2nd in Chicago Triathlon
9 years, 3 months ago Posted in: Blog 0
I had an excellent time in Chicago. I stayed with Jillian Wagner and Mike Ronkoske. A great couple. In fact, so great that Mike went to St. Bedes Elementary school the same time I did! He is two years older than me, so we really don’t remember each other. Two years apart feels like a generation with you’re in elementary school. We had fun reminiscing about our old teachers.

They live almost to the top of a high rise right near the Pro athletes’ transition. It only took me a couple minutes to roll down there race morning.

The night before the race I noticed I wasn’t feeling too well. Turns out I had a slight temperature so I popped a couple Tylenol and hoped for the best. When I awoke on race month I wasn’t feeling quite 100%. All I could do as take things slow, one step at a time praying that I felt better by the race start. I wasn’t feeling bad enough to the point where I should be making phone calls about making the right decision to race. I figured if I kept it to myself and not hear myself say that I’m not feeling right, things will eventually start to come around.

As the morning went on, I began to feel much better. I made my way down to transition wearing a long sleeve shirt. Temperatures have been cool lately in Chicago. Cool for Chicago…in the summer…which meant the 60’s. In 2007 when I raced, it was very warm and I ran out of water on the bike, costing me to finish outside the money.

After setting my brand new Blue Triad up, I pulled my wetsuit on and jogged my way over to the start area….about a half mile away. My Aunt Suzie and Bela came out so see the excitement, so I told them I wouldn’t let them down especially after a solid performance the weekend before at Nationals.

During the swim, I found myself next to Matty Reed and behind Tim O’Donnell. These two guys are some of the best cyclists in the business and I knew that if I was going to have a great race I’d have to suck it up and some how stick with these guys coming off the bike. We’ve already lost Andy Potts’ feet by the half way and he started to build a lead which I hoped to get back sometime early on during the bike.
Exiting the water I found myself in 3rd and held that position until I eventually caught Andy on the bike. I haven’t been training much on my non-drafting cycling this season so without giving much thought to the 2nd half of the bike, I pushed the pace. Andy wasn’t going to let me get too far, so we exchanged the lead for a few times before Matty Reed cruised by.
Last summer Andy and I rode the whole bike together at the Escape from Alcatraz before he popped me about 2 miles into the run on the first set of stairs. This was my second opportunity in a non-drafting race to try and beat him.
Shortly after Matty went by us, I was riding a few meters to Andy’s right when he suddenly clipped an age grouper who had no idea the pro men were barreling down Lake Shore Drive doing almost 35MPG. Both of them hit the ground hard. A few seconds later Cameron Dye came up along side and we both muttered, “that was close.” Word on the street Andy didn’t have any broken bones or severe damage. Just very serious road rash.
I talked to his coach and my swim coach, Mike Doane today at swim practice and says he’s going to attempt to spin on the bike. Hope you have a speedy recovery Andy!
After Andy was out for the count, Matty put about 40 seconds on me and Cameron Dye heading into T2. By this time, I totally forgot about the way I felt the night before and was on a mission to run Reed down. Some of the time checks people gave me were way off, 20 seconds, 1:40, 30, :60. I had no idea what to believe. Matt’s such a tall guy that I would be able to see him easily on the strait aways. I barely saw him. At the 3mi turn around I didn’t make up much of any time. The gap stood at 40 seconds. Afterwards, I slowly began to fade and ended up finished almost a minute back by the end. Tim O’Donnell had the fastest logged run of the day and was creeping up on me.
2nd place and 1:49 on that course is pretty respectable.
Thursday I’m off to Gold Coast, Australia for the World Championship Finale, or I get I should say the World Champs!
I had a great track session today and am looking forward to the race next weekend 3PM Brisbane, Australia time.
Check out for great live coverage of the race.
Cheers mate!

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