital and I also wanted to get out of the torn lycra that was sticking to me and to get a protein bar in me. I then sent my friends Morgan and James a text message saying “I have been in a hit and run would you be able to please take me to the hospital”.


Sore head, lots of skin off, crying and bloody and the lady at admissions asked me to please wait in the reception area. It was a long day.


I have come out relatively unscathed given the severity and speed of the crash. I have a fracture in my hand and am now wearing a fashionable blue waterproof cast for 4-6 weeks. I have a fracture in my back (in a non weight bearing area). Both will heal with not much time at all. Both sides of my body have some impressive and fairly deep wounds, which are bruising nicely now.  The most painful thing is the deep wound pushing on my hip bone making breathing sore and uncomfortable. The back aches also. Today is day two and the pain is close to unbearable today. I’m trying my best not to take the heavy painkillers as I kind of feel like I have earnt a glass or two of red wine tonight.


It could honestly be so much worse off so I am lucky.


I am overwhelmed by the support I have received from friends and family. Morgan, James and the Hincapie Sportswear family thank you. Liz and Glen you make the best get well cookies (Bella, seriously good recipe!!)!. Neri, Craig’s wife was a saint in explaining my injuries to me and doing my dressings (I get queezy with blood). The messages and offers of help from Rinny, Leanda, Jo and so many others is so nice. My ability to text at fast speeds is now severely hampered and James who is living with me may have to learn how to tie my hair into a pony tail.


Oh and the bike – Handle bars were pointing towards the ground, Cobb saddle is torn and pointing towards the sky. The carbon on the frame has a big crack and is rather bendy now. So the bike has seen its last ride. Louis Garneau helmet – cracked. My favorite Hincapie Sportswear custom kit – shredded, Hincapie bottles – at the bottom of a cliff somewhere. On Tuesday night before the ride I received my new QR bike so that is in the shop now getting built.  I’ll be back on the new saddle in no time! I was hoping to do the Rev3 races in August, but I may have to push out my next race until September – aiming for Augusta 70.3 and Anderson Rev3 now.




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