Bevan Docherty, who has been selected to compete for New Zealand in the 2012 Olympic triathlon, entered the World Triathlon Series race in San Diego last weekend and finished eighth. Here’s how the race went for him, in his own words:
It was great to finally have a WTS in the US and in the same time zone. No jet lag excutses this time round! It was also pretty cool as the family were going to be watching me race for the first time even though I did find out that my little man slept most of the race.
San Diego is where it all started back in 1974, where a small group of locals raced in Mission Bay in the first official triathlon. The sport has come a long way over taht time but it was great to have a WTS race returning to that spot.
This event carried a lot of pressure for many athletes and countries looking to qualify for the Olympics. Fortunately for me, I had already been selected. However, it was important that the Kiwis get plenty of points just to guarantee we are able to send the maximum of three athletes.
The course had nothing special to it, but the quality field ensured it was going to be a tough race. With a beach start into the water, it made for a tactical entrance with only “older & wiser” athletes utilizing the distinct advantage of going extreme left or right. I went right, found some great footing and clear water, which put me in a great position for the swim. I did get knocked back a little but was still close enough to be in the mix out of the water.
On the bike, I was at the sharp end of the chase group with eight guys just 15 seconds up the road. However, we quickly pulled them in and then a couple of laps later the third pack caught us. This didn’t dull the pace though, as I was constantly pushing over 500 watts just to hold a good position in the pack and stay out of trouble.
Out onto the run, the pace was on immediately with Brownlee setting a blistering pace. I quickly settled into my rhythm and more content on securing some quality points as opposed to a “make or break” speed. After a lap of the three-lap run, some guys that had gone out too hard were starting to fade. It’s a fine line between positioning yourself well and running with a group or cooking yourself by going out too hard. Some courses, like London for example, it’s important to position yourself well. But because this was a new event, it was hard to guage how to pace yourself. In the final lap, I passed a few guys and a few guys passed me, but I was able to hold it together for a solid eighth.
I was pretty happy with this result. It’s certainly a step in the right direction and there is plenty of room for improvement. Now I am going to have to rest a week, nd then back into some pretty intense training as I start pushing the limits for London in August!