Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Austin 70.3

Ironman 70.3 Austin, was the last race of the season and it was not an easy one to get my head around. In the weeks leading up the race I was feeling very tried and ready to end the season, but I had committed to this race.  My coach Paulo Sousa had my back, making sure I stayed focused on the last race of the year. The last thing we wanted was to perform poorly, I was going there to get the job done. It is interesting to think of Triathlon in this way. I love the sport and live every day to become the best I can, but at the same time this is my job/living right now and sometime it feels just like that, a job.

I had planned to fly to Austin on Wednesday but my flight was canceled due to a shooter near the airport. By chance, flight paths were within range of the shooter so the airport was locked-down for 24 hours. All I could think was ‘this is America’. I was able to get on to a flight out on Thursday, still giving me plenty of time. When I arrived in Austin my home stay Jenn and Jeff met me at the airport. They were fabulous and helped me to and from the race site. It worked perfectly since Jeff was racing as well.

The morning of the race was cold and windy. The water temperature (19 C) was warmer than the air, which made it wetsuit legal. At 7:00am the pro men went off. It was a rather choppy swim and I just missed the main group. I came out of the water 11th of 28, a little down from where I wanted to be, so my next task was to I focus on chasing down some people on the bike.

The bike course was rather rough.  Austin had recently experienced flooding, and some of the roads were washed out.  You had to keep your head up and watch were you where going. I was able to bring back a few riders over the first 30km and as an added wrinkle, also needed to avoid multiple dog chases. There were a few close calls with some big and fury animals as we rode through the rural back-country of Texas. I caught up to the main group at about 40km and just rode through them. The course was rolling hills and I was testing out a new sponsored set of wheels from Alto Velo. By the end of the ride I had the 4th fastest bike and I came into transition in 4th place, about 8 minutes down from the leader and 4 minutes from third. This was going to be a real chase to make it onto the podium.

The run was a three-loop “hammer-fest” with a strong wind and hills to boot. I was able to stay relaxed on the first loop and cut 3rd place’s lead down to 1:20. By the end of the second loop I was able to overtake 3rd place and was in a world of suffering. All I could think was, ‘this is your last race don’t you dare back off, everything or nothing.’ By 20km I was surprised that I was still moving forward, but I was close enough to taste the finish and I was running on pure adrenaline. I ran into the stadium to clam 3rd place behind Sam Appilton and Andy Staycwitz. I was very happy to wrap up the season with a podium finish.  I look forward now to some rest and can begin planning for next year.
This season has been incredible. I accomplished almost all that I wanted to do and I have learned so much. Highlights of the year were my two first place finishes, at Ironman Silverman 70.3 and Challenge St Andrews 70.3, a second at Ironman Mt Tremblant 70.3 and third place last weekend, Ironman Austin 70.3. As well, I fulfilled my goal of qualifying for the 70.3 World championships in my first year as a 70.3 professional. I have started an awareness campaign about dyslexia and I look forward to continuing that work in the off-season and next year. I will be setting my goals even higher.

I could not have completed this year without he support of the Triathlon Squad, C3KineticoRoyal ContainersCaledon Hills CyclingSauconyNineteen, Compressport, SMITH Optic, Vorgee, Polar, Riplaces, Awake Chocolate  and my parents.


  1. I guess the beef jerky didn't quite cut it for the steak? Enjoy the Holidays! Looking forward to next year