Thursday, May 1, 2014

Barbados Continental Cup 2014

For the second year in a row I traveled to Bridgetown, Barbados for the ITU pan am cup. It is a great race and the race director, Peter Gibbs, does an excellent job coordinating rides for every athlete from landing at the airport until they take off. It is a first class race!

Going into the race, I felt really strong biking and running but my swim just felt "funky" as I have been working on a slightly more efficient technique over the last month and it just was not clicking.

I stayed with 7- other US athletes, which was a super fun time and we were staying right on the bike course at a sweet condo set up called Paradise Villas. Was great having other to ride with before the race as the roads are pretty sketchy here.

To the race:

Swim: As soon as it started, we hit a wave, which I dove over but hit the sand right after as it was still quite shallow. I am top left of this picture diving with the navy suit on. This gave me a rough start and I got pinched out from swimmers colliding with one another until the first bouy. Usually, I get out a bit better so this certainly did not help my prospects. Not really sure why I swam so slowly after, exited the water 15-20 seconds behind athletes that I have consistently beaten out of the water, so that was very frustrating. Splits on are incorrect for some reasons including it was hand timed, but I know I was about 5- second behind Brent Poulsen out of the water.

Bike: Felt super strong and went straight into TT'ing to try and catch the bunch. Caught Brent Poulsen and John Slaney by the hill on the first lap and we soon caught a Mexican athlete. Unfortunately, Brent and I were the only two athletes able to pull hard enough on the bike so we were the only two working. Made for a very long ride. We caught Colin O'brady on the third lap but we still did not have a motivated and strong group. Finished with only having 40 seconds put into us from the 15- man group ahead but I was pretty fried.

Run: Went out hard and was able to immediately drop my group. Ran up to three athletes from the front pack and ended up racing well on the run despite doing a lot of work on the bike. Even had an athlete from Canada apologize for not being able to help on the bike- so at least I know I am biking and running strongly. Just need to fix this swim!

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