Hong Kong is an incredible city. It is China, but it has been tempered, shaped, and molded by Western occupation into this entity that is unlike any other. It has amazing food, plenty of culture, world-renowned shopping, and arguably the best skyline in the world. It is an exciting and dynamic mix of cultures, and I just can’t seem to get enough of the city. Much like the city itself, the composition of men’s field boasted a broad range of international athletes from all over the globe. With several Beijing Olympians and World Cup winners, the field was not only diverse, but also highly competitive.
The race venue at the Hong Kong ITU race was also unique: it took place in Disneyland. The swim was in the ocean just outside the steps of the Disneyland Hotel. The bike traversed through the maze of roads exiting the park out toward a large bridge (read: hill) which we went up and down it seven times. The run was flat and went through the grounds as well. When you combined the speed of the swim, the hills on the bike, and the humid oven on the run you had one tough race!
The swim start was the dreaded in-water start. I got hit in the first stroke of the swim, and continued to get hit until I exited 1500 meters later. Despite this, I managed to swim well, and exited in the front pack of 6 containing the Polyansky Brothers, the Alterman Brothers, and Daniel Sapunov. We had a small break out of the water and worked hard the first few k’s of the bike to keep the gap, but were swallowed up by one chase pack, then another and then another. Coming into T2 almost the entire field had bridged up to the front pack.
After a little bauble into transition I ran hard to make up the ground I had lost, but I knew instantly that I was going to be in for a tough run. Unlike last week when I felt good the instant the run started, this week the legs felt heavy, and my stomach was giving me issues. I did what I could, ran hard to the end, and crossed the line in 9th place. It was a solid field, but I can’t help but be disappointed after the great result from the weekend before. The form and ability are there, but part of racing successfully on the ITU circuit is the ability to back up results week after week, no matter how the body feels.
Congratulations to Tony Moulai for a great win! Monsieur Moulai is looking quite fit heading in to the Huatulco Word Cup next month. As for me, this Asia trip was quite successful, and has set me up well for the rest of the season and into 2010. Now I am heading back to the USA to recover and to get ready for the Huatulco Word Cup on November 8th. Although the season is winding down, my fitness is solid, my motivation is high I and can’t wait to get to the next start line!
Here are some pics from Indonesia last week: