My front wheel dropped into the pothole, I instictively gripped harder onto my aero bars as my back wheel lifted into the air. As the front end dropped away, the right side of my handlebars smashed into the pavement and slid along the road. My elbows were first to make contact, just before my right hip and ankle smacked the ground. Finally my head flung back and hit (thank god for helmets) and then Shivy somehow flipped back over and landed on me giving me one massive cork in my left quad. I was in pain. Usually it doesn't really hurt when I crash while the adrenaline's pumping like in a race but this one hurt me in a few places. The cork in my quad made my leg collapse when I tried to stand. I felt like I’d broken my ankle. My forearm was dead and useless for a little while and I had a splitting headache. It seemed like I was down for a little while before I could get my senses and check over my body making sure everything was still attached. Once I could focus I climbed back on my bike. If the guys that helped me get back on are reading this - thank you so much. Before I was even ready my bike was back up standing, my bottles were back in and it was all ready to go.
I racked my bike back in T2 in 4th place and the pains through my body didn't seem as bad as an hour ago. I just had a killer headache still. Soon after I started running, my head pain went away (maybe as other pains started to move their way up the priority list in my brain). I got some confidence and thought maybe I can get through this. I moved into 3rd after a few km’s and 2nd was only about 2minutes ahead. I got to about 6km when my body started playing up. It started with stabbing pains in my right glut med, then progressed to shooting pain across my sacrum. It didn't take long for the pain to started radiating down my right leg. At this point it was painful but I could still run. It was when the pain changed to weakness that things became very difficult, my ankle had gone weak, and it felt like it was going to give way with each step. I tried doing running drills, high knees, butt kicks, quick feet to try 'wake things up' again. It was kind of helping. I looked like an idot but I was moving forward. If I could just get back to transition I thought, maybe I can get one of the medical staff to manipulate my back, trigger point my glut med, something, anything.
An hour later I was laying in the medical tent getting some treatment on my hip when I started to get really drowsy. I mentioned it and the sore head when asked and before I knew it I was in a neck brace staring at the cieling of the ambulance. I spent the next few hours at the Auckland hospital. I was released back out to the fresh air again at 3:30 in the afternoon, back to the hotel, got cleaned up, went to the awards ceremony, then had dinner because I was starving! So that’s how my race went down (so to speak)!
I’d really like to thank everyone who helped me out throughout my race. Unfortunatley I didn't make it to the finish, as much as I tried, the body was shutting-up-shop piece by piece. In a day like this it really shows as competitors, just how much we are all in this together. And how much others (while still competing themselves) are willing to lend a helping hand however they can to fellow competitor in distress. For this I'm so grateful to all those who helped along the way. Firstly the guys that helped me get back on my bike (and they eventually put out a cone at the pothole after a couple others crashed after me). Then there were all the friendly and generous participants who offered me salt tablets thinking I was cramping. The competitors that stopped to walk with me. Andrew and his mates for trying to get me some medical attention. And then the medical staff and the ambulance crew that helped me at the end. Tim from Compressport who picked me up from the hospital. And thank you Liz Blatchford for patching up the wounds all over my body the following day. Also, I’d like to send out a special thanks to the ‘Dream Team’, A youth tri squad in Georgia who made up this small 'get well Mel' clip (below) within minutes of hearing I was lying in hospital! These guys rock!