Wednesday, September 9, 2015

From Timberman 70.3 to Zell Am See 70.3 Worlds

The last few weeks have been filled with races. On Aug 16 I raced in New Hampture Timberman 70.3. I had just finished a five-week block of training, and I was very excited to get back into racing. It was a hot and foggy morning. The water was warm enough for it to be a wetsuit free swim.

I missed the main group in the swim and ended up swimming solo for most of it. Once I got onto the bike, I knew my work was cut out for me. I was able to catch a few people before Trevor Wurtele rocketed past. I thought to myself, “I can ride at the same speed as Trevor, what are you doing?” I slotted in behind him and went to work keeping him in my sight. By the end of the bike, I had moved up to 8th place and had caught up with Leon Griffon.

Trevor pushed the pace early in the run and opened up a gap that I could not close down. All the while, Leon was hot on my heels. For 10km this did not change, and I  passed enough people to put myself in 5th place. At 12km, Leon pasted me and I held on to 6th place for dear life. I ended up finishing in 6th, a good day but not a great one. I learned a few more things about racing on that day, especially during the swim. With these lessons in mind, I was excited and prepared to race in Austria for the 70.3 World Championships.

The two weeks in between Timberman and 70.3 Worlds I spent at home in Caledon. It was very nice to see my old teammates and my family before I flew out. I spent the two weeks recovering from the race but making sure I stayed sharp and ready to go.

I arrived in Austria six days before the race started, in order to adjust to the time change. I did not have much trouble getting into the groove. It was amazing to see the town embrace the World Championships. Every one was very friendly, and the place was buzzing with excitement.

I had a small hotel about 20 minutes away from the race site so I could get away from the excitement and focus on my own race. Leading up the race they interviewed most of the athletes for a television broadcast, which I was very excited to be a part of.

On race day I felt very good. My build up and taper had been done properly. I got to the site extra early so I could calm my mind before the day began. It was very surprising how relaxed I was going into warm up and standing on the start line. I could hardly believe that I was standing there with the best in the world as they counted us down to the start.

A canon sounded off and the race was underway. I started into the water fast and furious, and I was able to fight my way over to the left side and move up to the middle of the group. As we rounded the first corner in the swim, about 900m into the race, I could still see the leaders. The race was on. In the second half of the swim I hung on, making sure I did not lose the feet in front of me. When we finally got out of the water I was pleased to see that there were a lot of big names around me.

I grabbed my bike and started to exit the transition area when everything went wrong. I hit a bump and lost control of the bike, and as the bike fell I tripped over it. When I picked it up, the derailleur hanger was broken. The Ironman race crew responded very quickly, and if the mechanical problem could have been fixed, it would have been done in Tour du France style. There was nothing I could do, and the day was over.

But I will race again. I ended up cheering on my teammates Heathe Wurtele and Magali Tisseyre to their great performances. Once the bike is fixed I will be right back into racing. I plan to race Cozumel 70.3 on Sept 20. The season is far from over.

I took the day after the race to explore Austria. Heather and I took the gondola into the mountains and climbed to the very top. It was a beautiful view.

Huge thank you to: C3KineticoRoyal ContainersCaledon Hills CyclingSauconyNineteenAwake ChocolateCompressport, SMITH Optic, Vorgee, Polar and my parents.

Edited by Brendan Reid