After a very disappointing Finish in San Diego, I am very happy with my 6th in Yokohama, my best achievement yet.
I had a reasonable start, but by 300m I managed to get into 3rd using the inside line around the bouys. The swim was very different from San Diego. At stages I went from being 3rd to about 6th or 7th then back to 3rd and 4th. I knew the pace was hard because the front 3 made a little gap to me and another athlete towards the end of the 1500m swim. I managed to bridge the gap just as we exited the water to secure my spot in the breakaway with a fast transition.
I made it into the breakaway of 8 athletes. When I got the chance to roll to the front I did, but unfortunately it only came about 4-5 times. With the rain coming down it made the course dangerous with many white lines and manholes. I may have over pumped my tires and felt my wheels slipping on almost every corner. It was a real test for me, physically and mentally. I lost time on every corner and had to dig deep to bridge the gap every time. I also had to stay focused for the entire 40km bike. One slip up and the race could’ve been over.
I was really happy I made it to transition. I got off the bike in a terrible position but with the tied fastest T2 with Richard Murray, I was just behind Gomez, Brownlee and Silva. I dug deep to hang on to their pace and feel what it’s like but they were too quick. I tried to maintain the speed I set out in the first km but after 3 laps it started to really sink in and hurt. I could see Richard was running very quickly and I tried to hold him off. He was just too strong with the second fastest run on the day to pass me with 400m to the finish. Leaving Richard 5th and myself 6th.
This is really great for South Africa’s recognition in triathlon. I am really happy with my result. If I have to compare where I was just one and a half years ago… it’s worlds apart. If I can continue to improve in training and racing the way I am, I believe I will soon be very competitive on the run too.
I am currently 20th on the World Ranking! 🙂
Congrats to Kate and Gillian on their 7th and 12th position. Really awesome stuff from South Africa this weekend.
I have to give thanks to my family for getting me to this race and compete. I must also thank them as well as my girlfriend and many other friends and supporters who supported me in Yokohama and back home in South Africa!