September 12th, 2013 by Will
Well what a week that turned of to be… A very tough, long weekend on the body that’s for sure and it certainly turned out to have a bit of everything in there. The whole experience was so much fun.
My training in Boulder had gone really well in those 6 weeks leading in. It was my first time at altitude properly and I could feel that my body was responding well to it. I was fresh in the mind and body because I had a mini break not so long ago and I was feeling really good on my Time Trial bike finally and with a new Power meter I was able to see by the power and the speed that I was in the ball park.
This was all in preparation for the Las Vegas 70.3 World Championships. I was quite nervous about it going in because I knew that it’d be stupidly hot on the day and having not put in one really good score on the board in a 70.3 this year dispute being pretty fit all year I still didn’t know where I stood against see guys and it was worrying me.
We arrived on the Thursday and I was sharing a room with my twin brother from Australia Brad Kahlefeldt. I can’t tell you how uncomfortable the weather is there! We went for a ride in the middle of the day on the race course (desert) and it was so hot we cut our ride down to 30mins, our water bottles were HOT and I couldn’t touch any part of the car once we were done because even the seats were burning us!
At 3:45am the alarm went off and after opening my curtains on race morning, I couldn’t believe it but it was raining almost the whole morning! We were so lucky…
The start list was amazing, there wasn’t anyone missing, all accomplished long distance stars and a load of ex Olympic distance specialists jumping in as well. There were almost 60 athletes racing which is the biggest and strongest field ever, easily.
My swim was pretty average but I managed to get out well onto the bike with some big names so I was confident that I was still in the race. I felt really good on the bike, I didn’t push it, I just watched and observed the more experienced athletes and tried to learn something. My power at the turn around after almost an hour of riding was 330w which I believe is quite high but it wasn’t particularly hurting me which was a very good sign. It was the first time I’ve been able to match the other good athletes on the bike so I was stoked already. People slowly started to leave gaps and drop off the pace and by the end of the ride and we finished up with a group of about 10-12 with Kienle 3 mins up the road riding away with the win.
The run was epic as usual. I set off at my own pace and picked off a handful of people. I felt solid but not amazing and by the last lap I was getting really tired. I was running in 8th place and had a que of people waiting to over take if I blew up! I really wanted the last prize money slot for 10th so tried to hang tough. Tyler Butterfield and Tim O’donnel attacked me with 500m to go putting me in 11th and I didn’t have anything left to respond but luckily I did manage to catch Ruedi Wild who was a absolute mess (he said he cant remember how he finished) so I came in 10th!
I’m stoked with 10th because finally I’ve proved to myself that I have the legs to ride at the front against the best athletes in the World. If you’d have said to me before that I’d ride at the front and then run a terrible 1/2 marathon I’d have taken it! I’ve learnt so much this year and now I think i can take some confidence, bring my swim and run back up to a high level and next year I can challenge for the wins.
Once the race was over we checked into the MGM grand for a few nights of fun with some friends. The strip is crazy impressive and chaotic. What a fun place. We just ate, gambled and visited nightclubs and barely needed to leave the hotel. Makes for a very tough weekend for sure but was fun to celebrate a good result.
Big shout out to Clare and bump, family, Mat Steinmetz, my sponsors and friends. Couldn’t do it without you.
The weekend in numbers:
3hr59:58 Time for race
3:45am race morning wake up.
310w average power
$120 amount of money spent on tables
15 number of free Coronas consumed while at the tables
6870 number of rooms at the MGM.
10,000 staff at MGM.
$62 price of 4x Sambuca in Marquee.
2 Very sore legs