At the end of August, I ventured across the Atlantic for my first IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Zell am See, Austria. Coming off a very focused ten week training block, I arrived with personal best fitness and an ambitious top ten goal. After a decent swim and a good start to the ride, an alarming front tire blowout on the course’s mountain descent took me out of contention. I soldiered on to a disappointing 21st place finish, but still drew many lessons and positives from my first Championship experience. Here’s my video recap of the race:
Thank you to…
- Keystone Communications and Giles Atkinson for flying me to Austria.
- Randy Stanfield and Laura Cedergren for hosting me in Austria.
- My other sponsors: Skechers Canada, 3SIXTY5 Cycling, CompuTrainer, Nineteen Wetsuits, Klean Athlete and Vorgee Canada.
- My coach David Tilbury-Davis and swim coach Tim Floyd (Magnolia Masters), who knew when to push me out of my comfort zone and when to hold my hand as I tackled my first World Championship.
- Landon Cassill (NASCAR driver moonlighting as a triathlete) and family for an entertaining ride from the airport.
Adventures in Austria
Following the race, I soon forgot my disappointment thanks to a whirlwind tour of Austria with my Texan friends. Over two jam-packed days of sightseeing, we hiked a gorge, explored a castle, climbed deep into a mountain ice cave and wandered the streets of Salzburg. I then boarded a flight to my southern training base in The Woodlands, Texas, ready to channel my frustration from 70.3 Worlds into a rebound race at IRONMAN 70.3 Cozumel three weeks later.