Mooloolaba World Cup Race Report

Posted on March 31, 2010

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I flew down to Brisbane, Australia last Monday in preparation for the first World Cup of the season in Mooloolaba. There was a competitive field of fit Aussies and Kiwis along with athletes from all over the world. I’d been sick at the very end of February and beginning of March, but the past week and a half of training had gone great and I was finally feeling ready to race well. I had starting number/ranking 26.

As we lined up in order, I got incredibly lucky as someone left a spot wide open next to a few of the field’s top swimmers: James Seear (AUS) and David Hauss (FRA). When the gun went off I immediately go on Seear’s feet and had an easier-than-normal opening 300 meters to the first buoy. Midway through the swim I settled in at the back of the lead pack. There were a few of the super-swimmers stringing it out at the front, but for the most part I was comfortable in the back of that group with the exception of a few surges. I exited the water in 20th position and bridged a small gap during the very long run to t1.

When we got out on the bike several groups quickly formed. I was in the 3rd group. There was a breakaway of 2 Aussies followed by a group of 8-10 followed by my group of 10 or so. We rode like mad – I did more than my fair share of work, and by the 3rd lap we had caught the pack ahead. Unfortunately, once we caught them, the pace slowed considerably. Looking at my power file, there was a stretch that was slightly downhill where we averaged 38-39 mph for the first 3 laps, but on the 4th lap we went about 31mph. It was no surprise when the pack behind us was able to reel us in, and we became a massive 30-man pack with the “I’m-not-going-to-pull” mentality. We ended up losing 1:45 seconds to the 2-man breakaway. I tried to stay near the front during the technical sections going through transition. Coming into t2 I fell back a bit further than I wanted to be but was still in it.

As soon as I stepped off my bike my race took a turn for the worse. I had a massive side stitch and felt like I could barely take a step. The course was awful for me. It was an out-and-back up and over a hill 4 times. The downhill sections were treacherous on my stomach. I tried everything to alleviate the pain but nothing worked. Since our race started at 3PM we had the hot afternoon sun to deal with. It was a sufferfest for me. Finally with 1 lap to go the pain subsided slightly and I was able to run hard for the final 8 minutes. I finished, but it wasn’t fast or pretty. I took 31st place and was completely demoralized. This race was not any indication of where my run fitness is.

At this point, I’m basically getting desperate for ITU points, so I made a longshot attempt to get into the Sydney World Championship Series race in 2 weeks. I got the very last slot. So now I “have” to stay in sunny Australia and train here for the next couple weeks. The other Americans and I are at a training camp in Noosa, which is an incredible town – the training is great, TONS of ITU athletes are here, and it’s extremely beautiful. Yesterday I did a race simulation to practice a new fueling strategy to avoid the cramping. It was almost harder than an actual race, and I had no issues, so hopefully I’ve solved that problem and will be on my A-game in Sydney.

Posted in: Race Reports