Racing season for 2015 is officially over and it was definitely a fun one! From March through August I competed in 9 Sprint Triathlons, 2 Olympic Triathlons, 1 Duathlon, 4 Cycling Time Trials, and 1 Gran Fondo. I have been very successful this season and took the Overall Win at 10 of these events with category wins or podiums at most others. This was enough to win the South Carolina Triathlon Series Open Male division for the second consecutive year as well as bring in a total of over $1500 of prize money throughout the season. Couldn’t have asked for a much better season!
One element that I find lacking in my calendar from last season is participation in larger, more competitive fields. While my race calendar was by no means easy, I have typically had a National Championship race I was gunning for and would build for throughout the season. I certainly had some key races throughout this year but for the most part used this year as a time for development and finding my strengths/weaknesses. This was also highly affected by the fact of buying my first house and getting married are not very inexpensive and larger races generally require larger pockets.
Next Spring I have 2 races lined up as my primary “A” races. These include St Anthony’s Olympic Distance Triathlon and Chattanooga 70.3. Both of these races are considered “Pro Qualifying” races in that they offer a professional prize purse of over $20,000. This means if I am able to place top 3 Overall in the Amateur field, then I would qualify to earn my license to race as a Professional Triathlete. This has been an idea I have had for awhile and now fully believe I am capable of achieving.
St Anthony’s consists of a 1500m ocean swim, a flat and fast 40k bike, and a flat but hot 10k run in late April in Florida. This race always has a large pro field and is known to have one of the toughest amateur fields around as well. There will be no room for mistakes in this race as the competitiveness at the top will be fierce. I will be traveling to the race with some fellow athletes from Team Kattouf and lodging in a hotel that we have already booked months ahead of time.
Chattanooga 70.3 will be my first half Ironman distance triathlon unless I decide to pick a test race prior to May. The course consists of a mostly fast current assisted 1.2 mile swim, a rolling 56 mile bike, and moderate 13.1 run. As the site for the 70.3 World Championships for 2017 I expect the field to be stacked with high performing athletes. The key for this race will be to be able to keep nutrition and pacing under control so that I can perform well for the 4+ hours that this race will take.
The next 5 months will include addressing any weaknesses I have found that may prevent me from reaching my goals and progressing in each of the 3 sports. Specifically I will be addressing preventing injuries from running as well as beginning to practice nutrition during longer bouts of exercise. Most of my riding will be done in our bonus room setup on my Trek Speed Concept and CycleOps Trainer all from Outspokin’ Bicycles due to it being much more convenient and a more controlled environment. My running will mostly be done at Harbison State Forest or a local track with the occasional group run with the Larry Jourdain group. And I am now officially a USMS member of the Mudcats at the Irmo YMCA. The coaches and athletes there are great and I’m confident can help me drop some serious time in the water! Looking forward to 2016 and the possibilities it brings!