Les AmericainsJust finished my first world cup on Saturday with a solid result. Much like the Pan American Championships in Mexico last week, the race went well, but not great. I am still looking for that breakthrough race. Travelling to the race was nice, as the 4 other Amercans were on my flight from the US to Korea. It always makes travelling a little easier with familiar faces.
I settled in to the time zone change fairly well and got about to maintenance training before the race. It turns out that South Korea is quite cold this time of year. The water was around 57 degrees (read: alcatraz) and the air was hovering in the 60's most of the time. For the start of the race, I lined up right in the middle of the pontoon. I had a solid start and was right in the bunch. It was a super hectic swim and i got pounded for the entire 1500 meters. I just kept my cool and kep swimming in the pack. It was actually much easier than anticpated. I was 22 at 750meters and dropped back to 29 at 1500m, but was squarely situated in the pack.
The bike course was actually quite difficult with lots of climbing each lap. There were some grades up to 10%. With 40 guys exiting the water within 15 seconds transition was quite crazy. In addition to the hills there was some crazy wind on the course. The organizers shortened the bike by about 5k to avoid going onto a bridge where the wind was gusting really hard. There were lots of strong cyclists in our group, but the headwind kept everyone together. I stayed in the middle of the pack, out of trouble as much as possible.
The bike pack stayed together and I rolled into transition ready to rock the run. Unfortunately, my legs and lungs thought otherwise. I struggled again with crazy fast pace off the bike, but managed to finish strong w/ a 30th place. Not great, but one of the better World Cup debuts by an American. I finished within the 5% time cut-off so I received both Olympic Ranking and World Ranking points. As of right now, I am 125th in the world. Aside from the race, it was really great to hang out with some of the guys over the week. Got to spend a bit of time with Dirk Boekel and Marko Albert. Awesome guys and hopefully I'll run into them again. Timmy, Jazz, Joe, and the rest of Team USA made it fun all the way around. I think I spent more time in Tous Les Jours (the best pastry shop) than I did anywhere esle. All in all it was a great experience and I feel like I had fun and learned quite a bit. Right knwo I am chilling in the Singapore Air Lounge in Seoul. Gotta love travel! I even managed to get bumped up to business so I will be rolling home in style. I am in Texas for 1 day then off to California for another race. Lets hope the form carries through and the body hold together. Here are some pics:
World Ironman Champ Chrissie Wellington hanging w/ the "mortals"Before you judge these Euros, the one on the right won $200,000 at Des Moines last year