The 2008 Incheon Triathlon has been run and won, but not by me. I was feeling quite good about the race leading in, had easy travel, and recovered from the jet-lag fairly easily. Leading into the race on Saturday I thought I was in for a good one. To make matters a little more interesting, the race organizers decided to bring in some VERY fast people. Think a little less like a random race in Asia and a little more like an ITU World Cup.....
The swim went ok, but I had a bad start and got caught behind quite a few guys. I battled my way back through the dropped swimmers to the pack and exited about 5-6 seconds behind the first pack of about 6 guys. I had a good T1 and hopped on the bike. I was 2nd wheel behind Jan Rehula (2000 bronze triathlon medalist and rides like a motorcycle). I was holding on for dear life with my feet still on top of my cycling shoes. We were about 15-20 meters behind the first pack (who were conveniently tucked behind the lead motorcycle). Well, I got dropped. No excuses or reasons, I just couldnt hang on any more. And while this race was stacked, there were not too many people racing so once I got dropped, there was no one even close. The next group was over a minute behind at this point. I rolled into T2 with the 2nd pack a little over 2 minutes down, and out of the race. I ran one lap of the run, and then pulled the plug. I dont like dropping out, but San Francisco ITU is this next weekend, and I felt like it was the smartest choice. I am now in San Fran at Lauren's resting and recouperating for this weekend. The field is small, but competitive and I look forward to racing HARD! No quitting this time, no matter what happens.
Enough about the race.....there were quite a few other interesting things about the trip. I met a bunch of Czech guys who were racing. One (Petr Bures) was an exchange student in Weatherford, Texas!!! This small town is about 15 miles from my house and I ride there all the time. What a small world....Another Czech, (we will call him Pretzel because I cant spell or pronounce his name) is on my new French Team next year. It was good to hear about the new manager and my new teammates. More info will come soon about my plans for next year, my new club, and some new sponsors. And lastly, while we stayed in a nice hotel, it was in the middle of nowhere, and we were left sitting in out rooms trying to stay entertained. The food, though, was by far the best meals I have had in Asia. Night and Day difference to racing in China. We even had a pre-race dinner at the Incheon Airport Hyatt that would probably rank in my top 10 meals of all time. It was that good. In summary, the race was not great, but racing in Korea get two thumbs way up!!
talk soon after this weekend in San Fran! Cheers,