Race Report – Best of the US, Olympic Triathlon, St Paul, MN
As an invitational only race I knew this would be certainly the toughest race of the year so far. In Triathlon you often race against your ‘age group’ however this was a flat out race against the best amateur triathletes in the USA. Current and former national champions, triathlete of the year, long course national champion…this race had them. It was a small but incredibly stacked field. My biggest fear…making a complete embarrassment of myself, letting down everyone who has supported me in getting here. As a relatively last minute race, my coach Jeremy Wallace wasnt sure it was the best decision to go – I had just come away from racing 4 out of 5 weekends in May including a half ironman (2nd), state TT championship (1st), Devlees Road Race (2nd) and Sand hollow sprint triathlon (1st). Our focus was supposed to be shifting towards prep for Ironman 70.3 Worlds in September. Nevertheless, with support from the awesome people at Bike Shop Henderson I found myself able to travel to Minnesota for this prestigious event. Eyeing up the competition at the ‘Meet n Greet’ on Saturday was pretty nerve racking but by this point I had shifted my focus to concentrating on my performance – the result had to be secondary.
Sunday morning, 9am, GO TIME. With the males and females headed off together I was prepared for a swift wallop over the heed or two but luckily actually managed to sprint out with the pack. For the first time I was able to settle in and draft for the most part. At the turnaround for the second loop I received an elbow to the eye, knocking my goggles off. Quickly repositioning them I continued but the damage was done, goggles filled with water on one side and foggy on the other…now i was drafting out of necessity, i couldnt see a bloody thing. I was relieved to finish the swim 9th with 19:37.
I transitioned somewhat quickly onto the bike and set off at a decent pace. The 3-loop course had a smooth section with a couple hills and then familiar potholes/cracks from weathered tarmac – havent dealt much with that living in Vegas mind you! The bike was strong although my quads were burning. I was spurred on each lap by my fellow Nevada representative Chris Fetter as he passed in the opposite direction, cheering/yelling at me I finished the bike in 1:05:32
Onto the “flat” run course, two laps around lake Phalen. This mostly flat course had a few little kickers in it to make things interesting. My run was fairly solid, my legs felt good, turning over well….and then it began…the stitch. That bloody stitch. I had to stop I think 4 times overall, each time glancing behind knowing I’d passed a couple people but with others hot on my heels. I was able to keep a strong pace, telling myself to relax as much as possible. As I was nearing the final mile, the rain started to spit, and then it increased intensity. It was beautiful. I crossed the line with a 41:28 split and a total time of 2:08:10. The rain was bucketing down, echoed in the distance by the rolling thunder. A perfect finish.
I finished 5th place of the women and was/am delighted with a solid race. This race gave me so much: opportunity, new friends, new opponents, fire, passion and drive to get back to training better than ever. The race organisers Trudy and Jerry were unbelievable – a true credit to our sport.
Thanks to Chris Thornham for wheel support. I rode with the Flo disc and Flo 90 on the front. Now THAT’s a fast set-up!
Thanks to Terry at the Bike shop for all his help and support, couldnt have done it without you dude!
Thank you Chris Fetter for all your help and support – you’re pretty awesome…like a ‘Ken doll’
Congrats to Dani Fischer of Wisconsin who killed the competition. This girl is one to watch
On to the next one…