2010 Columbia Olympic Triathlon

Posted on May 26, 2010

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5am Race Day--Team FIGHT

This past weekend I competed in the Columbia Olympic Distance Triathlon –that is a 1500m swim, 40k bike (24.8 mi.) and a 10k run (6.2 mi.).  Before I get into how I performed I want to talk about support.

Having support in life is vital and its even more important when you are taking risks to chase a dream. It’s the main reason why I left Hawaii, a place most consider the best place on earth to train as a triathlete, to become a professional triathlete.  These past few weeks but, more importantly, this past weekend was all about having an amazing support network.

It all started with all the donations I received from friends, family, and even complete strangers. Everyone who chipped your money went to an exceptional cause — Team FIGHT. Katrina from Team FIGHT was more than helpful for finding me a homestay so I could actually somewhat afford this trip down to Ellicot City, MD (just outside Baltimore).  More on Team FIGHT later.

Next, a big, big thanks to my Mom for switching cars with me so I could get down there without killing Cory’s little truck. Without that switch, I may still be stuck in MD trying to get home. I cannot thank her enough. Also, a big thanks to my Dad for talking to me and keeping my mind in the right place.

My host family, The Schofields, were fantastic. I hope every home stay is like this. Rick and Anne have three great kids (Katie (19) , Kelly (16) & Danny (15)).  Katie helped me out when I got down there by driving me to packet pick-up and Danny helped me relax with a nice game of catch with lacrosse sticks (p.s. Danny, watch-out because next time I come down I’m challenging you to a game of LAX!). Anyways, Rick and the kids were participating for the race so it was fun placing our race numbers on our bikes and making sure everything was ready. Sometimes I get really nervous doing that because I start thinking about the race but, to have them around to joke with had a bit of a calming effect on me. They included me in on their pre-race dinner and I think Rick’s cheesecake with blueberries and raspberries may be my new pre-race meal.  I big thank you to making me feel like an extended part of their family!

The day before the race I attended the Team FIGHT lunch-in with Laurel and Bec. They went through what Team FIGHT is doing with the money they receive and it just made me want to give all of my money to them. It really put things into perspective for me, that is, I knew coming into this race I was 100% firing on all cylinders but, there is a person out there struggling and wishing they could be in my spot. So, right there, during that lunch-in, I promised myself that I would go as hard as I could the whole way no matter what.

Race day- woke up to pouring rain, which always makes me pumped up because I know everyone else is dreading it and the tougher it is out there the better chances I have because I’m a FIGHT’er. Arrived at transition at 5:15 am ::YAWN:: and saw Bec and Laurel. It was comforting to see familiar faces and get some last minute advice from them. I could see Laurel was very nervous.  However, I knew she had the goods to win the race. I knew 30-60min before the race it wouldn’t be a good time to tell her that so I just kept it to myself and told both of them that anything is possible today.

Now, time to focus on myself.  The Elite Amateurs weren’t allowed in the water until 3 min prior to our start so there went my warm-up. I haven’t been swimming that much but, all the time I’ve been spending with Mike Trunkes on technique certainly paid off as I swam a 2 min PR. I knew I was well off the leaders and my goal was to hammer the bike and not worry about the run. I did just that! I was flying past everyone on my Cervelo P3. It was my first time racing with a disc wheel and let me tell you it makes you feel like F’in Superman. It’s so loud and just sounds fast! I eventually caught up the Laurel and offered some word of encouragement to her. She didn’t need it though because she looked awesome.

Ok, off the bike and time to run and let me tell you, there wasn’t an ounce of flat on the whole course. I was concerned with how my arch would hold up but I knew that the orthotics that I got from Rob Sobel and the Saucony Type A3’s from the Shawangunk Running Co. would get the job done. And they did! I ran 36:3? and averaged 5:33 pace. I placed 4th in the Elite Amateur category and 15th overall — all with a 2 min bike penalty for not staying on the right hand side of the road (sorry, there was a ton of water and debris on the course). Without that 2 min penalty I out biked all the pros I think.

One of the coolest moments was, a few minutes after I finish, watching Laurel take home her first big professional win while I was still in the finishing chute. She’s worked very hard and I’m very proud of her!

I personally want to thank my sponsors for getting me to the line in one piece and providing me with the products or financial resources needed in order to compete with the best in the world, to my family and friends for continually believing in my journey, to my training partners Bec and Laurel for showing me how hard work pays off, and to everyone who help me by donating money to Team FIGHT.

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