Where’s the swim? As I’m walking towards the transition area I hear the announcer state that they’ve decided to cancel the swim for all of the amateur athletes. The wind is blowing @ 30mph and they can’t launch the kayakers into the water to monitor all of the competitors. The race has been adjusted for the first time in its 26yr history. The new format will be that each athlete will go off in 2 second intervals running from the swim exit into T2 to start the bike leg followed by the run. The swim report from the pros was mixed following the race, with some including Andy Potts stating that it was the hardest swim of their careers, while others didn’t think it was that bad. Fellow Timex teammate and friend, Andrew Hodges, had a great quote regarding the swim, “I spent the entire time either trying to swim or trying not to drown…”. I fully respect the decision of the race organizer as he’s responsible for 3,800+ athletes’ lives. It was still a bit disappointing as its very rare to get an elite amateur wave of 78 in 1 place and it would have been fun to swim, bike, and run, but it wasn’t in the cards.I had the orders from the coach to let it go on the bike and reach for a new power output level. It was an interesting ride, but I had held the average of 300watts thru mile 21 that my coach Paul had prescribed, then the pack rolled up. It’s a tough setup when there’s no swim to break up things and the level of talent is pretty similiar. It was what it was, unfortunately. I came into the bike to run transition feeling like I had biked extremely hard and I had managed to put out a PR power output that was over 20watts higher then I’ve ever done for that distance. I was pleased but I knew the run was going to be a drag race with guys like Eric Bell and Vinnie Monseau ready to rip it up. They ran 32:47 and 32:51 respectively! Not bad for a 30 and 40yr old. These dudes can run. I was second body out of transition, but due to the timetrial format, I had no idea where I stood. I was able to attain 1st body for approximately .25m before Eric went blasting by. I had no chance of holding him and I was just trying to focus on keeping him in sight. About a .5 mile later Javier Beuzeville went galloping by. I could have sworn this 21yr old speedster was going to catch and surpass Eric, but as he ran up along side, they settled in stride for stride until mile 3. I had the best seat in the house to witness this duel. It always fascinates me to watch really good runners battle. At mile mile 3, Eric put in a surge and it was over. He had broken him. He ended up running :40 seconds faster then Javier on the day and was 1st body over the finish line. I was just trying to find a rythm and keep a decent cadence going. Coach Paul had instructed me to run with the runners, but the individuals that had gone past me were just too fast for me to hold. I saw friend and teammate, Ian Ray, a little after the turnaround and he yelled that I had 50 meters on the guy behind me. At mile 4, Vinnie Monseau ran up along side. We chatted for a few seconds, then he continued his push. I jumped on his shoulder for all of 10secs before the gap formed. I tried to regain my own rythm and focus for the last 2 miles. As I approached mile 5, I started looking down at the road and focusing on the next 10feet in front of me. This was the first time I have had to resort to that strategy since my Ironman racing. I was hurting and just trying to keep some sort of form. Finally, I was able to will my sorry butt across the finish line. I ended up running a personal best 10k of 34:05 and due to the timetrial format I was the overall winner, even though I was 4th body across the line. I’m happy with my effort, but it’s really unfortunate that the race format was modified.
Career Highlights: 2009 USA Triathlon Amateur Athlete of the Year, 2012,2013, 2014 USA Triathlon Masters Athlete of the Year, 2014 USA Triathlon Olympic National Championship Masters Champion, 4 X Ironman 70.3 World Championship Age Group Winner (2008, 2009, 2012, 2013), 18 X 70.3 Overall Amateur Champion, 9 X Ironman World Champion Finisher (4 X Top 10 in Age Group), 2015 American Zofingen LC Champion, 2nd OA IM Maryland
I started competing in triathlon in the summer of 2000. I had always been intrigued by the sport since the early ‘80s when I would watch the Hawaii Ironman on TV. I got into running at a young age (6yrs old) as my father was a big marathon runner back in the late 70’s, early 80’s running boom. I did my first 10-mile road race when I was 10 years old. I also played ice hockey throughout my childhood and I stopped running my sophomore year in high school in order to completely focus on ice hockey. I did not run again until the fall of 1999. During that race, a friend of mine mentioned that he competed in sprint triathlons, short duration races lasting around one hour. I was immediately interested and I signed up for my first triathlon in July of 2000 up in Falmouth, Ma. I was immediately hooked. I loved the competition. I especially liked the aspect of the three sports and how one could continue to practice and improve in each sport. I believe all three sports compliment each other. I also really enjoyed the idea of challenging myself to see where I could get. So, while triathlon is a competition, I see it more as a race against yourself then others. It is a very addictive sport, but I think it’s probably one of the healthiest addictions that I know of. The training is also a great stress relief. I worked in New York City for the past 5 years and down on Wall Street for 2 years. The commute and the lifestyle can get pretty stressful at times. The training really helped me de-stress and stay focused. I have three little boys and I really enjoy sharing the sport with all three of them. I don’t care if they ever compete in a race, but I do believe it’s important to expose them to healthy opportunities in life. I would say that the hardest endurance scenario I’ve faced was actually the first half ironman I competed in up in Laconia, NH, which was the Timberman race. I’ve completed four full Ironman events, but that half ironman was my first attempt at the distance. I feel, in hindsight, that I just was not properly trained for the event. It was an incredible eye opening experience. I don’t think I’ve been more tired then the moment I crossed that finish line. However, the human mind is fascinating, as I was looking forward to the next race less then 24 hours after.