Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Japan. What a country. First impressions were impressed by landscape, people, culture, and Food!
I met up with the Beijing squad at one of the National Japan Training Centres to acclimitize and prep for Yokohama. The training Centre was great. Quiet, good training facilities and well fed with a buffett 3x a day. Can't believe I went 4 days there and didn't snap a single pic.
The bus ride into Yokohama was an eye opener. Colossal port, makes Vancouver look like a bath tub. Jason Wilson and I roomed throughout the trip. Our room in Yokohama was roughly 80 square feet. Cozy.
The race was held right in the heart of the city. Great crowds were on hand to support all the athletes racing in the first international sporting event since the devastating tsunami this spring. The appreciation the people of Yokohama had for the event and its athletes was very moving.
Swimming in salt water once again was great. The bouyancy and added density of it made me feel like i had a pull bouy and paddles on. With warm water for the swim leg I adopted a different strategy. A rope-a-dope strategy if you will, and it worked getting me out in great position to start the bike.
Having frozen bottles of E-load sure helped keep me cool and hydrated over the first 30k of the technical ride. By the last 2 laps however the bottles had warmed to ambient temp and I was starting to heat up. Poor position into T2, it will come.
The first lap of the run was hot. When we hit the first aid station, i'm sure the same thought was going through everyone's head upon dumping or drinking it. "Did I just heat myself up even more from that?" All the bottled water was also ambient....one of those races eh. However, I found there was still a benefit of pouring it on yourself with the breeze coming off the ocean.
After the first lap I became more comfortable and starting working with a group, pacing eachother. By 5k the group had dwindled to myself and Svarc from Czech. We worked very well together over the back 5k encouraging each other and sharing the lead to reel in I think 6 or 7 guys.
I finished up 28th, best WCS finish of the year and hopefully a spot on the pontoon for Sydney next spring.
Next up, Huatulco. Same conditions, with a tougher course....should be just as fun!