Dallas race report

October 15th, 2009 av

The day started off with a lot of drama, too much drama for being an early Sunday morning… I guess the good thing was a managed to clear all the unwanted action before the race even got started.

As I was packing my gear into the car while showing down a strong coffee I found a flat front tyre on my Stevens Volt. Arrgghh… I ran back in the house and grabbed Kathis front wheel which also was a carbon race wheel, maybe not with as deep rims…but hey! It’s a front wheel… 

We got into the American Airline Centre just after 5am and I walked in to set up my transition and check the bike entre/run exit. I was jogging around with my three layers of clothes trying to stay warm in the cold Dallas morning. I guess I was lucky to pick up a LA Galaxy jacket in the LA triathlon or I would have been really cold.  With everything in place we got back in the car for the drive down to the swim start. About half way down the car starts to wobble badly and Kathis pulls over to the side. It gets really quiet in the car as we realize there is a flat tyre on one of the front wheels.

These things just doesn’t happen, not when you have to be down and get ready for a big race!

Luckily we had Liz Blatchford and her homestay a couple of cars ahead of us, they make a U turn to fetch me and my gear and we both got down to the racestart with time to spare.


Even though the air temperature was very chilly the lake water was one degree above the cut off for wetsuits. I was trying to work out if I should but on armwarmers, or even a jacket for the bike. The extra time it would take to put in on in T2 compared to the gain I would make with keeping my core temp up throughout the race.  Compromised with hanging my vest over the handlebars with the option of dodging it if it felt unnecessary once in the race.

The water wasn’t too cold but instead very choppy. The sun just broke trough before we started and it was almost magical with the mist resting on top of the water. The swim itself wasn’t as beautiful. I was struggling to find a rhythm and saw a smaller front group take off unable to hang on to the back of it. Well, I was nicely tucked in the main group between Nicky Samules and Daniela. I was hoping we weren’t loosing too much time to the likes of Haskins and Groff but felt good knowing I had strong bikers around me.


I got to my bike and made the quick decision of not using the vest. The water wasn’t as cold as I thought it would be and the air temp finally had warmed up a bit. I got out quick on the bike and caught Bennet and Oenick after the first couple of k’s. I could see Haskins and Groff up the road and was joined by Julie Diebens in the chase for the leaders.


Julie proved to be too strong for me in the hilly section around kilometre 10. Decided to let her go and calculated I could give her about a minute and still (hopefully) catch her on the run. My biggest concern was Sarah Haskins who still was up the road. She had been showing off some great running in the last couple of races – and there was now way I could afford to give her a headstart!

I felt better and better as the ride went on and I got into a good rhythm. The cadence was slightly higher than in LA and my position felt better after having made some changes on the saddle position. I was slowly making up ground on Haskins  and finally, with about a k’ to go I was close enough. I was helped even more when Sarah struggled to get her shoes on and made up another couple of seconds in T2. Thanks Darren for drilling the transition routine back and forwards a trillion times…

So we had Julie Diebens just a little bit up the road as we headed out down towards the American Airline Centre. I felt a bit stiff and cold and was focusing on finding something feeling like a rhythm. Sarah was making good pace, but knowing it still was a solid distance to go I wasn’t stressed but more concerned of conserving energy. We caught Diebens going up the little slope leading out on Katy trail. I could tell on her breathing that she was working hard and I was pretty sure she would be able to hang on to our pace. Sarah was still pushing the pace and we kept taking turns, with quite a few surges thrown into it on the way out towards the turnaround. It really felt like neither of us wanted it to come down to a sprint…

As we were moving on towards halfway on the run I kept reminding myself of the final at the Gold Coast. Sarah was running really well and close to myself and moffat before loosing ground being overtaken by Helen on the last lap. If I let Sarah work hard, and just bide my time…there might be an opportunity for me somewhere after kilometre 8 somewhere…

The was from the turnaround down to the finish line is one long downhill. It’s not very steep, but it’s still a slope where you can gain a lot of energy and momentum if you are good at running downhill. Then with about 800meter to go there is a steeper part before hitting the street running down to the finishing shute. I did get my chance to have a crack just before that downhill. Sarah had made a surge (trying to get rid of me – yes I know very rude indeed…) and I could tell she was suffering a little bit from change of speed. I took the chance and accelerated. Didn’t look back but was listening carefully to work out if she still was sitting on my shoulder. When I couldn’t here any puffing behind me a realized I had a gap and bolted. There was no way I would finish off the season with another 2nd place! I got the chance and I wanted to make the most of it. Even though my legs and lungs were burning and body stiffening with fatigue I did find that extra bit of strength to make me all the way to the line and I could switch on a big grin before bending forward catching my breath.

It is such a good feeling to win a race!!! And it definitely makes all the training and life on the road worth while! And to have two wins in a row like this means I’ll have my share of endorphins for a good while!

It’s also fantastic to have people I know to share the win with – and in this travel I had so many people involved doing so many nice things for me. I had people opening up there houses and lives for me inviting me to stay in their houses. I had people helping me out with my bike, equipment, lifts, training…and other things that would have been so hard to work out by myself. And even though winning a race isn’t really a pay back to them – at least it feels like I made their efforts worthwhile! 

I hope I will get the chance one day to help others the way I’ve been taken care of over here.


So, so far I’m undefeated in the Lifetime Races. I guess I will have to come back and race for a 3rd consecutive win in Dallas next year, and work on my LA triathlon record… Maybe I should go and try for the whole series next year…?