The saying is: “If you ride a bike, it’s not a question of if, but when you will crash”. This was not my first crash and I’m sure it will not be my last crash. I have raced 70.3 Providence each year that is has been staged (4). I really enjoy competing in this race. It is pretty close to home at two hours driving distance without any traffic. The bike course is a fair, rolling course and the run is challenging. Coach Paul had instructed to treat this as a training race with a run emphasis. The best aspect of this race is that I was able to drive the Timex Ford Edge up to the race venue. This vehicle is SWEET! Swim: 29:32 This year the swim was moved to a local lake that was closer to downtown Providence. The water temps registered at 84 degrees Fahrenheit, which meant that it would not be a wetsuit legal swim. This was not a big deal as I had my Orca skin suit ready to roll. The swim went really smooth. I had a good warm-up that enabled me to go out a bit faster to start the race without going hypoxic. Unfortunately I did lose contact with two guys at the start of the swim, but I was able to find my own pace while swimming solo throughout. My main focus was to maintain good posture with a decent catch. I was able to roll into T1 without any major incidents. Bike: 2:25:36 I was really looking forward to the bike. I had visited the Lifesport Coaching wind tunnel camp at the beginning of May. My new Orbea Ordu, with Shimano DI2 and SRM power meter, had been lost in transit during the trip home. I had given up all hope of seeing my new ride again. However, on Thursday prior to the race (exactly 2 months after I lost it), I received an e-mail that Fedex had found my bike! They expedited it to me by Friday morning. I quickly built it back up and had it ready to roll for the race. This was only my second time riding the bike, but I knew it was fit properly. I headed out of T1, hit a bump and lost my water bottle(I ended up losing 3 during the entire ride). Oh well, I still had my calories and salt tabs. I knew I could grab a water bottle at the first aid station. I dialed in my effort by triangulating my perceived effort with my heart rate and power data. The Timex Global Trainer is a tremendous tool for tracking all the vital stats. I was rolling along well as I came into a 90 degree right corner at about mile 23. The volunteer manning the corner was yelling to slow down as we entered the corner. I clenched both my front and rear brakes aggressively. Then things started to move in slow motion as I was airborne. My rear wheel was sideways and I was about to hit the deck, hard. I landed on my left side with a few bounces and slid along for a little bit on my back. I quickly got up and tried to figure out what had happened. Fortunately the volunteer ran over and told me to move to the side of the road so I didn’t get run over. He said that my rear wheel had popped out(apparently the skewer had come lose: not really sure how as I try to keep it really tight). I looked down to see if there was any visual damage to my bike. It looked fine with the exception of the dropped chain, wheel off, and DI2 unplugged. I asked the volunteer if my crash had caused any deep cuts to my side or back. He said that it appeared to be only road rash, whew.. I quickly put my wheel back in, got the chain on, and plugged the shifter cable back into the cassette. I eased back onto the bike course as I wanted to make sure that the injuries were not to severe. I was happy to get back into the aero bars without to much discomfort. On the remainder of the bike section I just tried to dial the effort back up while monitoring my electrolyte and caloric intake. Run: 1:21:48 This was meant to be the focus of the race. However with my crash, I was not 100% sure. I tried to build into the run. I started to feel pretty good at the 1 mile marker. I was able to find my rhythm and maintain a decent pace until the 4th mile where I started to cramp. Fortunately I had my salt stick tabs with me. I quickly bit into one and put it under my tongue. The cramp, grasping my inside quad, slowly faded. The rest of the run went well until mile 11 when I started to feel the cumulative fatigue of the day. I hit the cola at the next aid station and the simple sugars gave me a boost into the finish. I crossed the line and found out that I had placed 3rd Overall and top amateur for the day. I made a straight line for the medical tent to get the asphalt cleaned out of my side. In hindsight, I was pretty lucky that the wheel had not come out during one of the steep descents.
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.