Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Boise 70.3

Saturday's race was one of those ones where I will reflect back on and draw
strength for future events. Coming off a great win the previous weekend in
Honu, I was rested and excited to race but unsure how the legs would be.
The race began well with a good swim and quick transition to get onto the
bike course first with a small group of three of us. I started
conservatively on the bike with some fatigue showing slightly in my legs.
When the bike powerhouses of the race Luke Bell and Trevor Wurtele bridged
up and pressed the pace halfway through the bike I had to find some inner
strength and passion to stay with them and enter T2 with only 15 seconds
separating us. Onto the run I tried to set the pace but I quickly found my
legs deadened by the effort on the bike and I suppose the weekend before.
It became clear that it was going to be a struggle on the run and a nifty
move by Trevor at mile 4 left me no choice but to fall back and settle in
for a long hard run. Luke was able to respond to Trevor's move and the two
of them proceeded up the road without me while I tried to regroup while
plodding along. Going through mile 7 I challenged myself to increase my
turnover and see if I could inch along any quicker so I could be done sooner
and not get caught by fourth place. After a mile of effort I found my legs
sparking up and I started to feel like a runner again. As I began to get
rolling I was able to see that Trevor and Luke were duking it out up front
and I wanted to play. With 3 miles to go I was slowly dragging back time
and it appeared Luke had fallen to the sword of Trevor and was back 15
seconds or so. I worked my way past Luke as I kept my eyes on Trevor with
the final mile drawing closer. I summoned some courage and went for a nifty
move of my own and laid down an awesome surge (so I thought) only to find
Trevor using his giant legs to keep pace with my, what felt like, hobbit
legs. I couldn't sustain the surge and shake Trevor so I abandoned that
plan and waited for another opportunity later on. With 800 meters to go,
there were three sharp turns and a couple short up hills where I knew my
little hobbit legs would accelerate quickly. I pressed hard through this
section and as the blood started to pore from my ears and my legs thicken
with lactic I had managed to gap Trevor and somehow make it to the finish
line without falling over. I was able to pick up my second win in as many
weeks and it was a glorious battle with two great athletes, one a fellow
Canadian, and I was happy to have been a part of it.

Last week's win was about executing a plan and racing smart and to my
physical abilities, my sponsors and supporters allowed me to execute my
fitness and have that great success. This week's race my sponsors,
supporters and equipment were pivotal but it was the years of racing
experience and coaching expertise from Lance Watson over the last 17 years
that allowed me to find a way to win despite the challenges I faced.
Without the wisdom and confidence I have gained through the years of tough
workouts I would not have been able to persevere and battle back for the
win. Lance has taught me so many tactical and physical skills, coupled with
mental fortitude through difficult training sessions, that I wouldn't be the
athlete I am today without him. It's satisfy to win on days when you feel
great and can push the whole way, but it is a much different feeling to have
had to look deep within and fought my way back into the race and found a way
to win.

It was another stellar weekend for Canadians with myself and Trevor 1-2 and
Melanie McQuaid 1st on the women's side. Two weekends with two Canadian
sweeps and 50% of the podium, not bad Eh!

Finally in closing, the words of Iñaki de le Parra to Trevor Wurtele and
Luke Bell, "thank you for the pleasurable suffering!"

Brent McMahon

@tribrentmcmahon on Twitter

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