I haven’t even really had time to process last weekend’s ITU Pan American Championships in Mazatlan, Mexico and I am already on a plane over the pacific headed to South Korea for my next race. The first leg of my 7 consecutive races started out fairly well. I can’t say that I was completely satisfied with the race, but looking back it was a solid outing and much better than races previous years.
The travel there was uneventful and smooth, which is always a good way to start. I ended up staying with Bucky Schafer, Matt Charbot, and Chris Foster. It turned out to be an awesome group and we all had a lot of fun. It makes travelling a lot easier when you got a few mates with ya. We even had a stalker, complete with heavy breathing and creepy phone calls. He even would watch us eat at the hotel restaurant. In fact, it got so bad we had to unplug our phone. Sometimes you just help but laugh. Maybe next time we should check the speedos at the door and put on the boardies instead…….
A big shout out to Matt Charbot for going off the front on the bike, winning the race, and beating US Olympian Jarrod Shoemaker! Matt is a good guy, pretty smart, and oddly enough speaks Greek. We were all blown away when we found out. As far as my race, the conditions played a huge role in the race. On the swim there were 10+foot waves. The waves were so bad that they canceled the age group swim, and they had to pull out 4 or 5 juniors from the water during the race. It wasn’t so much swimming as trying not to drown. In the pic below you can see us starting the race. The organizers managed to start us in the middle of a huge set and we got pummeled.
I had a good swim came out in a big group and quickly ended up in the first pack. The bike was uneventful and nondescript. By the end of the bike our group had grown to around 30 or so w/ just two cyclists off the front. Heading onto the run, I was looking forward to laying the smack down. In T2 I had some trouble getting my shoes on which saw me come out near the back of our bike pack. It was also about 90 degrees with no wind and without a single cloud in the sky. With the heat, I knew it was gong to be a rough run, and lots of guys would fade. I had a really rough first 5k and stayed pretty far back of my pack, just trying to drink water and find my legs. I knew all the training this winter would come into play at some point, and it happened around the 6k mark. I started to feel stronger and stronger and started to reel guys in. I ended up passing 9 guys in the last 4k of the run. I almost made it 10, but lost a sprint finish to a Canuck. Canada: 1 USA: 1,648,702. I ended up in 13th, and was the 4th American.
I went into the race with two goals: 1) a top 10 finish and 2) securing a spot for World University Games. I was really close to top 10 and I am still waiting for confirmation, but the consensus is that I made the selection for the 2008 World University Games Triathlon in Erdek, Turkey this July. I had a speedy sub-33min 10k (it probably was a little short. Ok, it was short), and pretty much everyone who beat me has been racing for a while this season. It was a solid hit out for the next 7 weeks. I am racing my first World Cup this Saturday in Tongyeong, South Korea. Hopefully I can build on this past weekend and have an even better race. I don’t know what it is about Asia, but I always keep coming back to race here. To date I have raced in Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, China, and now South Korea. And I am finalizing another trip to China on May 25th. It is a love/hate relationship, but I have had some of my best results there.
Here are some pic’s of the race in Mexico and the ensuing shenanigans.
Viejo Mazatlan (Old Mazatlan)
how many americans can you pack into an elevator?
game faces on!
well thats all for now.....