Emma Pallant-Browne admits she will be “rolling the dice” when she goes into action at IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside this weekend.
The 32-year-old British star had an excellent summer punctuated by a string of victories, but admits that Saturday’s trip to California might be pushing her powers right to the limit.
Speaking on the MX Endurance Podcast, she said: “I’ve got Oceanside 70.3 this weekend, which might even be one race too many, I feel like I am rolling the dice. I’m all booked, I’m here, I am waiting it out, I am just going to give it everything and then call it a season and go back to South Africa.”
Emma on L.A. success
Emma is coming off a victory in the Herbalife24 Triathlon Los Angeles last weekend, which came on the back of an interrupted preparation.
“It was a really weird race because I had crashed two weeks before,” she said.
“I had a bike crash in a race and I felt really unprepared, I’d had days off and a couple of people thought I shouldn’t have come out to race. I was like ‘no, it’s already booked up, it’s one of my last two, I can do this’, and felt a little bit more pressure – I felt like I had to pull it out the bag.
“I think its also that thing of, like before the World 70.3s I felt super-prepared and I was really pumped up for the race and this one I kind of felt nervous because I didn’t feel prepared and I think it just goes to show you can’t really predict on the start line how you are going to do.
“The swim was a little bit rough, it took me a couple of attempts to get out of the waves, then it was an okay chop, just a little bit chilly – my feet didn’t actually warm up on the bike, it was a cold day in general.
“I was a couple minutes down after the swim but I biked through, then Heather Jackson came flying past me – the road had loads and loads of bumps, I don’t know how Heather stayed on her handlebars – it must be her gravel experience.
“Came into transition just behind Heather, my feet were really cold so I couldn’t get on my shoes and I think she gapped me by 45 seconds in transition. Then on the run I felt pretty good, in control.”
A year of change
It’s been a year of change for Pallant-Browne, including a new coach in Tim Don and a new bike sponsor.
“It’s been a bit of a trial of a year because I started with a new coach, Tim Don, at the very beginning of the year and everything changed, started with a new bike sponsor with Specialized, and to begin with I was just getting used to things – I had to put a lot of trust because there was so many big changes.”
Victory over Taylor Knibb at IRONMAN 70.3 Boulder in August was, Emma believes, the peak of a gruelling season.
“Early in the season I could see the results were paying off, I think I gained confidence and momentum throughout the year. I think I peaked at Boulder, because doing a lot of travel from South Africa to America isn’t the easiest and then I had a really good settled period in one place before Boulder and I did my preparation there, felt really good.
“Then got a little bit sick after – I think you are always treading that red line of travelling, but who isn’t going to do the Collins Cup? And then travelling to the Worlds, it was a busy season – I just had so much fun with the races, doing new ones as well I think every race I have done this year I hadn’t done before this year.”
Collins Cup a great experience
One of Emma’s victories came at the inaugural Collins Cup in Samorin in August, and it was an experience she thoroughly enjoyed.
“I think it was really cool, the Europe team, I feel like we bonded a bit, and just super-cool girls who can be your rivals but also can be your friends and I think it’s going to do a lot for the sport – I enjoyed it.”
The new investment in elite triathlon – notably from the likes of the PTO and Super League Triathlon, is giving the sport a real boost and Emma says it is exciting to be a part of an era of change.
“It’s so exciting, I’m actually about to announce in a few weeks another race, a brand new race that we are going to do which is another element of triathlon – a kind of light-hearted fun thing – so stay tuned for that, it’s coming very very soon.
“It’s something that I think has popped up, having all these new things like Super League and the Sub7 Sub8 stuff – all these different ways of making triathlon watchable and so interesting.
“More and more things are popping up and I think it can only be good for the sport. I think we are going to get more and more of it – like a snowball effect.”