Aileen Reid returns to the scene of her Olympic disappointment tomorrow as she looks to exorcise a few demons with the Hyde Park course in London in the World Series Triathlon Grand Final.
In two previous competitions, including last year’s Olympics, Reid has crashed during the 40km cycle and in the case of London 2012 that scuppered any hopes of a top-20 finish.
She finished bravely, in 43rd place, with blood dripping from a wound on her arm.
In a World Series event in 2009, Reid was unable to complete the course after taking a heavy fall and two years later could only manage 18th place.
After a consistent season on the world circuit Reid is 11th in the current WTU standings and a strong finish this weekend would see her into the top ten, completing another successful year following her decision to move to Australia at the beginning of 2013 to train with coach Darren Smith.
She also wants to put behind her the sad finish to last years Grand Final when illness forced her to withdraw during the race in Auckland.
“My preparations for the Grand Final have been going well. I have been training at altitude in Morzine, France with my training group. Last month I finished on the podium in a World Cup in Hungry, and two weeks later had a solid race finishing 9th in the penultimate round of the World Series in Stockholm,” said Reid.
“With a healthy and consistent round of top 20 finishes in all seven races so far, the year has been a successful lesson in ‘how to race like an elite athlete.’ In the past I’ve had ups and downs, but I’m really happy to have ironed out a few of my issues and learned a lot from my new coach and training group.”
She added, “My family and some friends will be there in London to watch, and I hope to put right my dreadful past experiences with the London course, with two crashes (including in the Olympic race) and another below par performance.”
With the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next year as a target for Reid, her level of performance this year is encouraging to say the least.
This weekend the goal will be to stay upright on the bike and as she points out, “This year, as it’s the Grand Final I hope to cement my top ten status. If I can do the things that matter correctly, the finish position should take care of itself.”