Thursday, October 13, 2011

Preface: Ford Ironman World Championship Race Report

The night before the race, I was feeling extremely anxious. It is the moment where you know in the next 24 hours depending on how you do it could potentially change your life. I have competed in several huge races in my life so far and I am still waiting for the perfect race on the grand stage. Could it be tomorrow? Or, will I have yet again a streak of bad luck; bike mechanics, illness, or injury?

Anyone, who has followed my racing career, knows that when I am having a good season it is Great, but when I am not, it is pretty terrible. I have qualified for ten World Championships between Triathlon and Xterra and have been National Champion in both. Not bad for a 24 year old, but what you might not know is the bad racing streak I have also experienced throughout the years and usually at the races that matter most. Last year alone, I had two very bad bike crashes that not only broke the bike frames I was riding at the time but also two helmets. This trauma will make anyone timid on the bike which costed me winning some pretty serious races the rest of the season.

Prior to this race season, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Did I lose my tenacity to compete? But at the end of last year’s season I was introduced to Adventure Racing by LifeQuest Transitions which changed everything. I learned that not only could I race for 20 plus hours but I got stronger throughout the duration of the race. This was the moment I know I could tackle my childhood dream of finishing an Ironman and perhaps qualify for the Ironman World Championship in Kona.

I signed up for Ironman St. George in May, which was only made possible through the support of Wheat Ridge Cyclery. This was the start of an outstanding racing season. If you have not read the race report and are interested please see my blog. This is where I qualified for the Ford Ironman World Championship.

At the end of this racing season I will have competed in a total of fifteen races. Three of which are World Championships, 70.3 Ironman which is a half ironman distance triathlon where I placed 3rd in the 24 & under age group, Ironman I placed 8th in my age group and soon the Xterra World Championships, which is an off road triathlon. I am Mountain Regional Champion for Xterra and a series winner for the Boulder series triathlons. I competed in four Adventure races including my longest race to date 36 hours. My very first ever 100 Mile Mountain Bike Race the Bailey Hundo, the furthest I have been on a mountain bike by far in one day. My training this summer consisted of racing nearly every weekend. I did some crazy back to back races, for example, the Bailey Hundo Mountain Bike race on Saturday and the next day the Boulder Sprint Triathlon. I also did an Adventure race on Saturday and an Olympic distance triathlon on Sunday. This is by far the most racing I have ever done in one season. I had two overall first place finishes, four age group first place finishes, 2 second place finishes, and one third place finish.

This was the year that everything was coming together, except for a digestive issue that has been causing major pain the past few months. I have had a on and off case of diarrhea that was hampering my training and was becoming progressively more severe. I had several tests done and still no answers as to what was causing it and how to cure it. It would appear most often whenever I would run, and once it hit me my running pace would just collapse.

I thought I was in the clear because I went two and half weeks before Kona without any issues. Unfortunately this was not the case.

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