It’s been quite some time since I’ve written a blog. The intension is always there after a race, but the time is not. If there is one misconception people have about professional athletes, it’s that all we do all day is eat, sleep and train. If only that was the case. It was once. Way back when I didn’t really have a result to my name. But since then, more and more commitments from sponsors, media, fans and my personal responsibilities have piled up and left me with little time to myself. In all honesty, it’s a good problem to have. I guess in a way you kind of know you are successful when there is no time to look in the mirror to see how many wrinkles you have! But I’m still going complain about having no time because I’m British at heart and that’s what we are good at 🙂
So, is it just me, or are there other people out there wondering where the year has gone? I feel it was just yesterday when I kicked off my season with Challenge Dubai back in March. Now it’s August and I have 6 races under my belt. Mostly good results. Here is a bit of a summary: Challenge Dubai – 8th. First race of the season is always a bit of a struggle; Las Olas International – 1st. Good to find I still have speed over the Olympic Distance and a nice victory on my new bike; Cannes International – 1st. One of the hilliest races I have ever done which is not bad considering I train primarily on the flat roads of Miami; Ironman Texas – 2nd. The best I’ve felt racing an Ironman in over 2 years and losing to Angela Naeth by on 3mins and going sub 9hrs secured my Kona validation; Escape from Alcatraz – 4th. A tough race to back up with 3 weeks after an Ironman, but I lead until the run and had the fastest bike slit; IM 70.3 Vineman – DNF……thanks to a bee sting!
Unless you live under a rock, most of you would know about some of the new things that I have been involved in this year. First of all is the Alameda O.N. Triathlon Team. We have seen a good number of races appear on the calendar in the Middle East over the past several years. I remember first racing in Abu Dhabi back in 2008. However, there is a significant lack of talent coming from this region. The goal of the Alameda O.N. team is to mentor and support the next generation of triathletes from the Middle East Region to enable them to have opportunities to succeed at the Olympics and other professional races around the world. There is a lot more info here: www.alamedaon.com
The next new thing for this year is my new bike……the Ventum. Yes, it’s quick and all the wind tunnel testing has proven just that. This unique triathlon bike is inspired by the record breaking Lotus from back in the 90’s that was outlawed by the UCI, ultimately making it redundant in the road cycling arena. However, triathlon is a progressive sport that embraces innovation and forward thinking. Ventum’s lack of downtube is a large reason for its favorable aero data. The integrated water bottle that is shaped to conform to the frame is another making it the fastest bike with hydration…….the perfect piece of machinery for the modern triathlete! The Ventum will hit the market later this year, but in the meantime you can read all about it here: www.ventumracing.com
Finally I want to talk a little bit about my move to Miami. I have long been a fan of this big city. The first time I raced in Miami was in a celebrity team along with Anna Kournikova and Jennifer Fletcher. It was the Nautical South Beach Triathlon back in 2007 and we won. Every year after that I went back to Miami to race the South Beach Triathlon or the Ironman 70.3. I soon discovered there is a lot more to this busy city other than fast cars, crazy drivers and sky scrapers. There is definitely a notion that Miami is not the ideal place to train for triathlon. I was under the same impression when I first started racing there. However, since moving to Miami over a year ago, I would strongly disagree. There weather is pretty great all year round. The predominantly Latin American motorist, as crazy as they are, actually respect cyclist! There are some great long quiet roads for time trialing, numerous outdoor pools open all year round, plenty of off road running on canal trials and the beach, and finally, there is no shortage of people to train with. I have found that Miami residence like to wear skimpy outfits and look good and I guess that’s why triathlon is the perfect sport for the locals to stay in shape. And what’s the downside I hear you ask (everywhere has one right)? Well, as you may have guessed, there are no hills, but plenty of bridges. However I have done all my training on the flats this year and I am riding as fast as ever. The summers are also quite hot and steamy. But this is only a good thing when preparing for Kona. And lastly, when friends come to visit, they want to go out and party! I save that for my off season, so essentially during my season, I don’t see many of my out of town friends!
What’s up next? Well right now its nose to the grind stone with no more racing until the Ironman World Champs in Kona. After that I will race Ironman 70.3 Miami, The Island House Triathlon and finish off with Challenge Phuket. My agent, Lou Cantin (Tempo Sports Marketing) and I are working on some new and exciting things alongside my racing schedule for next year, including another training camp.
Thank you to my existing sponsors: Driscoll’s Berries, Alameda O.N., Ventum Racing, Mavic, Training Mask, Pacific Health Labs, Hoka One One, Trisports.com, The Island House, Kelly Kronenberg Attorneys at Law, Santini SMS, Swiftwick Socks, Blue Seventy Wetsuits, Pioneer Power Meter, Bike Insure, TriBike Transport, Giro, ISM Saddles, Computrainer, NormaTech Recovery, Fuel Belt, and Zealios Skin Care.