Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Dubai 70.3

29 January-

After a disappointing race at IM Malaysia I was hungry.  I was hungry to get back to work, I was hungry to race again, I was hungry for redemption.  After IM Malaysia, I headed back to the US to spend some time with family, attend a family wedding, and spend Thanksgiving at home, a first in many years.  I then headed to Argentina with my wife, Hila.  We spent 7 days down there, ending our trip in Ushuaia, where she would depart on her field work for Antarctica for the following 6 weeks.  I then headed back to California to spend a few more weeks with family and to spend Christmas at home.

After Christmas I headed down to San Diego (Carlsbad / Leucadia to be exact) to put in a 4 week block of training.  My coach, Scott DeFilippis, is based out of there so it makes for some great training and "real" coaching.  It is always great to have him around day-to-day, not only for the training but also the life talks, business talks (more to come on that), and a few beers here and there.  I got in a solid training block, other than being sick for a few days, but I left San Diego feeling really good.

The flight to Dubai was a bit long to say the least, San Diego to Houston to Frankfurt to Dubai. I think it was 32 hours door to door.  I got into Dubai around midnight and was able to get about 6 hours of sleep the first night.  Then after that it was all downhill with jet lag, I was jet lagged the whole time I was there, just couldn't get into a routine.  Had a mechanical issue with my Di2, fixed $225 later, then on the way to bike check the rear tire popped in the back of the car.  Then I did get about 4.5 hours of sleep on race night, and felt pretty good waking up, so maybe things were taking a turn for the better.........

Bike Check In (Photo Credit: Timothy Carlson)

Swim (shortened to 1200m)- 18:59 / 16th out of water

At the race briefing the day before the race, they presented 3 different variations of the swim course.  This was due to possible bad weather and high "surf".  So race morning came and the swim course was shortened, and I am pretty sure it wasn't even one of the three options.  We were told we would get a lead kayak, which was good as no one had been able to pre-swim the course.  It was cold that morning. The warm up area was in a different location and we trusted that the course was going to be easy to navigate.  Well everything seemed great the first lap.  I got into a good pack of 4 guys and was swimming well.  Bart Aernouts was to my right and I was happy to come out of the water on lap 1 with him as I had lost 3.5 mins to him last year at Challenge Rimini.

Going into Lap 2 I was starting to come off the back of our small group, but I was able to get back on after the dive back in and hung on until the swim exit.  Due to the course change, there ended up being a long 700m run back to T1, through the resort area and then along the beach.  I was able to stay with our small group through the run, but then had a small hiccup in T1.

I had forgot to put sun glasses on my bike and did not have a pair in my bike bag, so had to stop at my run bag and grab them out of there.  Then when going to leave my swim bag I went to run off to realize I still had my swim skin on, rookie mistakes, which caused a gap between me and the group out of T1.

Bike- 2:06:57 / 6th off the bike

So with the debacle in T1, I ended up having a 20-30sec gap to a group of 7 riders.  I got onto the road and just put my head down and rode right around threshold for the first 6mins to close the gap, most of it out of my shoes.  Once to the group I actually tightened the shoes down and sat on the back for a few minutes to see how things were going.  There was one guy on the front with Nic Baldwin and Bart Aernouts in the group.  I was content in the group for a bit, but then got antsy.  I went up to the front for a bit, but with no one else wanting was  to come around, I backed off a touch and let the same guy that was in the front come back to the front. 
Out on the bike hammering away (Photo Credit: Timothy Carlson)

We flew out to the turn around due to a massive tailwind and I believe we were sitting in 5th - 9th at that point, with Jan Frodeno, Josh Amberger, Balasz Csoke, and one other up the road.  We caught Balasz soon after the turn around and kept the pace up into the cross/headwind.  I went to the front again and then after a bit let the other guy come back around.  Seemed as if everyone was content with the pace and was fine sitting back.  I knew this wasn't in my favor as I didn't want to have to run with these guys, so luckily around 45 miles came a storming Terenzo Bozzone.  He had a mishap in the swim and was making it his mission to come through the field.

When he came by, I was sitting second in our group and I thought the guy in front would go with him, but a gap slowly opened up and I eventually went around but Terenzo was riding super hard.  I was able to keep the gap the same, but wasn't able to get back to within 12 meters, and was stuck at 20 meters.  At that time Bart came around and I was able to stay with him, and he made it to Terenzo.  The three of us ended up riding all the way back to T2 together, well more like Terenzo dragged us back to T2.

Run- 1:20:54 / 7th across the line

I left T2 with Terenzo and Bart just a few seconds ahead of me in 4th and 5th, and I was in 6th.  As the meters ticked away, so did they.  I just focused on my race and running the best that I could.  It was a 3 lap run course which was great to see where I was, if I was gaining on anyone and if anyone was gaining on me.   After the end of lap 1, Nic Baldwin caught me, but going around the U-Turn he had some cramps and I was able to pull back away.  At the end of lap 2 he caught me again and slowly opened up a gap.

Chasing Nic Baldwin on the run course (Photo Credit: SnapShots)

Another guy was coming through the field looking strong and with 2 miles to go the gap was probably down to 25 seconds.   As we were approaching the final 1K I knew he was closing in.  I ran scared, I ran for $250 extra bucks, and somehow managed to keep it together to hold onto 7th by 6 seconds and losing out on 6th by 28 seconds.

After crossing the finish line I ran into Bob Babbitt and had a quick chat with him about how the race played out, you can watch that below.

Swim (shortened to 1200m)- 18:59 / Strava:
Bike- 2:06:57*4th Fastest Split* / Strava: / 
Training Peaks:
Run- 1:20:54 / Strava: / 
Training Peaks:
Total- 3:49:48 / 7th Pro
(Results Link:

Media Coverage of Event:

Overall I was really happy with how the race went.  I took a risk by coming out to Dubai and it paid off.  I had a swim that kept me in a group, even though a short swim, still a breakthrough for me, considering I lost 3.5mins to Bart back in April.  I rode in the group, did a bit of work, and then was able to go with the late race move, that set me up for a top 10 finish.  So I would say it was a good day in the "office", and I learned a LOT, which is always a good thing.

After the race I spent a few days in Dubai, then headed down to Australia to reunite with my wife after 7 weeks apart.  We had a great time down in Melbourne, along the Great Ocean Road, in Tasmania and now we are off to Wanaka for Challenge Wanaka on February 20th!
Thanks to my wife, family, friends and sponsors for the continued support.  If you would like to support the companies that support my triathlon career, check out this page for some great discounts:

Throwback Picture to 2009 when I met Terenzo pre race in Clearwater at 70.3 World Champs.  He beat me by 47 minutes, 7 years later and I am on the same start line as him and lost by 5 minutes…………..

Coming out of T2 (Photo Credit: SnapShots)
Out on the Run Course (Photo Credit: Timothy Carlson)

1 comment:

Calendula said...

Dubai is a place I want to visit. Glad you were able to compete there.