Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Silver at the Monterrey World Cup in Mexico

I flew into Monterrey with just a few days of recovery under my belt from the WCS race in Sydney. I was feeling fresh, ranked #1 in the race, and optimistic about a great performance in the Fundidora Parque. The race venue was a former steel foundry from 1900 to 1986. The park contains several industrial buildings from the old Foundry making the park a famous Archeological Industrial Site in Mexico full of beauty and ambiance. It also contains extensive walking tracks, an artificial lake, playgrounds for children and a 2.1 miles (3.4 km) permanent Formula 1 road course which is popular with joggers, bicyclists and inline skaters. An ideal place for a triathlon in a city setting.

Only problem was that the canal we were swimming in was terribly narrow and compact. It kind of meandered its way from city hall in down town to the Park where the race took place.

The start pontoon was set up at the widest part of the canal. After only 150-200m or so, it bottle necked then curved to the left. If you couldn't get out fast enough in the opening 50m, it was easy to get spit out the back...which happened to me.

I made a poor decision by picking one of the worst spots on the start line. Should have stuck with my initial gut instict by starting on the far right.

The water was only about waist deep, so it made for a very shallow swim. I had such a great swim in Sydney, I thought I'd have something similar in Monterrey. Boy was I wrong.

Coming out of the water about 60 seconds down from the leading group of 10 or so, I was lucky to have in company some of the best cyclists in the race. We were able to close the gap down to about 30 seconds. Because of my American teammates and friends up the road, I was hoping the main field wouldn't catch them but at the same time the gift of too much time would almost render our run performances meaningless.

Out onto the run, I was able to run down everyone by the end of the 3rd of 4th lap. Catching the race leader, Joao Silva, was out of the question. The race for the last 2 podium spots was on. I put in a big surge to try and shake off Manny, Seth, and the German, Greg Buchholz.

I noticed I felt much better while I surged, so I just maintained that pace until I picked it up once more right before the finish. In the end I held off the German and former U23 World Champion and cruised in for a 2nd place finish.

Overall, I'm very pleased with my performance. After such a rough swim and getting kicked in the chest very hard, I'm happy to still take home the silver and have the fastest run of the day.

For now, I'll relax during these next few days and prepare for the next World Championship Series race in Seoul, Korea on May 8th. My dad, who lives in Tokyo, is flying up to watch the race. I'm really looking forward to having family at a race on the other side of the world from home!


Friday, April 16, 2010

9th Down Under!

(From USATriathlon.org)
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - American athletes got off to a strong start in the first event of the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series Sunday with a combined three top-10 and five top-15 finishes in Sydney, Australia.

USA Triathlon takes a look back at last weekend's action and looks ahead to this week's biggest races on the elite calendar in what will become a regular weekly feature on usatriathlon.org.

Chrabot, Kemper Post Top-10 Showings
National team standouts and Colorado Springs, Colo., residents Matt Chrabot and Hunter Kemper took ninth and 10th, respectively, on the men's side. Chrabot crossed the finish line in 1:51:56, and Kemper was close behind in 1:52:07. Click here for USA Triathlon's recap of the race.

"Preparation heading into this race was the best ever," said Chrabot, who won the Miami International Triathlon March 14. "I proved so by coming out of the water in the top 10 and opened up a significant gap late in the bike. Unfortunately, I couldn't bridge up to Hunter in time so we could work together on the bike and save our legs for the run. I was a bit fried coming off the bike, but still felt very good.

"After leading the run for almost 5k, I was confident I would hold off the chase pack, but my legs grew very tired, and I started to fade fast. Ninth is a great finish in a WCS race, but I wish it could have been closer to the podium after such a monster effort."

Project 2016 team member Chris Foster (Redondo Beach, Calif.), who had already logged three top-six finishes in ITU Pan American Cup events in 2010, impressed with a 14th-place finish in 1:52:40 - just 33 seconds out of the top 10. Kevin Collington (Orlando, Fla.) of Project 2012 was 35th in 1:54:50. Full men's results are available on the ITU website.