What's new for the Derron Sisters?
The first two months of the year have flown by and it’s been a busy time for the three of us. The year started with exams for Michelle and Julie and by now we have received positive results for all of them.
Passed exams mean one thing for Michelle: She has now officially finished her Master of Law Degree. We are very happy and proud of this achievement.
(This picture is from when Michelle received her Bachelor's diploma, the Master Graduation Ceremony was cancelled due to Corona virus precautionary actions)
We also got to celebrate Julie being awarded Sportswoman of the year for our hometown the city of Zurich. A great night with family and friends. Although Julie received the award we know that it takes a whole family for success so it was great to celebrate all together.
The new year also brings some changes with it. Here’s the three biggest ones for each of us:
Nina: getting older and now earning her own money with her PhD position, Nina decided it was time to grow up and move out. Luckily for the family she found a flat only a few hundred meters from home so I am sure we will still see a lot of her :) Other than the big move it is business as usual for Nina. She is spending countless hours grinding it out on the turbo, swimming and running, always focused on the process and getting closer to her goals step by step.
Michelle: finishing her Master’s degree leads directly into the next phase of becoming a lawyer. In Switzerland you have to complete a year of working in a lawyer’s office. Michelle earned a position at a firm in our second home the mountains and will start working there. We will sure miss her and visit as often as we can.
On the active side of things Michelle made great progress from surgery on her broken elbow. What first started as one-arm swimming (where at times she almost overtook Nina and Julie), has now developed into two-arm swimming. The progress is steady, and it makes us all happy to have her back in full force soon.
Julie: with the goal of the Olympic games in Tokyo, Julie decided to go all in for her dream and deferred her studies for a semester. She is motivated to work hard to give herself the best chances of being selected onto the Swiss Team and racing in Tokyo. In February she spent three weeks in Stellenbosch training with the Swiss team and the Olympic part of the Trisutto squad. She also competed successfully in her first triathlon of the year: winning the Sprint African Cup in Maselsspoort at the beginning of February.
Although we will be going separate ways a bit more often this year, as always we are one team supporting each other in any way we can to be the best we can.
That’s it from the three of us, we will keep you up to date with race plans as soon as something is planned.
The Derron Sisters
Julie im Tagblatt
22.01.2020: Im letzten Dezember wurde ich mit dem Sportpreis der Stadt Zürich ausgezeichnet. Ich wurde von einer Jury für die Kategorie ''Einzelsport/ Teamsport'' nominiert und meine Wahl wurde schlussendlich vom Stadtrat bestätigt. Ich freue mich riesig über diese Auszeichnung!
Anschliessend schrieb das Tagblatt der Stadt Zürich einen kleinen Artikel über mich. Den vollen Text findet ihr hier oder unter folgendem Link:
Julie im Stadtzürcher Tagblatt (Ausgabe Nr. 3; Seite 17)
Nina: Mein "I believe in you"-Projekt
Liebe Freunde, liebe Bekannte und liebe Fans
Wie ihr vielleicht schon gesehen habt, habe ich über die Crowdfunding-Platform "I believe in you" ein Projekt online gestellt, um einen Teil der Kosten für die Vorbereitungen für die Ironman WM und die Reise nach Hawaii zu finanzieren.
Hier der Hintergrund des Projektes:
2018 wagte ich mich zum ersten Mal auf die Langdistanz, nämlich am Ironman Zürich. Von nun an hatte ich den Traum und das Ziel mich für die Ironman World Championships in Hawaii zu qualifizieren. Ich wusste, dass noch viel Arbeit vor mir liegt und vielleicht noch ein paar Jahre dauern könnte bis ich dieses Ziel erreiche. Dann die Überraschung!!! Am Ironman Vitoria-Gasteiz in Spanien, meinem dritten Ironman, wurde ich Zweite und konnte mich bereits dieses Jahr für die WM in Hawaii im Oktober 2019 qualifizieren. Ich konnte es kaum fassen und bin überglücklich. Ich werde also wirklich im Oktober in Hawaii gegen die besten 40 Frauen in diesem Sport antreten.
