In an interview after the race, Emily said the media’s poor response to her silver medal the night before had put her off her game.
They talked about me entering the Transcon as if it was a thing I could do, and I was a person who could do it.
By the end of the evening I’d admitted I wanted to enter, and by the end of the month, I had.
The Transcontinental is a voyage into the unknown every year – which is precisely why I love it.
But I’ve begun to wonder whether this might be precisely what’s putting off other women from entering.
The lack of a roof on the Commonwealth Games stadium may have cost Emily Seebohm a gold medal in the 100m backstroke final, but the 25-year-old swimming champ is blaming the Australian media for her third-place result in another swim last night.
The swimmer, who has won five Commonwealth Games gold medals in her career, was the favourite going into the 200m backstroke final after winning the 2017 world championships in the event, but placed third behind Canadian duo Kylie Masse and Taylor Ruck.
I’ve been puzzling for a while over why more women don’t enter these very long races – and the Transcon tends to have an even smaller female field than events like the Trans Am (which had three women finish in the top ten this year), and the Tour Divide.
I still don’t quite understand why, because to my mind the Transcontinental is the very best of all the races – it passes through more different landscapes and cultures than any other, and what’s more the checkpoints change every year, making it effectively a brand new race.
There will never be an ultimate course record to beat (and records very quickly get boring, being as they are just an incrementally receding set of digits).
And no matter how often you enter, the race will be a new challenge every year, with different mountains, different gravel, different headwinds and frustrations and detours, different demands on your body and mind and resources, and different adventures waiting to happen.
(And here I am now.) And ever since then I’ve been on a mission to convince other women to join me.