Mike continues his recent run of international triathlon success at a hot and sunny Montreal, Canada.
On my last blog I reported on a wet, windy, and cold European Championship in Poland. This time it could not have been more different! A hot (31 degrees), sunny, and humid Montreal greeted us on Saturday 25 June for the World Sprint Distance Triathlon Championships. Luckily our event started at 0740 when air temperature was a more comfortable 22 degrees, and the water at the swim venue (the St Lawrence River) a comfortable 18 degrees. However the bike and run legs were not so lucky with the temperature rising to nearer 26 degrees and the heat bouncing back off the tarmac.
There were nearly 70 competitors in my wave representing countries from the world over. Swimming is my weakest discipline. This does have its advantages though since I tend to make up places on the bike and especially on the run and this can be very motivating! This competition was no exception and against some strong swimmers I came out of the swim in 21st place. But after a slick transition (2nd fastest), and a fast and furious (drafting) bike leg and another slick transition, I made up 6 places to come out on to the run in 15th place.
I knew now that I needed to up the effort and that this was when the suffering really started but the rewards could be the greatest. I was already at lactic threshold after a gruelling bike leg but knew that I had to go through the pain barrier (think Moorfoot evening interval session when Colin promises 7 x 3 min flat out reps but then takes us on to do two more!). This really did pay off and 7 more scalps were taken to finish 1st GB, 1st European and 8th World (behind 6 home grown Canadians and one USA) and a finishing time of 1:23:55. That means automatic qualification for a place in the 2023 world champs in Hamburg, Germany, so I had better start planning for a tough winter of training. Moorfoot will again give me the speed and strength in running to compete with the best triathletes in the world and finish on a high! Thank you Moorfoot for the training, camaraderie and motivation.
Overall verdict? A superbly organised race, the athlete guide itself was 95 pages long! Montreal is a first class venue and the city lovely and vibrant. It was an honour to represent GB and compete against the best triathletes in the world and meet and talk with them (and you surely know that I can talk!)