It’s the day before Challenge Bahrain, one of the richest triathlon races in the world, and I’m looking forward to the break afterward. Not exactly how I would chose to be feeling before a big race but the last month has gone similar to my year. It started with a rest after Hawaii, then a couple of weeks feeling pretty good, then the last couple of weeks feeling tired. I don’t like this feeling. All I want is to race against the best in the world and beat them. And for me, who believes I can beat them when I’m in my best health and fitness, this is incredibly frustrating and life changing.
The last two years have been dismal for results. It has made me question everything, and made me realize I need to make some changes in more ways than one. It’s made me question the direction I am headed, what I value in life, what I want to get out of my career and what I want to achieve outside of racing too. Sorry but I don’t have the answers to share with you. However, I want nothing more than to be back kicking butt for all those that have stuck by supporting me as I get further and further from being reigning Ironman World Champion. I hope that as of today it is closer in my future than my past to being that title again.
So don’t ask me how, what, or who, but be assured that I will not stuff up again in 2015. You have supported me so strongly that I want to do it for you as much as for me. Or maybe I do really want to do it for me and it’s just my ego that wants to do it so you applaud me again. Either way, I am driven by my supporters, by you the age groupers who make up this great sport and love to see the professionals go into battle and lay it down with courage, sacrifice and guts like no other sport does, or at least like no other sport you all relate to and have the passion for.
I look forward to being part of the race tomorrow. I hope to have a good swim, stay with the main pack on the bike, and possibly run a good run on legs that have not done too much in training. I’ll be very happy if I made top 10. The field here is scary. So deep and talented. Not to mention experienced and tactful.
The experience here at Challenge Bahrain has been incredible. Not just the amazing hotel and free buffets all day, but the opportunity for so many of the most successful professional triathletes in the world to get together, meet, talk, joke, scheme, compare, learn from and compete against. These opportunities are so rare these days with so many races around the world there has been no need or money to support everyone racing each other. But Challenge Bahrain is the start of something new. And the rumor is that on Saturday night there will be an announcement that may allow this sort of contest to happen more often. A few races that allow the best in the world to race each other and all earn enough prize money to making a decent living from. This would be something special.
So I am part of something special this weekend. It’s like being on Kona but everyone is more relaxed, its only a half distance, there’s no hype and heaps of appearances or sponsors commitments. It really is about the athletes. And I just wish I were in better shape to do this, and every other race I enter, justice. Next year I promise.