Erica Hawley proud of personal perseverance in challenging World Triathlon Cup outing
Erica Hawley took pride in her own resilience after battling to a second successive top-15 finish in the space of a week in South Korea, at the World Triathlon Cup Tongyeongn.
Fresh from a superb finish of thirteenth in Haeundae seven days previously, the 23-year-old backed up her career breakthrough performance with an impressive fourteenth-place finish. Completing the sprint distance of 750 metres swim, 20 kilometres bike and 5km run in 59min 51sec, she crossed the line a little more than 90 seconds adrift of race winner Beth Potter.
While Hawley was delighted with another encouraging placing, it was the manner in which she persevered in challenging circumstances that ultimately gave her the greatest sense of satisfaction.
“I was ecstatic to end up with another top-15 finish,” she said. “Overall the race was pretty bad for me so I’m happy that I could still fight to the end and still achieve a good result.
“I had a pretty shocking swim and came out the water far back from the leaders and even from the main chase pack.
“The chasers were about 20 to 30 seconds in front of me and I knew that I needed to put in a big effort on the bike in order to have a shot of being in the mix for the race. I was able to catch on within a few kilometres but my legs were already hurting.
“The bike course itself was challenging with some steep hills. Our main chase group worked quite well together but we started the run about a minute back from the leaders.
“As soon as I started the run I knew it was going to hurt. My legs were pretty shot from a few hard efforts on the bike and I unfortunately had a side stitch for the entirety of the run. The run itself was also hilly, it was almost as hard running down as going up.
“Even though I felt pretty bad on the run, I was still really happy that I could run a 18:09 and was not far off from the faster runs in my pack.
“This was one of the most challenging races I’ve done in terms of the course and on how I was feeling so to come away with a back to back top 15 was something I’m proud of.”
Having successfully achieved her aspirations of strong performances in the Far East, Hawley is relishing a well-earned short break from racing before shifting her attentions to building on the momentum of the past week into the end of the year and throughout the 2022 World Triathlon season.
“I’m now looking forward to a couple weeks off and recharging before approaching the winter season,” she added.
“Ultimately, I wanted to have a couple of good races in South Korea regardless of the outcome. I feel like I accomplished that, although naturally I’m always wanting more. I am already keen to start analysing the next year and start training for the 2022 season.”