Sunday, April 5, 2009

New Orleans 70.3 - I won! More to come.




My first 70.3 win, my first major US Pro win. It feels great to have a lot of hard work and focus all come together on the day and to be able to do exactly what I had planned.

This win started a long time ago. It started shortly after Clearwater last year where I potentially lost the podium because of a bad 4min penalty. (which I cleared up with the referee in New Orleans) I realized in Clearwater that I could win one of these races with the right preparation no matter who showed up.

The right preparation started in Maui about 8 weeks ago at the Lifesport Pro training camp lead by my coach of over 12 years Lance Watson. I went to the camp with a hunger and a mission to get stronger on the TT bike and dial in my pace for the run. With a lot of key bike run workouts logged at higher wattages and faster splits I left Maui confident I could win New Orleans if I could just put down the day that I had trained for.

Having driven the whole course and looked over the point to point swim I was mentally prepared for each part of the course. At 4:30 in the morning it was already hot and humid and I was sweating pumping up my tires (must have been the little mini pump I was using). This also meant that nutrition and hydration were going to be pivotel in a top performance.

I went out hard on the swim to avoid the brawl and to position myself with the lead group of Brian Fleischmann, Tim O'Donnell and myself. On the last turn Brian and Tim went off in the wrong direction and I looked up and saw we were at the final turn and the kayaker pointing us in, so I made the turn and I gained a few meters and exited the water in first place. Using my typical ITU transition I headed out onto the bike with a 30second lead and focused on putting down a strong 20minutes to get into a rhythm.

I lead on the bike till about 20km when TJ Tollakson came powering by. I had my pace set and was riding solid so I let him slowly creap away. At about 25km Chris Lieto and Chris McCormack slowly rolled by so I decided to keep them in touch. At 30km Lieto decided to turn the screws and make a go for the lead and broke the race up into four solo riders (Lieto, TJ, McCormak and myself) and a group of 5-6 fololwing a couple of minutes behind. The race stayed like this till the last 20km when I was still in a strong rhythm and not slowing and I saw TJ who was struggling just up the road. I brought him back in with 5km to go and I made the quick change to the run and exited transition in 3rd 3:30min down from Lieto and 1:30min down on McCormack.

Drawing on the 8x1mile intervals off the bike we did in Maui I knew I just needed to run patiently and see what time I could pull back on the leaders. After the first couple of miles I pulled back a 15-20seconds and I felt really relaxed and running easily. I could have rushed the chase and moved into the lead earlier but there were plenty of miles still to go. I continued to suck back my powergels and Base salts to stay strong and I moved into the lead between mile 5 or 6. I saw that both Lieto and McCormack were struggling as I passed them and they gave no chase as I rolled by. It was at this point I knew I had the win if I just ran smart to the end. Tim O'Donnell was giving chase but with about a 4min lead off the bike I was confident I could run relaxed to the finish.

As I made the right hand turn onto the final stretch to Jackson Square in the French Quarter I realized I was running to the finish tape of my first 70.3 win. The crowd was roaring and the band was playing and I liftet the banner over head with excitement.

17 comments:

A-Russ said...

Unreal showing today man. Macca is definitley dazed with maple leafs swirling around his head right now.

BreeWee said...

I want the full scoop! Brent Poulsen and I talked about you all morning, you had us fired up, he ran 9 miles too hard then we raced our swim in honor of you! Hurry with that race report! WAY to go stud!!

Erin Browes said...

Congrats Brent! Great race despite the heat and wind! (You were robbed in Clearwater, btw.)

Kerry said...

COngrats Brent!

Martin Rist said...

Way to go Brent! (So how is life at the top...?)

Lydell said...

Awesome! Been following you since your epic finish at the NYC Tri. Way to work!

Anonymous said...

70.3 athletes beware...Brent has arrived !

The Pro City Crew said...

Awesome job!!! You the man!!

c said...

Hi Brent,
Congratulations on your win yesterday. Very impressive commitment to your way of life.
I was one of the photographers on the course photographing the event in NOLA. I managed to snap 15 shots of you as you were about 3 miles out from the finish. I cannot even get close to imagining what you are going through your mind and body to accomplish such a task. You looked to me like you had just started the race.
I wanted to tip my hat, as they say, for the outstanding discipline and dedication you have for what you do.
Thank you.

carlos Austin

Dylan said...

nice!

Anonymous said...

we need a race report!!

Stephen said...

WOW! Congrats man! And you beat Macca!

I still believe Tri Can made a HUGE mistake not sending you to Beijing. BIG MISTAKE......look who you just beat. One of the fittest humans on the planet. Who knows what you could have done for Canada at the games....gold?? We will never know :(

Keep the momentum building!

Michele said...

I did this race as my redemption race, it's on my blog http://www.lagrangeracesdownunder.blogspot.com, and though I was nowhere near as fast as you, the Lifesport gang (and a fellow Canadian especially) made me proud..... OH CANADA..... we are awesome.... KICK SOME BUTT!!! Good on ya! Michele

MJ said...

Congratulations Brent!

It's been awesome to follow along the ups and downs the last year or so... this is a real nice "up" but I am sure there are many more to come.

Great job!

Scott Curry said...

That's amazing - great work!

Cliff Worden-Rogers said...

Little late to comment but way to go! Great to have another Canadian kick ass in Ironman.

Treovr W. said...

Awesome!! World champs have your name on it.