Barbados ITU Race Report

Posted on February 21, 2012

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My second Continental Cup stop of the 2012 season was the tropical Bidgetown, Barbados Pan American Cup. The 19-man field in Bridgetown was probably one of the most bizarre fields I’ve ever raced in. First off, it was very small. Second, the field included two former World Champions and a host of stud runners who are top Olympic prospects for their respective countries. Finally, there were a few guys doing their very first ITU race at the pro level. I was fairly confident that the race would come down to the run with most of the top prospects staying together on the swim and bike.

The swim.

The gun went off and we ran into the warm (82 degrees F) water and began sprinting for the first buoy. As the front pack broke away from the stragglers I found myself right in the mix. The top swimmers — Wiltshire (GBR) and Polyansky (RUS) — led the way. I swam pretty comfortably behind these guys right next to Chacon (CRC). We exited the water and ran into t1. I noticed that my roommate Mark Fretta received a 15 second stand-down penalty in t1 (for a false start). I got out on my Parlee z5 in bridged up to the quickly forming lead pack.

t1/t2

For the first lap and a half of the five lap bike course, the pace was hot. Our group worked together fairly well and people seemed motivated to extend our lead on the chasers. However, this mentality went out the window about two laps in. I think people realized that all the main players were in the front group, no one was breaking away, and it was pretty hot and humid out so no one really wanted to work. By the time we coasted into t2, the first chase group comprised of Americans Mark Fretta and Greg Billington were just seconds behind our lead group of 11. Out onto the run course a lead group of four immediately began to pull away. I was running in 11th place, the last guy from my group. I definitely felt a bit drained by the humid conditions, and it took me awhile to get going. I was able to pick up the pace, however, and passed Fanous (JOR), Lamar (USA), Wilson (BAR) and finally Wiltshire (GBR). Billington, from the group behind, flew by me just past the halfway point of the first lap. I was now in 8th running behind Noble (IRE) and Gaag (KAZ). I experienced some stomach cramps during the second half of the run, most likely due to the hot conditions which I was not acclimated for. I managed to hold it together and got within four seconds of Gaag, the 1999 World Champion, but I could not catch him, and I finished off the day in 8th place.

Not a spectacular finish, but another consistent performance under my belt. It moved me up in the world rankings, assured my slot into the Mooloolaba World Cup, and got me one step closer to Olympic Trials. Things are on track!

Posted in: Race Reports