A Mulligan, Please?

Wow. What a spectacular day! There were three truly outstanding performances on Sunday. Julie for defending her title, Danelle Kabush of Canada for her best finish ever at a World Championships finishing second and Shonny Vanlandingham for holding it together for third place when she sprained her ankle just last week. Oh and there was one other spectacular performance.. my astonishingly horrible day as I catapulted backwards through the field before being hauled off the course in a truck.

It still stings. I can’t remember the last time I had a DNF at XTERRA, let alone the World Championships, and after such a run up I am struggling trying not to be mad and bitter about it. I mean, I nailed it at nearly EVERY race this season. I won the Nationals blowing the course record off the map, I won a complement of races to set myself up for the Overall series win, I won the Canadian nationals, I won some mountain bike races, I set some PRs in run races and I even won a non drafting road triathlon, setting a course record overall and on the bike. I felt good all the way up to the pre race dinner. I was confident in my form which has steadily gotten better and better this year, so my expectations for the race were very high….. READ THE REST OF THE STORY HERE

Then I went to bed complaining a little about a sore tummy. I woke up in the morning a little fluttery in my stomach but decided it was nerves. I didn’t wake up puking my guts out or anything… just a little off. However, when I came out of the swim and hopped on my bike it wasn’t nerves that were preventing my legs from turning. I had nothing to power my bike with. My legs were so empty I thought I wasn’t going to be able to even finish the bike. This year the bike course seemed 10x longer than it has ever been. Contrary to reports that I made it to second place, I don’t believe I passed anyone on the bike. Instead, the entire field rode past me, one by one. I also managed to have a decent crash as I went back through the field, so I can enjoy little cuts and bruises on my body as well as on my ego. I went out on the run with a group of women who quickly ran away from me as finally I stood on the side of the road emptying the contents of my stomach, every 100m before I was driven to the finish rather than running there.

The toughest part of waking up this morning was I have to think about the fact that I have only had two starts with our current World Champion, one this year and one last year and neither year was near my best racing. I tried to go over to race her this year in Europe only to have Ross have a bad accident which derailed those plans. It is only a matter of time till we finally have a proper battle that I am really looking forward to.

Thank you Tyson for bringing me back to the hotel, especially the big hug when I really needed it. I would probably still be out there lying in the kiawe if you hadn’t helped me out of there.

Thank you to all the XTERRA competitors doing their best to cheer me on when I was having an un-cheerable day. Thanks to Ryan DeCook for helping me not to become cow roadkill out there when the stampede of cows was trying to run us over. That was scary. Thanks to Sybille Matter who did her best to try to cheer me up on the run and encourage me. Everyone has bad days… we had one together but she was able to finish and take the Double award for her combined Ironman and XTERRA finish… good on ya Sybille for getting it done.

Everyone has had to endure numerous podiums with Mel on the top so I was super happy to go to the awards and cheer for the girls that had such a great day this year at the World Championships. Congratulations to the two Canadians in the top five, Danelle in second and Christine Jeffrey in fifth. Go Canada! Also congratulations to Brent and Mike.. also finishing third and fourth for Canada. I wish so hard that I was part of the Canadian contingent this year! I guess misery has company, however, as my dominant male counterpart, Conrad Stoltz, ended up riding in on a flat after having a 2 minute lead to then finish in 12th place. Yuck. Wonder which is worse, to see the form and have the race in your grasp and have it taken away? Or to never perform even close to potential when it is most important? I think it is a toss up.

Thanks so much to all of my sponsors this year. We got nearly all of it… just missed out on one day. Next year we have another chance. Thanks to Nature’s Path Foods, Titec, Profile Wetsuits, Shimano, Fizik, Maxxis, Fox Racing Shox, Sundog Eyewear, Gu Sports, Lazer Helmets, Saucony, Albabici, Twin Six, Genuine Innovations, USANA, Saris Cycling, helmetcameracentral and TYR for all of your contributions to my success this year.

Thank you to all of you who entered the contest. You will see a photo of the winner of the contest shortly posted to the website. He won whether you decide to account a DNF to the fastest time or the slowest time. And at the end of the day, he is exactly who I want to get stoked with the jersey! It is funny, when I was coming off the course in tears over what a mess it was… one of the silly thoughts in my head is “Wah! Now who can win the CONTEST????”

Finally, thank you to all for your support pre and post race. I guess I can go into the season with some motivation and fire to make next year even better. I didn’t do anything wrong this year… I got it all right. And then I got unlucky. The best laid plans… as they say. If you look at the entire season rather than just this last weekend, no one had a better year than I did. I intend to do more of the same in 2009.

Consider this a warning.

Thanks for reading… now I am off to the beach.

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