I apologize for the delay in the race report. As it happens, when I left the internet decided to fall apart and it has taken me and Stewart (my homestay Dad) a number of hours to sort out how to get it fixed up again.
Where to start? Maybe with the 30 minute delay, because it was in Mexico and we all predicted things would be about 30 minutes behind schedule. I had watched a bit of the Junior race while out on my early AM jog. The surf was gnarly. We are talking double overhead waves that mercilessly came slamming down tumbling and tossing anything and everything in their path. But, yes, let's please send some poor Juniors out into them and hope they all survive. I knew, based on the look on my little brothers face as he ran through transition, that it had been a swim of survival for them.
I set up my transition as the sun burned through the haze and started to heat up the air. It was going to be a hot one. With a 10:50am start time, I knew hydration would be critical. I headed down to the water with Lauren Groves around 10:15am to try to get in a "warm-up" swim before we had to line up. Let's just say, that did not go over so well. I found myself swimming and going nowhere, diving to the bottom to try to avoid being completely washed by waves rolling in and still finding myself being dragged backwards. After about 5 minutes we looked at each other, laughed and turned around. We had not even made it to the break and were completely exhausted.
After speaking to the officials, fearing for the safety of all of us, I was informed that the waves came in sets of 8. The plan was to send us off after the 8th wave. We would then have about 3 minutes to get out beyond the break or we would get completely trashed. So, I knew what I had to do. When the horn blew, I ran as fast as I could and putting my head down I swam as hard as I could at each and every cresting wave. I dove under one but managed to reach every other wave just as it started to crest. That meant that everyone behind me was getting beat up while I had smooth water to swim through. As per Simon's advice, I smiled about it and had the best time as I turned the first buoy in 2nd plae.
The rest of the swim was fine because I learned later that only 8 of us had made it through with little to no problems. The gap back to the second pack was already a good 90 seconds after only 400 meters or so of swimming. I had a fast transition, after coming out of the water in 4th, and was 3rd on to the bike course. I immediately shut down the gap to the leaders and started riding hard with three women. It was going great, easy into my shoes, my legs were totally being ripped off and I was having a bit of "ocean" reflux until the girl in front of me gapped the other two women and sent us both off the back. I knew a small pack was coming up from behind so I took the opportunity to eat and drink a bit before settling in with the chase pack.
We worked well together, well 3 of us did, but having 2 women who could not pull through really hurt the flow of our pack. We ended up losing time and came off the bike about 2 minutes down on the two leaders. Out of T2, I was running with Lauren and feeling awesome... but that only lasted for about 200 meters until my body "shut down". I struggled for the rest of the run, fighting with myself, and ended up 13th. Once again, let down by my run and feeling like my will power and mental fortitude were there but my body was no longer interested in responding.
I do believe I had a solution for this, a secret... of course, but hopefully I can, without too much effort, make the structural changes in my body and immediately see results.
I have no idea where I am racing next, I'll update you when I know. For now, enjoy some photos...
view from the race course
Sombreros... in the airport
Gunny in Brandy Shoes
Brandy and her Brandy