Just like any sport Triathlon has a lot of ups and down. You really do not know what will happen in a race. As professionals we prepare as best as we can for all kinds of situations, but at the end of the day a race is a race and anything can happen.
The first race I competed in this year was Oceanside 70.3. I was very anxious to start the season off on a good note. I raced well at Oceanside last year and had spent some time in California preparing for the race. It was a strong field of athletes and I was looking forward to testing myself.
As I prepared my transition area it was nice to catch up with a Trevor Wurtele who was raking his bike next to mine. As much as it is serious business out on the racecourse I am very good friends with some of my competition.
I lined up in a good position and was in contact with the leaders at about the half way mark of the swim. But eventually the group pulled away and I had to fend for my self for the rest of the swim. I entered transition about 1min and 40 second down from the leaders, which was about 20second faster than I had been last year.
The bike was very interesting. I could see the group up the road and tried desperately to work my way up to them. As the race went on the top cyclists like Sebastian Kienle and Lional Sanders went past me. I focused on riding my own pace and having a good run. But sadly as I rounded the last corner in the bike a photographer was on the course and took me out. That was the end of my day with the bike broken and I had lost too much time to continue.
For the next two weeks I had to get everything sorted out for the next race. I did my best to keep a positive attitude. My amazing, bike shop Caledon Hills Cycle had me back on a bike in three days. Once that was in place I just had to make sure my body was recovered and ready to race in New Orleans 70.3.
One week out from New Orleans I started to feel better. I was able to do a few fast run workouts and swim properly. I was ready to make a little come back.
The race at New Orleans was flat and windy they were registering wind up to 37kph on the course. This was going to change the day. In the swim the start was a mess since the gun went off as we were lining up. I put in a hard swim in some very choppy water but came up short off from where I had wanted to, about 2:30 down from the leader and in 9th place.
I quickly got into a grove on the bike it was an out and back course with a head wind the whole way out. I was able to push a higher power going out and work my way into 4th position. On the way back home I just put my head down and road with the wind getting up to 60kph on some sections. I did not see TJ Tollakson on the side of the road with a flat tire. So, as I entered into transition I thought I was still in 4th but in reality I had moved into 3rd.
I could see Matt Chrabot 2min up the road from me and new he was my target. I had no idea how far away Andrew Starykowicz was so I just focused on catching Chrabot. The run was an out and back as well but this time it was a tail wind going out and head wind as we returned to the finish line. I slowly brought back Chrabot one-step at a time and by the10km I had passed him. Starykowicz was about a mile ahead at the half way mark.
On the way back to the finish line and into the wind Chrabot clawed his way back to me and sat on my shoulder. I led the rest of the run just steps ahead of him thinking, this is going to come down to a sprint and I need to be prepared for it. We both were slowly gaining on Starykowicz but he had built up such a lead on the bike that he was out of our reach.
Kilometer after Kilometer went by and Chrabot was still there. As we came into the last Kilometer of the race it was show time, with about 800m to go I put in a massive surge and broke away from him. As I entered into the last few meters of the run Chrabot was nowhere to be seen I had dropped him and put just under a minute between us.
I am very happy with this result after the tough couple of weeks I was able to get the job done.