On September 16th I raced the ITU Olympic Distance Triathlon World Championships in Surfer’s Paradise, Australia. This was the 14th time in my career I have raced the Olympic Distance Worlds and 25th time I have raced for Team USA at a world championship. It has been an honor every time.
The 1.5K (0.93 miles) swim was point to point with the current so times were going to be fast. My age group was 3rd from the last to start at 8:30am. The water temperature was in the high 60’s so we could wear wetsuits and the air temperature was in the mid 70’s. I had a very solid swim as I completed the course in 21:57, good for 23rd place.
The 40K (24.8 miles) bike course was 2 laps of mostly flat roads. The bike challenge was going to be the winds. The evening before the race the organizers announced disk wheels would be prohibited because of the high winds. That was not a problem for me as I don’t race with a disk, but it did cause some athletes to scramble to borrow or rent wheels. I had all I could handle keeping my bike on the road with the crosswinds. I felt safe in the aero position only about 1/3 of the time. My bike split was 1:09:07 (21.7 mph) which was 68th best, dropping me to 49th place.
The 10K (6.2 miles) run course was also 2 laps of a pancake flat road. My legs felt as good as they have in years on the run. I had the fastest run split on the day with a time of 36:31 (5:53/mile) to finish in 2:12:48. I placed 19th out of 92 men age 55-59. I was thrilled to crack the top 20. I was the 5th out of 16 Americans.
I had raced the 2009 Worlds on this course and placed 29th in the men’s 45-49 age group with a time of 2:08:02. I was pleased that I have not lost too much speed over the past 9 years.
Click on this link to see my race photos (very few good swim photos, but lots of good bike and run photos) http://www.finisherpix.com/gallery/photos/en/AUD/2595/21740
While I was racing at the Gold Coast, my wife Laurie was racing the Sydney Marathon. Laurie had another of her great races as she placed 3rd in her age group. This was her 257th career marathon. I missed her for the day we had to be in 2 different cities, but I am so glad she did this race. I could not be more proud of her!
We were in Australia for 9 days. It was a lot of fun seeing old Team USA friends and making new ones. The first half of the trip was spent relaxing at Surfer’s Paradise which is one of the most beautiful beach resorts in the world. The second half we became tourists in Brisbane. We enjoyed a few evenings of the light show at BrisFest along the south bank of the Brisbane River. We toured the General Douglas MacArthur Museum as Brisbane was his headquarters during World War II. We took a half day tour of the Tamborine Mountain Rainforest and a full day tour of North Stradbroke Island. Straddie is the 2nd largest sand island in the world. We saw kangaroos, koalas, sea turtles, dolphins and whales in their natural habitat. We had a wonderful time!
God has really blessed us!
Living the life…