It was my second World Championship race in six days on Canadian soil and at Ironman 70.3 Worlds in, I came away with so many positive experiences and learning moments, that it’s tough to remember that I actually raced. Decently, at that. After a few days in Banff with my parents post ITU Worlds, I flew across country with my bike, rented a van and drove two hours to the beautiful town of Mont Tremblant, adding another notch to the “race travel experience” belt. Once there, I stayed at the Every Man Jack team house, which was not only convenient but made what would have been a solo race trip much more fun. not even a full week after my last championship race, I entered the race with one mantra, “all-day,” to emphasize hard, consistent effort.
The Swim: 30:44 Because my wave was so late, I got a really good warmup in and hit the swim with a “swim my race” attitude. That is to say, I tried to find clean water and not get caught up in the madness early. I eventually found rhythm and a group to swim with and posted a respectable, but not amazing swim split.
Transition 1: I was especially cognizant of being cold out of the water after ITU Worlds (I go into depth on that experience on that report). So I ran quickly to the change tent and grabbed my gear bag and ran with it as I put on arm warmers and my helmet.
The Bike: 2:22:19 I started strong and steady on this course with plenty of rolling hills. “All-day” was my mantra as I cranked out consistently strong watts. I was quite disheartened to see the wild amount of drafting coming at me the opposite way. Entire packs of athletes from earlier waves riding like a Saturday hammerfest group ride. Not cool. Not legal. Not a thing I could do about it, except try to ride even better. But my mantra became, “all day…?” As the watts started to trail in the last 10 miles of the bike. I was ready to start running.
The Run: 1:21:04 As usual, it was time to impact the race with the run. I felt like I was running on air on the first loop, which was really set up well for strong runners with false flats to power through. At the end of the loop (which was run 2x) was the madness of the ski village. The grade is almost comical and the cobble stones are rough. Equally as crazy as the road was the crowd – almost on top of you on either side of the street cheering like it’s a Tour de France climb. Truly special. Like the bike, I started to trail off my pace with 5K left and I knew I was in trouble when I couldn’t hang with the first guy to pass me for more than a mile of that 5k. As I hit the village the second and last time, my quads completely seized up and I began hobble-walking up the steep hill. Brian August came up behind me and got me running again with some words of encouragement and maybe a shove. We ran up together and slammed the ridiculous winding downhill. I don’t know how my legs didn’t lock up to the point of no return on that fast down, but I hit the chute for the final stretch with a couple of other athletes. One guy actually put his arm out and prevented me from crossing the line before him. Classy dude! I guess he really wanted 38th place…
The Result: 4:20:47 This result wasn’t particularly outstanding and neither was my rank. But I did my best, in the best 70.3 field in the world 6 days after doing the same at ITU Standard Worlds. I’m happy with the effort and with the experience.
Thanks: To family, friends and training buddies at M2. Big shout out and thanks to Team Every Man Jack. Had I not stayed with you guys, this race wouldn’t have happened for me. One race left, some familiar stomping grounds in Vegas at Silverman 70.3!