16 February 2014

In the Thick of it.


We arrived back into Wollongong on a very stormy rainy day. Our first night in our rental was....ok. The quarters are a bit tight and the walls are a bit thin but Brianna and I are doing our best to make it feel a bit more like home. Music always helps.


Two days after our arrival was Australia Day! To celebrate, we all entered into the Australia Day Aquathlon. A very popular event gathering huge crowds and something like 500 competitors. Given that my swimming has been limited and my runs have been pretty much all base I was not sure what to expect. As a wetsuit swim, we took the 900m swim out fast. I moved to the front and lead the majority of the first lap. Considering my current state of swimming fitness I conceded the lead and swam comfortably 2nd or 3rd feet for the remainder of the 2 lap swim. Out of the water the run hugged the beach on the grassy fields and did a loop through Puckeys park and back along the shore to the finish line. With no speed work under my belt I am pleased with my effort and it was a fun way to kick off our time in Wollongong.

Since then, training has really picked up. After a few days recovery from travels and the aquathlon my swimming went from 3 sessions a week to 6. Cycling frequency has gone from quite little to frequent with efforts and the runs have become more structured and intense.

With about 5 months of solid base running and logging more miles than I have every ran in my life my recovery from run to run feels shortened greatly. Also my ability to sustain efforts increased.
A weekly effort includes a straight up 16km tempo effort with the final 2km faster. We do this run as a straight out and back along the shoreline. Which in Wollongong around 3pm in the afternoon means Head wind on the way out tailwind coming home. The pace is sustainable but tack on 2km at the end no faster than 3.05 pace... and it wraps up the run nicely.

This year with a power meter, I am learning quickly how many watts a certain "Rate of Perceived Effort" requires. It has made me conscious of my cadence, gearing choice and the damaging effects that being in the wrong gear out of a corner in a race situation can have. However, knowing this and through the nature of WTS racing we do have to train for this. We have to have the ability to manage the low-cadence/high torque efforts as well as the preferred high-cadence/low torque accelerations at 7.5-8 watts/kg. Through studying the number of turns and the nature of the course we can train pretty specific to the task at hand. This year, instead of 'feeling' ready, I will know I'm ready.

Sorry to pick out Matt Chrabot's file, but here is the San Diego WTS Race. I have a lot of respect for his riding abilities and think this is an accurate example of what to expect in a WTS such as San Diego. Ideally I would like to know his weight but he is lighter than I am and so 400watts sounds like it would be his 7.5/8watts/kg. He has had to ride above 400watts 50 times. Which sounds accurate due to the nature of the San Diego WTS.
San Diego is no longer a WTS event but if I were to train for San Diego, I would prepare myself for 50+ 8w/kg efforts with a higher than normal base line wattage due to the long straightaways and wide open corners. The big efforts you can see are either a breakaway or the numerous 180 turns on the San Diego Course.
My next Job is to try and find a file from New Plymouth and begin wrapping my head around what the demands of the course will be. For visualization and training purposes.  

Hope all is well,
Ciao for now,
Andrew

24 January 2014

Hello from the Victoria Alps, Australia



This afternoon I had a 50min run with a build for the final 3200m down to 3.20 pace. The Rocky Valley Dam is a very impressively complex (Mainly underground) structure located minutes south of Falls Creek and 350km north of Melbourne. Today it made for a very eerie run. Fog has filled falls creek and as I ran across the dam the fog flowed over my head making all around me white. I have never had such a peaceful run workout.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Brianna and I had one of the best pre-flight send offs. Departing from Vancouver on the 31st of December, Brianna, my parents and I took the ferry to Vancouver on the 30th, had dinner at Dynasty Chinese Restaurant in Richmond (which is one of the best Chinese restaurants I have ever been to. Delicious) and shared a hotel close to the airport. The next morning was a rather emotional goodbye for 8 months.


Once on the flight and on route to Sydney, Australia I gave Brianna a light nudge saying, "Happy New years" as the clock hit midnight in Victoria. We landed in Australia feeling a bit robbed. How did we loose 24 hours!!! I felt better knowing that I will get it back when I return home to Victoria.

We drove straight to the beach in Wollongong for a fun dip in the ocean and a run in the evening. We spent 2 days in Wollongong before joining a convoy of cars heading to our January training camp at altitude in the Victorian Alps. After six hours the road began winding upwards to our final destination, Falls Creek. In the winter Falls Creek is a winter wonderland but in the summer, runners, cyclists and triathletes take over. Everywhere you look packs of runners are heading in every odd direction.

At 1600m altitude I feel I have adjusted to well to the change in elevation. This camp has been the hottest altitude training camp I have ever attended with temperatures reaching 32 degrees C. My run focus continues here with more structure. Double runs most days with such sets as 3x15min at tempo or 4x1km pace checks (to quantify improvements and how we are adapting) plus a weekly long run at 100-110minutes through the tundra/desert like landscape. These long runs remind me of the book "Born to Run" four Aussies, a hungarian and I run through this barren rugged landscape like we are the Tarahumara running through the deadly Copper Canyons of Mexico. Half way through some of these runs I have these sudden cravings for water as I seem to dry up. I see a small stream and am so very tempted to take a sip but my better judgment kicks in.

Although we have only done it once due to extreme heat a highlight would have to be the climb from Mt. Beauty(the location where we swim) all the way up to Falls Creek. It is not the longest climb I've done nor the steepest but as a Cat 1 climb with heat it is a good challenge. The Climb is 31km long and takes about an hour and 25 minutes. At the top we are rewarded by a dip in the cool spring water.
All in all things are well in the Victorian Alps. I do get home sick here and there. I do miss runs along Dallas, rides to East Sooke Park and through the highlands. I miss my family. I miss my friends. I miss coaching the Uvic Tri-Club.

But, I know that this is an amazing opportunity. Coach Jamie is shaping me into the athlete I want to be. Mentally and physically.

More on that later,
Till then, ciao for now,
Andrew McCartney

Had this in my head for my run today.
 

20 October 2013

London World Triathlon Grand Final and a Year in Review.

A YEAR IN REVIEW


First off, a race report:

London, England. With the Senior World Triathlon Grand Final just around the corner, everything was falling into place, I was confident and absolutely enjoying myself, enjoying the experience and eager to take advantage of the opportunity on Sunday September the twelfth. My body felt strong, I had a very smooth interview with CBC and risotto with coach Alan and Steph most nights. We had such an awesome support crew. Even with everything in place however sometimes there are certain things that are just purely out of your control.

Sunday morning, I woke up with a horrible kink in the neck...... I quite literally could not turn my head left. I jumped out of bed and ran to Sue Loft's apartment. There was little that could be done accept ensure me that I would not do any damage wrenching my neck to look left. I accepted the fact and moved on.

Ranked 34th I started in the middle of the pack. I had a fast start. From what I could see I was in descent position. Upon arrival at the first buoy I got blindsided. I could not see what was coming from my left and got roughed up. There was no chance of bi-latteral breathing and was swimming blind.

I exited the water in sub par position. (10th)

I jumped on the bike and rode hard. Needless to say my neck was a distraction. I was struggling to get on to Gomez's wheel and settled for a small 2nd pack of 6. We got into it quickly. Rolling through well as my goal was to get back to the front break. Soon however we were joined by almost the entire field. The rain and wind picked up and it got messy. With the kink in the neck I was surely going to cause an accident. For safety sake I slipped further and further back in the pack till I was sprinting hard out of every corner and working way too hard. Finally I was strung out, I sprinted to get back to the pack and in doing so began to cramp up. I rode the final two laps on my own trying to limit the damage.

Off the bike I ran as hard as I could on the edge of cramping. Tempo effort was all I could do at this point in the race. If I took it up to my goal pace I felt my legs seizing up. I finished....disappointed and angry.

Results can be found HERE.

5 weeks later and after a 1 month of down time, I have had a lot of time to reflect on the season and look to the future.

I read over my goals for the 2013 season and I have achieved many and surprised myself in some ways. Although it is not how I had planned to finish the season I am excited about a number of opportunities in the 2014 season.  Starting in November I will be working with coach Jamie Turner who I believe will bring my training to another level. Jamie has a huge amount of experience and knowledge. I am eager to learn.

Some changes of my own include something I have known for some time but have not been in the position to acquire. I have now read three books on the importance/how-to's of training and racing with a power meter. Training will no longer be a guessing game. Consistent and efficient training.

I am so lucky.

I have the best group of people around me.

My partner Brianna who has been so supportive over the years. I love you.

My parents who have given me this chance and these memories.

My coach Alan Carlson who Motor paced me through some of the worst weather Victoria has to offer and stood on a dock through stormy rainy open water swims.
My sponsors Mizuno (10 years and counting), Wilier, OGC/Giro, Aquasphere Wetsuits and Smith Optics.

THANK YOU.

Here is to the season to come.

Ciao for now,

Andrew McCartney

20 August 2013

Triathlon Canada Media Release

New Era of Elite Canadian Triathletes Focused on Grand Final of ITU World Triathlon Series


August 12, 2013


TORONTO—A talented group of 15 rising Canadian triathlon stars will return to the 2012 Olympic course in London, England where they will embark on a mission for excellence at the Grand Final of the ITU World Championship Series in, September 11-15, 2013.
Kyle Jones, who made his Olympic debut in London where he was the top Canadian, will lead five members into the showcase event on the international triathlon calendar. The 28-year-old Jones, of Oakville, Ont., captured a silver medal at the Edmonton World Cup earlier this summer. Jones will be joined by two young Canadian teammates on the men’s start line. Andrew Yorke, of Caledon, Ont., and Victoria’s Andrew McCartney will also suit up. Yorke, 24, has been picking his way up the international standings, while McCartney, 25, posted a career-best seventh place finish at the season-opening World Triathlon Series race in Yokohama, Japan.
Victoria’s Kirsten Sweetland and Winnipeg’s Sarah-Anne Brault will look to be in the medal mix for the Canadian women. Sweetland has been on a comeback trail since being injured for most of the last five years. The 24-year-old fed off a bronze-medal finish at the Edmonton World Cup to place sixth at the punishing World Triathlon Series race in Kitzbuhel, Austria last month. Sarah-Anne Brault will help form a dynamic one-two punch for the Canadian women. The 23-year-old heads into the Grand Final after posting a career-best 11th place on the World Triathlon Series in Hamburg, Germany.
“This is a very young group of athletes that have made huge progress, and demonstrated over the last year they can perform under some of the most intense conditions,” said Libby Burrell, high-performance director, Triathlon Canada. “As a team, we have been focused on peaking in London. We have been making steady progress as a group, and the athletes are ready to demonstrate their hard work and fitness with some strong results in London.”
Triathlon Canada will send a strong mix of three women and two men for the under-23 competitions in London. A trio of 20 year old Canadian women including Amelie Kretz (Blainville, Que.), Calgary’s Ellen Pennock, and Joanna Brown, of Carp, Ont., are sure to be in the hunt for the medals in London. Kretz won her first World Cup race in Edmonton this summer, where Pennock celebrated her first World Cup silver medal.  A two-time medallist at the Grand Final in the junior and under-23 categories, Brown, will look for her first World Championship title.
Canada will be represented by Alexander Hinton, of Kingston, Ont., and Victoria’s Matt Sharpe in men’s under-23 racing.
The nation will also send five juniors to London including three men and two women. Winnipeg’s Tyler Mislawchuk will lead Quebecers, Xavier Grenier-Talavera and Alexis Lepage, to the main event. Saskatoon’s Gabrielle Edwards and Emy Legault, of Ile Perrot, Que., will make their World Championship debut for the Canadian women. 
“Competing at international competitions is a critical component to the continued development of our sport, and the World Championships are the first major test for our team on the road to Rio,” said Burrell. “This is a confident group of young Canadians who have had a great deal of success in North America, and are now ready to take on the world’s best in their age group and see where they stand. It is my belief, with this young group continuing to progress through the system, our sport is in good hands for years to come.”
For a complete schedule of the ITU Grand Final in London, please visit www.triathlon.org.
Triathlon Canada is the governing body for triathlon in the country. Recognized as an Olympic medal sport since 2000 and Paralympic medal sport as of 2016, Triathlon Canada’s mandate is to promote, foster, organize and develop the sport of triathlon, and its related disciplines, in Canada. For more information on Triathlon Canada, please visit us at www.triathloncanada.com on the Internet.
*****
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Chris Dornan    
Media and Public Relations
Triathlon Canada
T: 281-703-4394  
  

