For St. Anthony's, this finish was long in the making, as it's the first time I've cracked the top 10 at this event in the ten years since my first appearance. The caliber of competition is always quite high, and putting together a solid race after a few tough seasons was very rewarding.
|Did so well, I had to pee in a cup (I passed, shocking, I know)|
In regard to Alcatraz, this was my first start at the historic event, and a very memorable one at that. This years event marked the culmination of the Escape Triathlon Series, a short course race series comprised of 5 events across the country. Due to my performance last year at the Nations Triathlon, I secured a start position in the pro division at this years event. I'd always considered this event in the past, but the cross country travel, combined with an extremely demanding bike and run course had always given me pause. However, with short course racing opportunities being scarce these days, I figured I'd roll the dice, and I'm glad I did. Although I would've rather finished a bit higher in the standings, and made some silly errors in the race, I can't be unhappy at a top 8 performance at this iconic, and brutally challenging event.
|Calm sunrise shot, before the mayhem begins|
As mentioned above, my season was unfortunately ended prematurely due to a reoccurring calf injury. I've had calf issues similar to this in the past, but haven't had troubles for over two years. I set to getting in treated as quickly as possible, which, in hindsight, seems to have set me back even more. Instead of allowing the muscle/fascia to calm down a bit after the initial onset, I got aggressive with the deep tissue treatment. I finally acknowledged this, but only after several weeks of minimal progress. Though, I'm now happy to report that all systems are go, and I'm slowly building up my run fitness and strength, while putting a particular emphasis on calf and hamstring stretching, as these seem to be directly related to all of my lower leg issues.
Looking forward to 2019, there are big changes already in the works. The biggest of all would have to be the fact that, after 15 amazing years, I'm no longer residing in the Wilmington/Cape Fear region. I've made the move over to the western side of the state, to the town of Boone, to be with my significant other, Samantha, and my equally significant other, Mimsy the puggle.
|Sam likes the water. Mimsy, not so much.|
This move has been long in the making, and it feels good to have us all living together again, and not separated by 900 miles. Boone also provides great opportunities for training, that will prove invaluable. With some of the most challenging terrain on the east coast, the Appalachian region in North Carolina will be a prime base of operations for next season, and seasons to come. I've already begun a new partnership with one of the best cycling resources in the area Rhoddie Bicycle Outfitters in near by Blowing Rock.
Rhoddie, and it's owner Brian Sain, provide a wealth of knowledge for all things 2 wheel related in the region. You can find me at Rhoddie several days a week, helping folks explore everything from the Blue Ridge Parkway, to the lesser known gravel roads that make this place special. Stay tuned through the winter for more updates as I expand into new opportunities in 2019.