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ST ANTHONIES 5150 2014

I have arrived back to Boulder with sore legs and a feeling of accomplishment after the weekend. On Sunday I raced in one of the great classics of non-drafting racing, the St Anthony's triathlon. It is one of the oldest standing Olympic distance non-drafting races. The race always has a very strong field and hard close racing is guaranteed. I was going into this year's race feeling stronger than previously but with a little bit less speed work under my belt with all of the half ironman training so I was a little nervous to see what I could produce on race day. Nonetheless a hard day ahead was guaranteed!

 

I woke up to a nice warm and humid morning on race day with just a little bit of wind around. I set up my transition area as well as possible in the dark before heading over to the swim start. I had a decent start and settled into a good position. At the halfway point I moved up in the group so I was sitting second inline keeping an eye on the two swimmers out in front. I was happy with how I felt and I was ready to use what I have learnt in previous years to my advantage. I decided to only swim in my Blue Seventy tri suit as it was fast enough with out me needing a speed suit that way I could get through the first transition quickly. I got onto the bike and into my Bont shoes ready to be smart for the first 5km, my legs didn't quite have the speed to take off at the start of the bike. I stuck to my plan of taking the first 5km steady and relaxed while staying in contact with the front. I was still very much in contention but knew that I needed to be strong for the second half of the bike. The pace was quite uneven and there was a large pack forming. The draft rules were being pushed and I knew it was going to be hard to get away from the large group of world-class athletes.

 

The group did split a couple of times but always came back together. At around 25km there was a good split in the bunch and it took a solid effort to make sure I went with the front group. I thought that was the split that would last but it was not the case. From then on in the ride I always stayed in the top few riders of the group not wanting to drop back into the chaos behind and risk getting a penalty. I felt strong on the bike and was controlled. The bike was not as hard as previous years and everyone seemed to be getting prepared for a fast run.

 

I was the first one off the bike in my group and my legs felt good when they hit the ground. I had a quick transition and was out and running strong without starting to quickly! I quickly closed the small gap to the front few athletes. There were some quality fast runners in the group and I knew I needed to go out with them, so I pushed the legs to stay in contention, the extra pace was really hurting me but I still felt pretty good. The large group quickly thinned itself out and there were now a handful of athletes running at the front of the race. I was at the back of the pack trying to keep my legs turning over at the high speed. I started to just drop off the tail of the group just before the halfway point, I knew I needed to stay strong on the way home.

 

I pushed hard for home and managed to keep a decent pace up, I felt strong but the faster pace was taking its toll on my legs. I could see the front runners and knew I had a gap behind me so I kept pushing on not wanting to get caught. I managed to finish in 8th on the day, one place better than last year. I was very happy with how my body responded to the speed and I was happy to have another top 10 finish at such an iconic race.

 

I had a great home stay in St Petersburg and we had a fun evening sharing stories and playing some games. I have 3 weeks in Boulder now until the next race which is a slightly different format to usual. It is a time trial start meaning they send the athletes off 20 seconds apart so it is a true individual race against the clock.

 

 
 
 
 
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