Um mich optimal für die WM vorzubereiten, werde ich zusammen mit anderen Athleten des Trisutto Pro Squad circa drei Wochen vor dem Rennen für ein sogenanntes «Heat Camp» nach Maui reisen. Diese Vorbereitungen und die Reise nach Hawaii werden mich nicht nur körperlich und mental enorm herausfordern, sondern auch finanziell. Deshalb brauche ich nun Eure Unterstützung. Die Kosten setzen sich wie folgt zusammen:
Vorbereitung im «Heat Camp» in Maui:
Ironman WM Hawaii:
Total: 5000.- CHF
Hier geht’s auf direktem Weg zu meinem Projekt:
Ich würde mich sehr freuen, wenn Ihr einen Teil meines Projektes werden und mich auf meinem Weg nach Hawaii unterstützen würdet. Ausserdem möchte ich Euch bitten, mein Projekt weiterzuempfehlen - ganz egal ob persönlich, auf Facebook, Instagram oder allen anderen Kanälen.
Besten Dank und viele Grüsse
Artikel Zytturm Triathlon
11.06.2019: So richtig mit dem Triathlon haben wir begonnen, als wir 2009 dem Checkpoint Zugerland beigetreten sind. Im Checkpoint haben wir alle nötigen Fähigkeiten und Tricks rund um den Traithlon gelernt. Deshalb ist der Zytturm Triathlon Zug auch eine Herzensangelegenheit für uns. Am 15./26. Juni findet derdiesjährige Event statt. Von unserer Seite stehen Nina und Michelle am Samstag Nachmittag beim Doppelsprint der Profis im Einsatz. Wir freuen uns zudem sehr, dieses Jahr ein Interview über uns in der Beilage der Zuger Zeitung zu finden.
Viel Spass beim lesen und wir hoffen auch Ihr seid am Zytturm mit dabei!
Michelle: International Triathlon de Portocolom // First Race of the Spirit Tri Series
On Sunday I got to race my first Long(ish) Distance Triathlon in a very long time and was super happy and even more exhausted to cross the finish line after 4+ hours. But from the start..
The trip started on Thursday afternoon when Nina and I boarded our flight after a hectic morning with training and work. While taking off we prayed for our bikes to arrive in one piece and were happy to just sleep for the next 90min in the air. Once in Mallorca, we did the rookie mistake of waiting for our bikes by the bulky items belt for at least 30min before realising that as Switzerland is not in the EU (neutral remark here, let’s not get into the political debate..) our bikes were to arrive in a separate hall. Once figured out we got the bikes and were kindly driven to Portocolom by the Team Manager of Team Tripep, another of the Spirit Series Teams.
Once arrived, we were able to get to dinner just before it closed, then built the bikes and went to sleep.
On Friday, we rode a little part of the course including the scenic 5klm climb up Sant Salvador before heading for the press conference and photo shoot for the Spirit Tri Series where we got our Home of Triathlon Team race suits from Scatta and got to catch up with members of the other teams. Leaving all Uni stuff at home it was time for a little walk or swim and a trip to a coffee shop (the coffee was rather bad, so no recommendation here) afterwards. Dinner time rolled around and there was one long table of athletes from different teams having a nice time together, another special thing about the Spirit Tri Series.
Saturday started out with the standard (just had a chuckle at the word ‘standard’ cause for me there is nothing standard about being able to race and I was just trying to bluff it) pre-race run and ride. Afterwards, Nina, Robert (our male team mate) and I headed to the race venue to hand out medals at the Kids Duathlon. Arriving there we were all amazed by how well these kids were kitted out, most of them were in Tri suits with there names on, some wore the newest sunglasses and we even saw compression socks and aero helmets with visors (for a 5klm bike ride). But in the end, they were all just kids enjoying their day being active and the friendly competition and that was great to see! Nina and I partly failed the winner of one race when we weren’t able to open the confetti spray in time for his arrival.. oh well.
After the event we went to the swimming pool for the – wait for it – standard pre-race swim. Having read the race preview for our team on the way to the pool I was fired up and slightly stressed about the sentence that I was there to start the race off with winning the swim section. Trying to reassure myself I blasted out the pre-race swim and was actually going quite alright but still wasn’t sure if that was a good or bad thing.. good rehearsal, bad show and all that..
