Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sport is awesome; to have a worthy adversary and do battle, but be friends afterwards

Big Smile

As I sit here on the last flight home to Victoria with a smile on my face, I
am so thankful.

For the last 24hrs I have been reading emails, facebook, twitter and text
messages congratulating me on achieving this goal of a third spot for
Canada. I have gone through the Olympic cycle three times now and each one
has been very different. They have all had there challenges and been full
of ups and downs. This cycle was the most daunting as I had to not only
play catch up but also gain back the confidence I needed after 18 months off
racing. With the support of TriCanada, my coach Lance Watson, Carolyn,
family, friends and sports therapy group I have been able to overcome all
the hurdles and now am healthy and ready to prepare for London. This is the
single most significant difference of all these Olympic cycles. I am at the
end of qualify in a mentally and physically very strong place. I am ready
to put in a great training and preparation block to be at my career best for
the Olympics. I was injured for Athens and not selected for the team in
Beijing, but both have given me so much to learn from and I have gained
strength through those experiences.

I am so looking forward to these next 80 days till the most important and
anticipated day of my career!

Thank you to all again that have helped me get here mentally and physically,
there are too many to list but each one of you knows the impact you have
made on me.


London, August 7th, 2012

Brent McMahon

@tribrentmcmahon on Twitter

Madrid WTS

Last and final race of Olympic qualifying, the race with the most races
within the race of the whole qualifying period. All the calculations were
done, every athlete new what they needed to do or their competition needed
not to do. There was only one race to change the outcome of your chances of
competing at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

My race was simple, beat Joao Pereira of Portugal by one spot to hold on to
Canada's three spot country selection on the Olympic Rankings, simple,
nothing more nothing less.

Having put in a very long stretch of racing since my return only 14 months
ago, with no break through the winter, my racing through the 2012 season has
been up and down.

I started strong with a second at our Regional Championships and hoped to
build from there. A strong training block through February a bought of
sickness and antibiotics frustratingly resulted in a couple of lackluster
performances in Australia. However, I rallied back after the second
Australian race with a strong run and all round performance in Japan but was
left sore and fatigued. The build to the next event being in recovery mode
meant for a "lets see what we get" type of race, could be good, could be
tough. The result was another sub par performance from where I had been so
consistent the previous season. This brought us to this final race in

My body had started to come around for San Diego so tuning up for Madrid was
better and I felt confident in my abilities to execute the race I needed to
achieve the goal in Madrid. I had a worthy adversary in Pereira but new I
had more experience as have been this exact spot with one performance on the
day to secure a spot in Vancouver for Beijing. I was successful that day
and was confident I would be again.

The swim was fast with the Russian's blowing apart the opening 300m and only
a small group of 15 swimmers being able to keep up. I had a solid start and
was in the thick of the main group but near the front. Exiting the water
there was a string of guys ahead that I worked past during the minute long
run to transition.

Once onto the bike I pushed hard up the first climb which was only 400m into
the ride. We formed a group of 15-20 guys initially and slowly caught the
shrapnel straggling off from the dwindling front group. Our main group
swelled to 40 men with 9 up the road two minutes by the end of the ride.
During most of the ride Pereira was in the group behind me but during the
last two laps they managed to close the initial minute gap that separated
us. In the final kilometers of the ride Pereira came along side me and I
new he was there and positioning for a good start to the run.

I stayed strong and steady at the front of the group into transition as I
always do and got in and out of transition safely. Pereira however also had
a good transition and was five meters up the road. I quickly worked my way
to his shoulder and then started to apply some pressure. I ran strong and
comfortable to the first turn around at 1.25k and he was still hanging on
just a little back. I then applied some more throttle and pushed through
the 5km mark and then by the turn around at 6.25km I had a comfortable 20-25
seconds on him. I finished out the third lap strong and then focused on
maintaining for the last lap now that I new I had the spot wrapped and my
ticket set for London.

I normally would push everything I had right to the finish but after long
travel there and focusing on being healthy and strong once home, it made
sense to feel good coming down the finish chute and get on the plane home in
good shape.
Brent McMahon

@tribrentmcmahon on Twitter

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

One More Qualifying Race

That is what the focus is on now.

I didn't get the race I was looking for in San Diego but my teammates pulled out some good ones, enough so Canada is now sitting with three spots. Simon has surpassed the Portuguese athlete to make us the eighth and last country with three spots. It is now a matter of seeing how Pereira of Portugal does in Madrid.

My swim bike in San Diego was solid and I was at the front of the race early and stayed out of trouble through the ride. I was at the front into transition and left in 3rd place. I built through the start and settled into a group with Simon, Kyle, two Aussies and a few others. I stayed there for a lap but my legs weren't feeling strong and as I went onto the second lap my stride weakened. My turnover was slow and I couldn't get on my toes to run fast. I gutted out what I could but there was just a little snap that was missing.

It was a good hard effort but not the leg speed I have had recently. I will be regrouping and sharpening up now as I feel quite good coming off the race. It was frustrating as always to not race the way I know I can.

The ball is in my court now and I have control over this third spot for the most part. Things look good and they are well within my grasp.

I head to Madrid next week for the final race of qualifying on the 27th of May.
Brent McMahon

@tribrentmcmahon on Twitter

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Two more to go

After returning from a six week three race trip, I head into the last two races of the London 2012 Olympic qualifying process.

I have done another couple weeks of training since returning for Japan and feel strong and excited to race this Saturday at the San Diego World Triathlon Series event. I had a great swim block so now I should be firing on all cylinders and getting out with the lead group. My legs have now freshened and sharpened up since my strong run in Japan, so I feel everything is ready to go.

After the San Diego race this Saturday at 2:30PST I will head home for a week before heading to the final race of qualifying in Madrid, Spain May 27th.

It has been a long and hard road of ups and downs in racing and training since getting back to racing just over a year ago. The journey has been fantastic and challenging but I have had such great support all along the way.

I am looking forward to these last three weeks of qualifying and to some more great performances.

Brent McMahon

@tribrentmcmahon on Twitter