14 August 2013

European Adventures and Miss-Adventures


Triathlon has given me so many opportunities to see some very cool places. The amount of work and money to put on an event like an Ironman or a World Triathlon Series event, tends to require a large amount of travel. An adventure from North America to Europe can have its challenges but with challenges come opportunities.

Kitzbuhel WTS ----"Dude, What the f*** were you doing in the bush?" -Jarred Shoemaker----

Brianna and I landed in Munich and hopped into a taxi which climbed further and further into the mountains till we arrived in a fairy tale town. Kitzbuhel is a beautiful village sandwiched between the Horn Mountain and the Hahnenkamm.

I had been focused on this event since Yokohama. I have always loved climbs. In Victoria I had been riding up and down Finlayson-Arm continuously to prepare for the 14-22% grade climb up the Horn. I was ready. Everything was in order.

Race day, the general mood in the athletes lounge was that of excitement.

The gun went and we started fast. I got a bit caught up in some fighting around the first bouy but started moving up on the later half of the swim.

I excited the water in descent shape and with a fast transition I was out and riding hard. I jumped onto Alistair Brownlee's wheel and was quite content to stay there. Unfortunately about 500m into the ride when I began slipping my feet into the shoes, Alistair swerved right and so did I. In doing so my shoe twisted loose of the pedal. At 50km/h the shoe went bouncing into the forrest next to the road. Several thoughts went through my head including, could I race without it? Quickly realizing that I can't ride a H.C. climb with one shoe, I stopped quickly and began backtracking against the flow of traffic. After fishing my shoe out of the bush, I quickly slipped my foot in and jumped back on the bike just as the last rider went by.

Frankly, the race was over but I made the best of the situation and began time trialling as hard as I could along the flats, nearly making the back of the pack at the base of the climb. I worked hard all the way to the end of the race. I came to Austria to race up the Horn and so I did. Not the way I'd hoped but I finished.

Vitoria, Spain

To keep cost down, Brianna and I joined the Training camp in Vitoria, Spain. Traveling was a bit Chaotic...... After arriving In Bilboa we missed the last bus to Vitoria. Somewhere in Bilboa Brianna and I settled in at the Bus station. Brianna and I took turns one after another taking a 45min nap....
The next morning after a 1 hour bus trip my phone was finally dead and we spent the morning wandering the streets trying to find the Hotel Boulevard while dragging our bike boxes through town.

After one of the worst travel experiences it took a few days to get into the flow.

Once back on track training was great! The Basque country has some amazing cycling and Vitoria itself was a very cool place. Fun Fact: The Battle of Vitoria was the last stand for Napoleon's army in the Peninsula War as depicted in the main square.

Travel to Hamburg from Vitoria was much smoother.


