Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Victory in Victoria!

Victoria was the second race of my three-race series in June. After a disappointing flat in Raleigh one week before, I was very fired up to get back out there and prove myself.

I hopped a flight straight from Raleigh and arrived in Victoria one week before the race. This was the first time I had tried racing on back-to-back weekends. It seemed to work well, thanks to a very helpful homestay.

In the week leading up to the race, I was able to learn a new skill. I learned how to drive a standard vehicle. It made for a very interesting week. But as I have learned over the year, part of being a professional triathlete is being able to go with the flow and get the job done no matter what happens. I was invited to sit on the pro panel and to be part of the kids’ run again with my good friends Trevor and Heather Wurtele.

On race day, I was ready to go, acclimatized to the time zone and area. The race was insanely early even for Ironman: a 6:00 am start. But luckily the time zone change was in my favour. After a 3 am wake-up and my morning routine, I was race ready. It looked like it was going to be a cool day, starting at 10°C and getting up to 14°C. I chose to put a plastic bag under my race suit to stay warm on the bike.  The swim had been shorted to about 1500m. The swim went of as usual. I chose to start on the right side is the sallower water and jockeyed for position early on. By about 400m the race had strung out with a group of two-three people up a head and myself in a small three man group following. I exited the water about 1min down from the leader and was ready for some redemption on the bike after last weeks flat tire.

As I was taking my bike off the rack Trevor Wurtele arrived at his bike. I knew I had about 10 seconds on my main competition of the day. At the start of the bike there was a little jockeying as we settled into our own race paces. I quickly moved myself in the lead of the race by 10km. I then started to settle into a grove preparing myself for when Trevor would arrive. By 20km Trevor arrived as he went by I new that I had to stay with him if I wanted any chance of winning. For the next 40km not much changed. Trevor led and tried a few surges but he could not get away. I stayed in second responding to Trevor’s moves and Nathan Killam sat in third.

 At 60km I chose to take control of the race and put in my own attack. Trevor could not respond and gap started to form. The hunter soon became the hunted! At 70km I put in another big pushed up the largest hill on the course about 2km. I entered into T2 with in first place. I had never had this happen--it was very interesting to be following the lead car. 

As I dismounted my bike, I slipped on my shoe and hit the deck. Luckily I was only going 10-5kph so I was able to bounce back quickly and continue the race unharmed. (The bike is fine too.)

I headed out onto the two loop run around the lake on the gravel trails with a 90 sec on second place. I pushed the first loop and as I ran through the woods all I could think was Trevor is out there don’t you dare slow down. By the half way mark I had extended my lead to 2min but then Trevor start to chew into that nice lead of mine. At the 19km I got a glimpse of how close Trevor really was at a short out and back section and that really did scare me. All I could think is you have come this far don’t you dare let it go, fight for it. In those last 2km I really had to dig deep. In the end that is really what makes a win worth it, having a serious competitor that pushes you to new levels and Trevor did that. I crossed the line in 1st place. It was such an amazing feeling with the crowds there watching.

I am heading back to Caledon the for the next two weeks to prepare for Mt. Tremblant 70.3.

Thank you too:

Royal Containers  

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