After not being able to start nationals, one of my main goal races of the year because I missed the pre-race meeting, coach Bjoern and I decided we should race Vancouver. Heading in I didn't really know what to expect considering I had taken the last 4 weeks off of serious training to recover from the Victoria training camp which had exhausted me. Heading into the race, I started to feel decent and managed 4 days of solid training to get the body ready for the effort. The swim was pretty tough with zero viability due to the sun. Before the start I had decided I should sight straight into the sun which in retrospect was a bad idea since I made this calculation 30 minutes before the race start and before the sun had moved to its new location ... Coming in from the first lap I hit the beach to realize I wasn't near the lap buoy. Probably my worst swim of the season but with a quick transition I was onto the bike in second place.
Put in a hard first lap trying to catch the leader than rode my last 3 laps near my limit trying to stay with Facundo (doing the relay) and another athlete who was one lap behind me having started in the over 40 wave 15 minutes behind. Since I didn't know this athlete I was riding with, I figured although he seemed very strong on the bike, he must only be a bike specialist and wouldn't be able to run or swim as well as me. Little did I know the fellow I was riding with, was a an extremely accomplished ironman professional who had just raced ironman Canada last weekend and has 6 ironman wins to his name and ironman PB of 8:03 !! Hopefully one day I will be that quick ! Quick transition and I was onto the run with the fastest bike split of the day !
First lap of the run and my lead pace biker fell over he was so excited. I had a few stressful moments when I realized the course wasn't fully setup and that the volunteers didn't know where to send me. Luckily I wasn't sent the wrong way. Took the first 2.5 km of the run out hard not knowing who was behind me until I realized I had a good sized lead on second place (Ben Cotter). Ran the next 7.5km strong into the finish easing up a bit in the last km or so to enjoy my first victory. After the race when I realized I had only beaten Jason Shortis who started in the second wave by 5 seconds, did I realize how close I came to letting the victory slip away in the last few km.
Taking the overall win was a great way to finish off my 2011 season.