2016 Osaka Conti Cup Race Report
What can I say? A race report from Osaka is almost unnecessary. For those of you who missed the live videos coming out of Osaka on Sunday, you are in for a treat. Sit back, relax and click HERE for a whole heap of fun. The response to our live ‘stream’ of the race has been through the roof. A massive thank you to everyone who sent through messages of support. The biggest thank you of all goes to the two guys who brought us all the laughs- two of my best mates, Robbie and Myles. It’s unheard of to have two guys travel half way around the world to watch you run around in spandex but these guys jumped on board and believe me, they were the loudest out on course by a country mile! Over the last couple of months they have witnessed the highs and lows of my training and despite often questioning my sanity, they have been a massive support. To say I appreciate it all would be a massive understatement. Sharing race day with them was one of the highlights of my triathlon career so far. Much love to everyone who is in my corner.
I’ll keep the report itself short and sweet. Having almost the entire field staying at the host hotel meant I had the opportunity to hear almost every excuse in the book post-race. I won’t give you any. The truth is I just didn’t swim well enough. I know my swim is improving but having to make the decision to sit up and wait for the chase group after getting agonisingly close to latching on to the lead pack crushed me. It is the greatest motivation I have ever had to go back to Canberra and train my arse off to ensure it never happens again.
Leading up to the race I had plans. None of them involved not being in the lead pack. Ever the optimist, it was time for plan B. As I sat up and had a drink waiting for the pack to catch me up one of 8 climbs over the bridge I held high hopes that by working together we would be able to shut them down. The gap was only 30 seconds and we had a big group. How wrong I was. By the time we arrived in T2 we were down almost a minute and any chance of running for a podium spot was gone. With the disappointment of getting off the bike out of the race as motivation, I was determined to run well. Thankfully I did that by running myself into 13th. I can take that confidence moving forward.
I was able to reflect on my race while grabbing copious amounts of sushi from a sushi train in Osaka and waiting for the race that was giving me the most anxiety of the day- my girlfriend Grace’s final from Tiszie, Hungary. She has been there for me every step of the way leading up to these races. To watch her race live and share a race day was special, albeit from the other side of the world. I’m beyond proud, even if she did one up me literally by finishing 12th.
Finishing 13th in Osaka is not exactly what I had hoped for but I also understand I have high expectations of myself. I will always set the bar high and I believe that’s how you get better as an athlete. I didn’t execute as well as the guys up the road and that’s all there is to it. As always I’ll focus on the positives, learn from the negatives and move forward.
For now it’s time for a week of training and exploring in Singapore before another Conti Cup in the heat on Saturday. If you’re reading this and have any advice on things to do while we’re there, let me know!