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ITU Worlds Race Report – Sandy Wilson

Sep 17 2017

by Mike Neill

I have never written a race report before but after 10 years of racing triathlons I am probably most proud of how I executed this race. So I thought, what the heck I’ll write about it.

As any athlete knows, getting ready for a big event takes a ton of time and commitment. In the 10 months leading into this race there were plenty of sacrifices (including an entire summer with no alcohol!)

I managed to follow my training schedule consistently and made sure to fit in all my strength training and core sessions (as coach always says “these are not optional workouts”) I also had regular treatment with physio, massage and chiro. It’s helpful to have an amazing team of healthcare professionals looking after you on your big training blocks.

When race day arrived I was fit, healthy and excited to race. However, despite all the preparation, endurance events are, by nature, unpredictable. Anything can happen on the day and because of this I was very nervous as I waited on the beach to start the 3k swim.

The water conditions were close to perfect and we were allowed to wear our wetsuits which is a huge relief for most triathletes. As with all open water triathlons it was a bit rough with some kicking and punching as we passed each buoy but overall I was happy with my swim and came out of the water with teammates, Monique and Diana, who I knew were good swimmers. I was where I wanted to be at that point of the race. Perfect!

As I headed out of transition and onto the bike, I only momentarily thought “I hope my electronic shifting will work” After 3 weeks without my race bike leading into this competition and a possibility I would not have it in time, I was very grateful to the boys at TREK Pro City for getting everything ready in the final days before the race. A special thanks to Cam!

OK, back to the race… I was absolutely thrilled with my bike split. I felt strong and comfortable the entire time. I was able to keep my heart rate exactly where I planned and finished 3 minutes faster than I had the previous year on the same course. Perfect!

As I left T2 I felt great and quickly fell into my planned pace and heart rate.

I have only ever ran 30k one other time in my life and it was last year at Nationals to qualify for this race. This part of the race was definitely the most worrisome for me. Having said that, I knew I had put in the time with my running and my goal pace was much slower than I try to race a half marathon. I just had to put that 3k swim and 120 bike behind me and take it one kilometer at a time.

I managed to keep a consistent pace for the first 20k and even though the third loop was a bit slower I was feeling good and stayed positive the whole run. The best part about running three, 10k loops (ok the only good thing about it) was I was able to see all of my HPR teammates and friends from Bermuda. I also had my whole family cheering for me which made me smile every time I passed them on course.

As I crossed the finish line I had no idea where I had placed but I had raced MY race, stuck with my plan and executed the perfect race in my mind.
As it turned out, I was 7th in my age. I had hoped for top 10. Perfect!

I am thankful for my teammates who I spend countless hours with through the training season. It is the friendship and support from HPR and our amazing community of athletes that really make me want to train for the next race. AFTER a really nice off season!