Anyways, back at the hotel it was packing the race gear and unwinding a little before checking in the bikes and heading for dinner. Then calling it an early night soon.
Race morning started with a (for race day) humane wake up at 5:45am. After brekkie, Nina and I walked the 1.5klm to the race start. On the walk the nerves really kicked in and I was glad to have a big sister there to tell me “keep calm and focus on the task at hand”. The next hour and a bit passed in a blur and suddenly it was time to enter the water for our start.
Jumping into 14° C cold water was a shock that I didn’t really register focusing on getting to the start line and finding a good position. The gun went off and I started swimming, feeling rather well. There was a lot of pushing and shoving in the beginning until Céline (Schärer) put a little surge in before the first buoy. I knew this was the moment so I sprinted across and from there on it was the two of us trying to navigate our way back to the exit between buoys, ships and age group men. We got completely lost at some point but were still able to exit with about 30sec on the other girls. Into transition and a surprisingly smooth change saw me exit first. I hopped on the bike and started pedalling, trying to settle into a rhythm.
After about 4klm Emma (Bilham, the eventual race winner) flew past and I tried my hardest to hang with her, looking back I saw that Nina was also there just behind me. After a couple of klms I realized that I was in danger of dropping off in a climb so I waved Nina past and slotted into 3rdstill focusing on keeping up as long as possible. Turns out that wasn’t for much longer: After about 12klm and a short downhill and rather steep and short uphill saw me unable to respond when the other two danced up the hill. I had lost them and hated myself for it in the first moment, I tried to regain my composure and told myself to “hang with the next girl coming past”. Ironically, Chantal (Cummings, of ETE Racing, finishing 3rdin the end) passed me mere seconds later and I was still too deep in the hurt box to hang onto her. Becoming angry at myself, I told myself: “Stop the pity party, have a piece of chocolate and go as hard as you can!” The chocolate tasted awful but the talking to helped and I was riding hard in fourth place till I got passed again just before the top of Sant Salvador on lap 1. Being very cold and foggy on the hill, I had lost feeling in my fingers and wasn’t sure if I was actually braking or not when going downhill. Sending a little prayer to the church handily placed mid-way up the hill I made it back down in one piece.
Arriving at the turn to go for lap 2 I was cooked and not sure how to ride another 50klm of hills and head wind. Lap 2 was very lonely and I felt like the only person on the island but I made it back to T2 and was actually riding better than I had expected when I started off lap 2 (still very far off from the top girls though, so there is much work still to be done!). Heading out onto the run I simultaneously almost threw up at the smell of the already cooking post-race seafood paella and almost cramped because I hadn’t drank nearly enough on the bike.
Passing Coach yelling at me to not go slower, I had to stop 50m later for a pee break (who does that on a 10klm run ?!?). Anyways, it helped and I was actually starting to feel like I was running. The run course took me by surprise though having assumed that it would be flat based on the fact that it was along the coast. Thought wrong, there was quite some up and down. Running scared of all the girls I had down as stronger runners than I, I actually put in a solid run (despite it feeling very slow) and coach yelled at me on lap 2 that it was the first time in 4 years he saw me move along on the run. So I guess on that day the saying “you don’t have to feel good to go fast(ish)” was true for me. Passing one girl 100m before the finish without realizing it I was happy to finish 7thfeeling like I had given it all before collapsing at the finish line and lying there like a stranded fish gulping for air.
Unfortunately the day’s work wasn’t over then.. After the podium presentation where Nina flew the colours high in 2ndplace for both the Derron Sisters and the Home of Triathlon Team it was back to the hotel to pack our bikes, swim off a little bit in the freezing cold hotel pool and then head to the airport. A thank you is due here to Flora and Sarah for kindly storing our things on race day and to Federica for the much needed shower post race. Thank you, girls!
Sunday night by midnight we were back home and straight to bed after an exhausting but amazing race weekend and experience being part of the first Spirit Tri Series Race.
Now I am already looking forward to the next race of the Spirit Tri Series on 30 June in Chiemsee, Germany.
But first, happy Easter everyone!