World Triathlon Hamburg

Another Sprint distance Triathlon meant I had to have a fast start especially on this tight swim course. A breakaway of a small group has been quite successful in the WTS series and like Yokohama this was my goal.

I lined up between Bryukhanov and Vasiliev. Both being strong swimmers I was confident that if we work together we would be in good position coming out of the water. I had a descent start and got fairly clear but upon arriving to the first bouy a group on both sides collided. It was absolute chaos with arms and legs everywhere. 500m into the swim I began moving through towards the front but it was too little too late

Out of transition however I missed the front pack.

In a large second pack I tried to maintain a good position but I felt like I was in stuck in second gear. I was trapped in poor positioning sprinting all out after every corner burning one "match" after another.

I arrived at the run over worked due to poor positioning.


16 June 2013

400m Swim, 6km Ride, 2.5km Run, 6km Ride, 2.5km Run


This past weekend Aaron Thomas, Matt Sharpe and I made our way over to Barrie, Ontario for a fun new multi-sport event called E-Games. We competed in the Formula 1 Prospects race with 10 of Canada's olympic hopefuls. It was an awesome bonding experience with fellow Canadian athletes and being such a interesting format in which none of us have trained for, it made for such a fun race. With Rogers Sports Net's Cameras at every angle we all wanted to put on a show. Race hard, put it on the line and see what happens.

The race consisted of a 400m swim and 2x(6km ride, 2.5km Run) before hand, we all had the same question..... how do I race this....whats my strategy.....

The water was unusually cold, around 15degrees. I did a very short swim warm up as my face just froze. We all lined up and I chose far right. With shallower water and a clean line I had a really strong start. I pinned it to the first Buoy and settled in for a strong 400 pace. It was a bit hard to sight coming back into shore as we swam into the sun but I found my way. 

I had a nice fast transition and was off onto the first 6km bike.

I rode the first lap and a half alone but was joined by Sean Bechtel, Matt Sharpe and Tyler Bredschneider. We worked well together to build a lead which set us up for the first run of the day.

On to the first 2.5km I built a gap of about 20 seconds on second place. I felt super smooth and was running strong.

On to the second 6km ride I did a lap and looked back, Simon Whitfield was yelling at me on the sidelines, "Just go for it! Go it alone!" With the Lead car, and the TV cameras on the Motor Bike beside me, I decided to commit to the break.  My goal was to chase after the motor bike. On my own I rode hard for 6 laps of the fun technical course and came of the bike with a 20-25 second gap. 

For the final 2.5km run. I knew Alexander Hinton was pushing hard to catch me. I ran hard but started to suffer on the final lap. With about a 100m to go Alex came past me on the hill. I sprinted hard but just couldn't get there. 

It was a super fun super exciting race. I took a risk on that second 6km ride but came up just short. Either way, the E-games Formula 1 race was a blast and a nice tune up for next weeks Edmonton World Cup. 

Rogers SportsNet should have some awesome film of the event. I will be sure to pass on the showing times.

All in all, it was a great experience coming out east, hanging out with some good people with some fun, fast, friendly racing. I leave beautiful Barrie Ontario with 9 good friends.
More photographs and full results coming soon,
Hope all is well,
Andrew McCartney

6 June 2013

5 Days of Racing


Last Weekend I had a very fun past 5 days of racing in. My next big race is Kitzbuhel World Triathlon Series Race, with a ride consisting of a 5km flat leading into a grueling ascent up Kitzbuhel Horn mountain(11.5km) Video Click HERE. Finishing off with another 135m ascent for the run.(2.5km) With this in mind I used the Robert Cameron Cycling Festival to prepare. 

Day one was the Rumble Dallas Road Time Trial which consisted of a fast and furious 5km sprint along Dallas road with two 180 turns. Unfortunately I didn't get a warm up in but it was a good quick workout. It could have been better but I am content considering the lack of warm up.

