Searing heat at altitude ends Featonby’s run

JESSE Featonby may have learnt more through failure than victory in the past month.

Now ranked inside the top 45 triathletes on the globe, Featonby travelled to China for a race at altitude near the start of the Great Wall.

It was off the back of two recent wins and a podium that would almost guarantee him Australian team support at ITU events next year.

But at 1600 metres above sea level (think Falls Creek) and in 35-degree heat, Featonby has admitted he was under- prepared.

The Wodonga Primary School teaching assistant hit the wall while in the leading group in the final lap of the run leg.

“In an instant, my breathing and heart rate went through the roof, my lungs felt like they had elastic bands around them, my head felt like it was exploding from the heat and no matter how fast I turned my legs over they weren’t able to keep up with the leaders” Featonby said.

“The next three kilometres wasn’t pretty, my guts that had been troubling me before the start, I couldn’t hold in the contents of my stomach, and the harder I seemed to try, the slower I seemed to be going.

“One by one I was being passed and I came across the line 12th, only 30 seconds behind third place and my goal.

“After immersing in an ice bath for about 20 minutes I finally cooled down and got my breath back.

“Racing at altitude was tougher then I had anticipated, and while I love racing in the heat, coming from single figure maximum temps is not the best way to acclimatise.”