San Diego International Triathlon
In mid June I went on a training trip to Mammoth Mountain with a group from Volt Multisport. It was a great training trip at altitude with a great group of people, but I was a little worried that my body would feel drained while racing SDIT a week later. Luckily that ended up not being true. I'd say my race at SDIT was probably my best overall race of the season. I had a solid swim and bike, and my run split was easily my best 10K split as part of a triathlon. I ended up finishing 2nd among some some guys that coming into this race I would have never thought I could hang with.
Photo courtesy of Tyler Olson
Dwight Crum Pier-to-Pier Swim
Each year as a supplement to my triathlon season I also race in several open water swim races. Probably the biggest swim race every season is the Dwight Crum Pier-to-Pier race between the Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach piers. Each year I've steadily moved up in the results list and I ended up finishing this year 19th overall which put me 4th in my division.
Even with a little "shark incident" earlier in the summer there was still a record number of swimmers in the 2014 race.
Everyone has their game face on right before the start of the race...
There is always a mad sprint to the water in order to stay ahead of the chaos due to 500+ swimmers racing to a buoy placed 150 yards offshore.
This is a small window into the mayhem at the start of the race.
Trans Tahoe Relay Swim
This year, for the first time, I also raced on a 6 person relay in the Trans Tahoe Relay Swim across Lake Tahoe. It was really fun being part of a relay team as opposed to the solo races that I am usually in. Also, swimming in the crystal clear Lake Tahoe with mountains in the background was just amazing. I was lucky to be part of a fast team and we ended up winning our division and finished 8th overall.
You can definitely see from the pictures why they say "Keep Tahoe Blue".
Kosuke had a crazy fast swim leg that kept us up front.
Beer mugs for the winners!
USAT Olympic Distance AG National Championship
A week after the Dwight Crum Pier-to-Pier I traveled to Milwaukee to race at USAT Nationals. My race the previous week set me up for a good swim and I came out of the water in the lead with two guys right behind me. On the bike I traded the lead back and forth with another athlete and then on the run was able to put a gap between me and the rest of the wave. I ended up winning my age group and coming in 8th overall in what I would say and I think many would agree was a highly competitive year for this race. Consistent with the American culture of "no one gets left out", awards went 10 deep.
ITU Olympic Distance AG World Championship
About three weeks after Nationals I traveled to Edmonton, Alberta, CA for Worlds. One of the best parts of being in Edmonton was being able to see in person the pure dominance by elite athletes Gwen Jorgensen and Javier Gomez Noya. Especially Javier who I believe is undoubtedly the best short to mid distance triathlete ever.
After a few days of putzing around town and watching the other elite and amateur races, it was my time to race the morning of Labor Day. Without a swim warm-up I felt like crap during the whole swim and ended up with a slower than normal swim split. But, I still ended up with a 40 second lead on my wave heading out onto the bike. Within a few miles, the faster guys in my wave caught up to me but didn't pass and drop me. I ended up riding the rest of the bike leg trading leads with a German and Canadian and was still able to head out on the run in the lead. About a half mile into the run, the Canadian and eventual winner Robert Johnson passed me and I ended up holding that position for the remainder of the race finishing 2nd in my AG and 5th overall.
A little glimpse of part of the swim course and the swim exit:
Here I am at the start of the bike leg and am still putting my shoes on:
Congratulations to Eric Burnett for pulling off the double by racing both the Sprint and Olympic distance races in Edmonton.
The theme of the race was "It Was Epic". That may have been a slight overstatement, but, ok I'll go with it...It Was Epic!
So, that brings us to the present and now I am starting my off-season. Why? Well, there are a couple of reasons. First and the most obvious of all is that I ended up with a little tweak in my ankle following my race in Edmonton. I do not believe it is too severe but it would have prevented the proper preparation for Malibu this weekend and Oceanside at the end of October. The less obvious reason is that in general my body is tired and has been feeling that way since the beginning of August. I figured that if I were to continue to race through the end of October I would be even more tired by that time and I saw no benefit of doing that. So, I have decided to call it a season, rest up, do some fun off-season stuff (surf, ski, have a life outside of triathlon, etc.), and prepare for next year. I am happy with my 2014 season and have big plans for next year, so I want to set myself up properly.