Next up was an opportunity to race Cat 1/2 BC Road Championships. 
This was a battle of attrition with the route taking us up Rocky Point Road, right and further up to the top of the steep Liberty Road and back around the technical Kangaroo Road. Entire teams were dropped. Every lap more and more people were popped off the back. This was definitely one of the most difficult races Ive been a part of with some big names in the cycling world driving the pace. Unfortunately along Rocky Point Road some cars got on the course and split the pack and I did everything I could to get back in the lead pack but this shattered my legs in the process. I held in for 90 out of the 120km race. I felt awesome on the climbs and it was a perfect workout to prepare for Kitzbuhel. 

I recovered well for the next days Bastion Square Grand Prix.
I raced really smart here. I wanted to breakaway but I knew I had to commit to one attack. I positioned myself well and stayed patient as the attacks came often but none of them stayed away. Finally with 12km to go I saw my chance and attacked. I was joined by two others. I poured everything I could into it and we were off. With a large gap the sprint would come down to the 3 of us. I didnt want to get in a sprint finish with Mike Korb so I attacked several times in the last 2 laps. Joel Taylor lost contact but I was stuck sprinting it in with Korb. I was at the front, I tried to keep the speed high but he came by me on the line. Super fun. I don't quite have the sprinters legs.


The very next Wednesday I was back racing. The full Russ Hayes Crew was out and my goal was to make it as hard of a race as possible for everyone. Every chance I could I tried a Break or pinned the hills. I felt in control of the race. The pack was reduced to about 8 of us(down from 25ish) It got to the point where it was almost expected for me to attack. The race came down to a sprint finish and I finished 4th.

Thats all for now, next stop Barrie Ontario and then Edmonton. 
But more on that later.
Ciao for now,
Andrew McCartney



14 May 2013

It's Been a Long Time Coming..... World Triathlon Yokohama.

On the line, I stood beside Jonathan Brownlee and Martin Van Barneveld. The two of them were having a very casual conversation as the race was to begin in less than 2 minutes. If Jonathan was nervous about the race, he sure didn't show it. Why did these two seem so calm? We have the Pirates of the Caribbean theme song playing and then the very ominous drum beat. I believe that Jonathan had a plan, knew exactly what he needed to do and was confident that he could get it done.

Through advise from Sharleen Hoar, I drew up a plan for myself. Not something I 'hoped' would happen, but a series of points that based off of training I know I am capable of. I was still quite nervous but I was confident in what I had to do to be happy at the end of the day.

I was ranked 34th out of 39 coming into the event, so with slim pickings on the line, I chose a spot on the line about 10 in from the left. The drums played, followed by silence, and then quite abruptly the horn went. I hit the water with three dolphin kicks and surfaced in the 'washing machine.' I drew from training and spun my arms as fast as I could and I broke free. I kept the pressure on for the next 200m to ensure good placement. I sat about 4th place for the first 750m on Brownlee's feet. We exited the water only to dive back in for the second lap. Another strong streamline moved me up the side. I found myself side by side with the russian Denis Vasiliev. I pulled ahead to make for a comfortable transition. I excited the water first in a time of 17.25. 
T1 was so smooth. My wetsuit came off easily and I was off. 
In the pouring wet conditions I rode well through the initial technical portion until the long straightaway when I was joined by 7 others including Brownlee, Gomez, Vasiliev, Silva, Shoeman, Shaw and Van Der Stel. The first three laps were very fast. Our lead increased to one minute and twenty seven seconds(1.27). The glassy wet roads made for some white knuckled riding but I was confident in my rainy cornering abilities. I did have a close call at one point when moving up in the pack. I was put into the rails unintentionally. I was a bit worried I'd get a pinch flat from riding over the feet of the rails. Luckily I stayed up and my tires held up.
I entered Transition 2 with the biggest smile on my face. The race was going well and I was sure to exceed my goal of top 30. I had a nice fast transition and was off.
I found my running legs early and with my Garmin in hand I set a pace that I was confident I could hold. The rain really began to pour half way through the run. It felt like I was home in Victoria. I ran my own run. I let go of pacing on the final lap and opened it up to the finish. I posted a run split of 31.53. I finished my second WTS in 7th place. Results Found HERE. With this result my current ITU World Triathlon Series rank is now 21st. Click Here.

