Hong Kong ITU
16,000 miles for a flat tire....
Let me explain.
Swim went off as a deep water start. Knowing that this field had some strong and weak swimmers I decided to take the far right and try to get clean water off the line. It worked, I separated myself from the others around me then drifted over to the pack which had gotten off to a quick start. I had been swimming well up to the race and had confidence I would swim well here. However I think a lack of open water training hurt my positioning and tactical sense during this portion of the race. I was pinned to the outside of the pack and was not getting a draft. I essentially had to swim the leaders (D.Polyansky) pace, which was pretty swift. The exit from this swim was unique in that you had to climb a ladder, maybe 3 or 4 rungs out of the water. I exited just behind Barrett Brandon from the USA in about 7th spot 10s down from the lead out.
The T1 was a long one, and I got gapped here from the front 6. I had to really lay down some anaerobic power to bridge up quickly before they got organized on the bike. I was able to do so and started to began to find a better heart rate zone. The bike course was quite challenging with a longish big ring climb (maybe 4%) that was to be hit 14 times in the 40k. Unfortunately my race had only just got interesting with a good feel and some surges before the dreaded sound of a puncture occured. Your first thought is "was that my wheel", then " no, thank god" , then "oh wait it was me, crap"
That was it, I was a long ways from the wheel pit where I still probably would not have been able to get a wheel from another country. I watched the race ride away and was now a spectator.
I have learned though to accept this as part of racing. Sometimes you race well, sometimes you flat, sometimes you race horribly. It is all part of the game.
The remainder of my stay I had a great time with Ikko, Erica and Makoto. We went to the infamous Mongkok marketplace where you name it they have it. From chickens to bowling balls it can all be found there. Ocean Park, a large aquarium/amusement park was a good time as well as the final dinner we had at a Schezwan restaurant. My first impressions of eating jellyfish were that it is unique....very unique.
Flying home I was delayed again in San Francisco to no surprise. Hmmm...two trips, both involving SF and both resulting in flat tires. Note to self: Next year avoid SF when possible
Thank you to Ikko, Erica, and Makoto for hosting me during this time. You showed great hospitality once again. Another thank you to Champion Systems for helping out with this race, it was great to meet some of the staff at the race, it was unfortunate that I couldn't complete the race in front of you all. And thank you to everyone for their kind words and support. Racing at this time of year can be difficult to find that umph, but you have been very motivational.
I am not done yet, no sir. In two weeks I will travel to Huatulco, Mexico for the last World Cup of the season. The following week I will end the year in Clearwater racing the 70.3 World Championships. Then it will be time for a deserved break indeed.
Back in Canada I got a quick jolt to get some solid training in before these next races from the following Big Willie Special: