Syracuse 70.3

It had been three weeks since REV3 and I was keen to see if I could improve on my 3rd place. The field was strong with it being a 50K pro purse. Pete Jacobs and Paul Ambrose seemed to be the biggest threats with both coming off recent victories. I was really happy with the 2 week block of training I had put together leading into this race. I had worked really hard on my running speed and was excited to put it to good use.

I swam ok and came out with Paul Ambrose and Callum Millward. The water was a warm 75 degrees, much too warm for a wetsuit, but rules are rules and we all wore them, not willing to give up the advantage! Once onto the bike, Ambrose set off in hot pursuit of the leading three who were about one minute up the road (Jacobs, O’Grady, Albert). We soon had them in sight and by the 10 mile mark Ambrose and I were in first and second positions. Ambrose continued to push the pace. Around half way through the bike, the gap opened up and I continued to ride with Millward and O’Grady. I was surprised to see that Jacobs had been dropped! With no splits out on the course, I continued to push hard and limit the loss to the leader.

Entering T2, the three of us were 3.15 down on Ambrose! If I ran well then there was a chance to catch up but I wasn’t sure. Millward set a fast tempo and I was happy to follow. The run course was anything but flat with many undulations and nearly a 1 mile climb up to the far turn around point each lap. Millward and I climbed the hill together before I managed to open a gap on the way back down. Once in a clear second place, my focus narrowed to Ambrose. By half way, I had cut it back to 75 seconds. Heading back out on lap two, I managed to pull back 5-10 seconds per mile and by the turn around, I was vying for the win. I accelerated past Ambrose, coming back down from the turn around and then set sail for home. I did not ease up until the line, taking the win by just under 1 minute.

A win over any 70.3 distance race requires pushing through many pain barriers. It comes down to whether or not the mind can handle it and if the body has been trained to dig that deep and still hold strong. Since coming back to Boulder in April, I have trained harder, smarter and am more specifically focused on what it takes to win titles. I look forward to my next race in 3 weeks: Vineman 70.3. I won it in 2009 and broke the record. I couldn’t defend my title in 2010 because I was coming back from injury and last year I came 3rd and lost my course record to Andy Potts. I want the title and the record back!

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