It has taken me a few days to properly digest my result in St. Anthony’s. To explain why this race is so important to me, I suppose I need to start at the beginning. I first participated in St. Anthony’s as a part of the world cup race back in 2001; I was 17. I came back many times after that placing 10th, 7th, 5th,4th, 2nd and FINALLY in 2013 1st!!! I’ve done this race so many times and toed the line with incredible competition that this event attracts. This year was no exception; there was an extremely competitive mix of ITU athletes and non-draft athletes that included Olympic medalists and World Champions.
Race day was windier than expected, which made for a very wavy swim. I had a good start and got out well with the speedy swimmers. We made a 90 degree turn straight out to sea and that’s when the swim got rough. I wasn’t able to hold the feet of the lead group and lost some time. I exited the water in 6th place 40 seconds back of the leader.
I got onto the bike and knew I wanted to catch the leaders as soon as possible. I caught everyone except for Nicky Samuels by the 5 mile mark. I caught Nicky right as we went though the golf course and we rode the remainder of the course together.
I came into T2 in first place with Nicky right behind me. I felt good on the run and I had no idea how it was going until the 3.1 mile turn around. I could see that I had about 20 seconds on Nicky and maybe a minute on 3rd, but everyone was looking very good. I didn’t let myself settle or become too comfortable. I kept pushing hard and as I rounded the final turn to head into the finish chute I felt like my heart was going to burst with happiness. Lifting the tape over my head was pure JOY!
Next on my race schedule is Columbia 51.50 on May 19. Thank you for reading!
Thank you to Nils Nilsen for these beautiful pictures.