Monday, July 9, 2012

Success at 5i50 NYC Tri!

I love the overwhelming sense of camaraderie one gets out of competing in a triathlon. That's what ultimately got me hooked. Of course I love to compete and push my body's limits but it's the unconditional support and encouragement one gets from fellow competitors and spectators that is so invigorating.

Running through Central Park at this weekend's Aquaphor 5i50 NYC Tri, 500 people must have cheered me on and I don't think they knew what was happening! They were simply out for their morning jog or strolling with their dog. They saw these people running like crazy with bib numbers and inherently poured on the support. Additionally, I'm always impressed by super Pro performances but what's just as impressive to me are the age-groupers and how they go out and have the time of their lives. It becomes an event to share with friends and family members and yet another one of life's challenges to overcome!

This is all so prevalent at the NYC Tri which is why I don't hesitate when I decide to make the 3,000 mile jaunt across the country -- I have to be a part of it!

This popular tri was stacked with triathletes from all realms of the sport -- the likes of Oly distance star B Collins, ITU veteran M Chrabot, bike specialist D Thompson, Ironman World Champ runner-up P Jacobs, and up and coming HAUS J Jones.

The swim start was EARLY -- 5:50. This meant my wake-up call was 3:45 or 12:45 my body's time! The Hudson River swim was down current and FAST. It was made even faster by the fact that I was equipped with my Xterra Velocity speed suit. Actually, the swim was brutal because there was so much debris in the water. Big chunks of wood and trash, made it painful at times. The whole time I was waiting to knock my teeth out! Nonetheless, I had the best swim of my career and not obviously because of the 12:23 swim time but because of my position upon exiting. I came out of the water in 9th, right in the thick of it. I shot down the boardwalk to transition and was able to maintain my position despite having to remove my speedsuit. At that time I also noticed my timing chip was no longer on my ankle..guess I swam right out of it..!

The bike wasn't too great. I couldn't find a good rhythm and nor could I keep pace with several riders who eventually left me by a couple of minutes. I came into T2 on the heels of an Aussie Pro. We exited transition together and he took off at a break-neck pace that I couldn't match. He would gap me by as much as 200 yards and I wondered if I'd ever see him again over the ensuing miles..?

Halfway through the run, I had only overtaken one racer and was feeling pretty demoralized. I was tempted to put it into cruise control when I rounded a corner and caught a glimpse of another racer and the Aussie Pro! That was all the motivation I needed. I lowered my head and pressed on the gas. I overtook both of them with a little more than a mile to go. I figured I had done what I needed to do until my friend and fellow, former Bruin runner started yelling at me that there were two guys 3-400 yards up the road that I could catch. By now there was about a half a mile to go and I figured there was no way. I pressed and pressed and the gap was rapidly diminishing. I pressed some more going into the finishing chute and was able to take them both out in a sprint to the line!! 9th!! I had just run the 2nd fastest run split on the day on a very hilly course, and more than two and a half minutes faster than my split last year!

This race was a perfect example of never giving up. I turned a mediocre 15th into a great 9th because I pressed right to the line. I could have easily thrown in the towel halfway through the run or after the bike even, but I didn't and it paid off! As a result, I earned some much needed 5i50 series points and am slowly but surely climbing that ladder into the top 30!

I have two more 5i50s this month, one in Muskoka, Canada and one in Columbus, Ohio. I'll be looking to build on this momentum! I want to give a BIG shout out to the people of New York. At every inch of the run, someone was cheering me on and it was so encouraging! Love the Big Apple! Thanks also of course, to all my amazing sponsors for helping me cross that line. Simply the best! Skechers, Zico, Xterra Wetsuits, Champion Systems, Kask helmets, and Gu Energy Labs.

Results can be found here.

Thanks for checking in, talk soon!


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