The pieces have been there in training but on Saturday it came together. I stuck to a plan and I enjoyed myself. I raced with confidence. I believed I was capable and it was liberating. I left Yokohama with much more confidence in my ability to perform on race day. I am excited to be home and build upon this weekends performance. This was a great start, but there is much more training to be done!


Ciao for now,

Andrew McCartney

26 March 2013

Struggle in Sarasota

This past weekend I competed in the Sarasota ITU Premium Pan-american Cup. I was more excited by the idea of an Olympic distance. I was content with the result from Clermont. I felt that a sprint triathlon the week before would clear the cobwebs of more than 6 months without triathlon racing.

My taper was much better for Sarasota, with a less is more attitude I arrived on the start line like a loaded spring. I felt fantastic race morning. Conor Murphy and I did a 10min jog in the morning. We rode to the course and the swim in the cold wetsuit legal lake was a welcome relief from the 25 Degree weather.

Located on a man made lake designed for a rowing centre to-be. The swim was a two lap pontoon start with a run-through. [At this point I would like to make it known how much I LOVE run-throughs] I am not sure if ‘Run-through’ is the proper term but basically a ramp to exit lap one run to the edge of the pontoon and hurl yourself into the air to start lap 2. 
My name was called and I selected my position about 7 positions in from the left. At the gun I knew it would be important to have a good start. I know I don’t have the best reaction rate. Slow off the line I had to make up time. I pushed off hard and did 3 butterfly kicks under the water. I came to the surface with a half body lead. 5 hard strokes and I was free. Out of the washing machine I pulled away. I was pleasantly surprised to have formed a large gap almost purely due to avoiding the thrashing waters. I stroked it out for the first lap looking back convinced that Tommy Zaferras would be coming up from behind. I took full advantage of the run-through. I’ll be honest, It wasn’t my most elegant dive. Second lap I simply maintained the gap. 
I exited the water with about a 15 second gap to Tommy and Luke Farkus and about 40 seconds to the Chase.

On to the bike Tommy and Luke came up quickly I jumped in with them and was forced to make a decision, do I commit to a breakaway or stick to the plan of saving my effort for the run. We were moving quick, 40-42km/h into the headwind and up to 48km/h with the tailwind. We were moving. 12km out of the 38km ride we did our best. All the while I questioned how wise the break was. I looked back to see the chase bearing down had. I pulled up and drank and ate all that I could to make up for the effort. Keeping a close eye on my Heart Rate I tried to lower it to a reasonable heart rate. I had to cool my body down and focus on good positioning; At the front through the corners and rolling through but no epic pulls. With 2km of riding remaining my main goal was to position myself well as I entered T2. Unfortunately, as I stood to move up in the pack, both legs began cramping simultaneously. I could not move up. 
The cramping continued on to the run. I ran through as much as I could. I struggled to the finish. The best I could do was 15th place on the day. 

Most definitely not the result I was hoping for or am capable of. Very disappointed. I made tactical errors during the race but I know there are several changes I would like to make to my training for the next month. I know I have the pieces, but I intend to focus in on race specific preparation as soon as I get home. I am excited to get back to training.

It was a pleasant 2 weeks. I made some new friends, Conor Murphy from Ireland, Lawrence Fanous from Jordan, Graham Lietch from Scotland, Johnathon Rodrigas from Columbia, Dan Feeney and Zara Guinard from the USA. 
An absolute pleasure lads. 
L-R (Me, Conor, Lawrence and Graham)
That is all for now,
Hope all is well,
Ciao
Andrew McCartney