Two popular races are on tap in North America this weekend–Couer D’Alene (1st edition of a 70.3 this year) and the widely successful 70.3 Mont Tremblant. Both races have competitive fields but a larger and deeper field of champions is lining up north of the border in Canada for more points and a larger prize purse.
Across the pond, IM Austria is taking place. This race is notoriously fast and beloved by Ironman athletes and fans. Spectator support is top notch and many athletes have made a name for themselves by winning in Klagenfurt.
Ironman 70.3 CDA
You had a challenging end to the year (hit by car ahead of Kona and subsequent DNF there) and then an injury to start 2016. How excited are you to just get out and enjoy racing??
I am incredibly excited to be healthy and back on a start line. I’ve really missed the triathlon community and little mini-reunions that happen at races. The timing of my accident was devastating and I raced Kona hoping for a miracle, but then found out my fibula was still fractured months later. It’s been a long road back, but it’s definitely changed my perspective on why I train and race. I’m so thankful for the people I get to be around in this sport. Their support has kept me going the past few months and I’m so happy I have another chance to prove them right!
I saw you have been spending time training in Montana. How long do you plan to stay out west and train? Have you gotten in a good block of training ahead of CDA?
My parents live in Bozeman, Montana and I’ve done training blocks here the past couple summers. I love Bozeman for its open roads, miles of empty trails, perfect summer weather and outdoor enthusiastic community. After my crash I struggled with a slightly irrational fear of cars and driving, making Atlanta a tough place to live. I decided to come up to Montana for a change in scenery and to get myself back on the road. I still spend a ton of time on the trainer, but I’ve logged a few spectacular outdoor rides and runs and I’ve met some really great people. I think I’ll be here at least through the summer, though the local bike shop also sells cross country ski gear, so maybe I could learn to love snow and stay a bit longer!
You are known to be “off the front” with a strong swim and bike. Do you mind being the hunted? Perhaps it is like that run you did when the cars were chasing you (Wings for Life World Run)? You ended up running 31 miles right? Perhaps it is good to visualize something like that in a race!
I love racing from the front. Similar to a race like Wings for Life with an unknown finish line, sometimes when I’m leading I have no idea how long that lead will last so I try my best to savor every second and give myself a little pat on the back for getting out there and doing my best. It sounds funny, but sometimes I admire my own courage.
What is on the schedule after CDA 70.3?
After CDA I’m hoping to race a few more 70.3s, then gear up for a fall Ironman. After a few false starts earlier this year, I’m a little tentative to set concrete race plans, but if things keep progressing as they have been I’m confident I’ll be racing even stronger than before the crash within the year.
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