So, two weeks ago I raced my first ever Elite race at the Kelowna Apple Pan American Premier Cup race (ITU Continental Cup.) Pretty much going to serve that one up to experience. The swim was absolutely horrible, i froze my ass off before i even got in the water. The weather was insane, windy with some very heavy rain at times. My bike wasn’t bad, and i set a personal best on the run with a 35:06. But a fall before i even got on the bike definitely slowed me down, and healing has been a little slow. Coming out of T1 completely frozen from the swim, i couldn’t feel my legs at all (or any part of my body for that matter,) so when i went to jump on the bike I tripped up and didn’t quite make it over the seat.
Have you ever seen an indoor volleyball player make a huge save by sliding on their knees to get to the ball? Well that was me, sans knee pads, plus more pavement. But in my defence, after being instructed very sternly by my pal Charlene Croteau (who also graciously offered her parents place as a homestay) “for the love of God, Bucky, please stay vertical,” I did indeed stay vertical. The bike nor I went down. I just got a little lower to the ground than I’m used to. Hearing the crowd full of hundreds of spectators go “oooohhhhhh” is not a good sound to hear. Swim-to-bike = EPIC FAIL.
After dusting myself off, I continued on with my Jamis Xenith Race. I put the ZIPP 808 Clinchers on it from my other bike, the Jamis Xenith T2 time trial bike, and boy did they perform beautifully! During the 6 loop course i ended up in a pack of 4 riders, and we rode to a pretty good bike split, keeping away from the lead pack (in the ITU if you are going to get lapped they drop you out of the race.) The rain didn’t help much, but the Oakley Radar’s that my buddy James Fry lent me definitely kept the rain out of my eyes.
My E-Load and E-Gels kept the energy flowing as I went from the bike to the run. I hit the run hard and fast right from the get-go, as the field was definitely a fast one. Two of the guys coming out of T2 with me were just too fast to hang on to, but i spent the entire run slowly reeling guys in, passing a fair amount before the finish. I don’t think i was recovered completely from a hard 10k effort the weekend before, but i was very happy with the run. My New Balance 205KIM race flats were extremely smooth and comfortable, fitting like a glove. Even with some major road rash on my feet, they were still fantastic, never at any time being uncomfortable.
For my first ever Elite race, and this only being my third season, i would say the race was fairly successful. My swim is obviously my weakest point, and will need a lot of work for sure.
Thanks to everyone who was out there to cheer me on, your cheers of support definitely helped me push harder. Every time i heard someone yell out my name, it gave me a little shot of adrenaline to feed off. Thanks to my sponsors for all their support. A big thanks to my coach Shaun Callaghan of Pacific Rim Multisport Coaching, who was there to ensure i got to the start line ready to go, and gave me a lot of support during the race as well as post-race. Without all the people who offer me support in various ways, i don’t know how I’d manage in this sport.
Nathan (aka “Bucky”)