Coming off of the 4th in Barbados, I was feeling really motivated for St. Anthony's and had a great lead up to the race. My Mom and Dad were both conveniently in Florida on vacation, so we had some good times together before the race. My Dad had his road bike with him as well, so we got to put in a few rides together before the sun got too hot! My Mom gave me some pointers on how to navigate the waves and take on sharks!
The race started at 6:50am, so the heat from some of the previous races I had been in wasn't going to be as much of a factor. The replacement factor was the wind! The swim was cut down from 1500m to 900m for safety due to the high winds, but there was still a lot of separation in the groups. Safety should always be a priority so kudos to the St. Anthony's race referees and team that made that decision. I really enjoyed the choppy water and had a good swim. It was the first time I had ever raced in the HUUB Albacore Swimskin and it was lightning fast! In the ITU style racing that I normally compete in these suits aren't allowed. Last year I didn't even have one, but this year I was far more prepared. I came with my Bruce Wayne alter-ego swim wear and punched out of the water with the leaders. Then I had some bad luck...
When I arrived in transition, I quickly took off the HUUB Albacore Swimskin and strapped on my helmet...only my helmet was broken. The ear flap was busted and as I ran out of transition I just tried to tuck it into the side of the upper portion of the helmet and my head. I was still with the leaders when I mounted and ducked into the aerobars...only my left aerobar was no longer attached and my arm rest was wobbling loose. The only thing I can think of is that in the high winds my bike blew over in transition and caused all the damage. An official probably set it back up and didn't notice what had happened. I later found out on the course that my rear brake was rubbing too. I lost a lot of time on the bike course, but in the end I still was happy to cross the finish line.
I was definitely feeling a little devastated after the race. Last year I crashed on the bike here and this year my bike crashed without me even being there. I worked as hard as I could though, and controlled everything that I could. Sometimes you just have bad luck. There's a quote in our weight room at the University of Guelph: "You're not training to be the best in the world. You're training to be the best in the world on your worst day." My Mom and Dad also used to say a similar thing to my sister and I when we were kids. They told us that they didn't care whether we finished first or last as long as we never gave up and tried our best. All that is to say that as much as the outcome of the race wasn't what I wanted, the process behind the race was really the same had I finished any higher. I had tried my best. Also, true to their words to a younger lycra swim short and cotton t-shirt wielding triathlete version of myself, my parents gave me a hug after the race (when I was less covered in sweat of course). They also made me realize just how fortunate I am and how much work I have ahead of me for Mother's and Father's Day.
There were two big highlights though on the trip home worthy to share!
1. My Dad and I climb Mt. Mitchell, the highest point East of the Mississippi River on our Cervélo bikes. My Mom thankfully saved us with warm clothes. Definitely worth the trip if you are ever in North Carolina!
2. Gen made World Standard at Payton Jordan and had an interview with FloTrack!
The next race up is the Major League Triathlon in Charlotte, North Carolina on May 19th and it will be my first as a Carolina Glider!
Thanks again to all my sponsors for their support on this journey:
Caledon Hills Cycle/Cervélo