70.3 World Champs: $H^* Happens

For those of you that didn’t catch the last blog, here it is: http://www.bw-tri.com/single-post/2016/09/02/The-Lone-American-Male-at-703-Worlds. It goes into my thoughts on 70.3 Worlds, how the process works to qualify as a professional and why I decided to take a slot and race. I came down here for the experience of racing with the best in the world and “toeing” the same start line. Unfortunately that didn’t happen……………..

Swim- 26:28

They had everyone in the corral on the beach and called out the top 10 guys, one by one. The swim start was maybe 200-300m from the shore. Once the top 10 were called out, they let the rest of us enter the water. When I got to the water I looked down and my watch said 0613, and the start was supposed to be 0615. I made my way out there with the rest of the guys, stopped to fix my goggles once or twice, and I was about 30 feet from the start line the last time I messed with them.

The last thing I heard was “Men please make your way to the start line” and as that was being said the horn sounded. There were about 8-12 of us anywhere from 30-50 feet from the start line. So when the horn went off, everyone took off and when you are already a back of the pack swimmer in this field, well you are going to definitely be at the back of the pack. So I swam solo the whole time, didn’t touch a single person and didn’t get touched by a single person. If you want to watch how this played out you can do so HERE (bottom video, forward to the ~18 minute mark and it happens around the 19 minute mark.)

This was completely a mistake; they were trying to delay the start, but there was a break down in communication. As disappointed as I am to travel half way around the world to race in the biggest race of my professional career and miss the start by no fault of mine, I completely understand accidents/mistakes happen. It is what happens moving forward, how they implement changes to ensure it doesn’t happen again, and then what I have learned from this.

What I learned is two things: Be ranked top 10 in the world so you get a head start to the start line or race to the start line so just in case the gun goes off early accidentally you get a head start ;) Joking aside, the guys that were on the line did nothing wrong, I would have done the same thing.

All things considered, I was still happy with my swim to only lose 3:30 to the leaders, on my own at that. I had led Nick Baldwin out of the water in Korea and he swam 24:32 which would have been a much better start to my day if I would have been in the group.

Overlooking the Swim Start. (Photo Credit: Simon Roue)

Bike- 2:17:07

I got out on the bike and tried to put the swim debacle behind me. I just focused on the road ahead and put my head down and rode hard. I started passing a few guys here and there, being last out of the water, there were plenty of guys ahead of me. At the 40km mark I was 5:50 down on the leaders and 2:10 down on the group Trevor Wurtele was with. I continued to ride hard and was feeling pretty good on the bike. Around 60 km, my legs began to fatigue and I was mentally struggling. I tried to keep pushing but the power just wasn’t there. A group that I had caught at 10 km just about caught me pulling into T2, so that was a bit disappointing. I came off the bike 29th, after being out of the water 42nd.

Out on the expressway hammering away. (Photo Credit: Jaryd Hamilton)

Early on in the bike. (Photo Credit: Bear Liange)

Run- 1:29:24

I came off the bike and the legs didn’t feel too horrible. I was running pretty well through the first 5 km and then the legs slowly started to fade. I kept running hard through 15 km and then shut it down, as Weymouth 70.3 was only 7 days away and decided it wasn't worth pushing too much. So with that being said, onto the next one, 70.3 Weymouth!

Coming down the finishing chute. (Photo Credit: Simon Roue)

Swim- 26:28 / Strava File

Bike- 2:17:007 / Strava File / TrainingPeaks File

Run- 1:29:24/ Strava File / TrainingPeaks File

Total- 4:17:35 / 37th out of 42 Professionals

Results- http://eu.ironman.com/triathlon/coverage/athlete-tracker.aspx?race=worldchampionship70.3&y=2016#axzz4JZ9IXAhK

Overall I am happy to have experienced racing at a World Championship in the pro division. Even with the swim debacle, I learned a few things, so onwards and upwards to the next one.

View from the place where we stayed. BIG THANKS to Lee Boyer for the "home stay" & to Clay Petty for being a legendary Sherpa!

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