This past weekend I won REV3 South Carolina. It was such an awesome experience and a wonderful follow up to winning REV3 Maryland, The Half Full Triathlon, the weekend before. (BTW- ALL the profits from the Half Full Triathlon go to the Ulman Cancer Fund for young adults. It is a really special race and everyone should think about it for their race calendars next year. There were 29 cancer survivors competing and 92 % of all competitors raced in memory/honor of someone. It is a special atmosphere and a real celebration of life and hope. It should be on everyone’s radar for next year!!)
South Carolina was such a great experience, mostly because of the awesome competition (awesome as competitors and buddies). It was great to catch up with my Canadian friend Tenille Hoogland- but I knew she was going to bring the heat - that is what she does. She is such a fierce competitor and someone who is not afraid to ride the bike all out- it was going to be a hard day with her there. Malaika Homo has also decided that she is going to dominate everyone on the bike in the late season races and I think both Tenille and I were surprised by how much time she put in on us during the bike course- wow- I was impressed with that. As a recap of the race, basically I had a good swim for me. This put me about 2 minutes down from the leaders coming out of T1. I caught 2 girls on the bike and was sitting in third at mile 35ish of the bike- a position that I was not surprised to be in at that point considering the strong swim/bike combos of both Tenille and Malaika. Starting the run, I was about 4 minutes down from Malaika and about three down from Tenille. I knew my run has been going well recently so I thought that I had a shot at the win if I just focused and ran smart. I found myself in the lead at mile 7 and from there I just tried to run as comfortably home as I could (although I have realized that the last few miles of that half marathon are never comfortable not matter what.)
Right now I am sitting in the lead of the REV3 Point Series Race, which is a $25,000 prize to first place. That, coupled with an additional $12,000 on the line for the win in Florida next weekend means that there is quite a bit at stake, to say the least, for this upcoming decisive race. When I think about the situation though, I just feel so blessed to be where I am right now in general and have this awesome opportunity going into next weekend.
The thing is, I have pretty much already won. Not the money, but in general. I have an incredible coach who is unmatched in his dedication, care and investment in me as both an athlete and, more importantly, as a person. I have people from Charlottesville flying down to Florida with me to see the race that care about me, no matter how I do. I have sponsors that have been with me since the beginning of my professional career and have supported me long before I ever started winning races. Profile Design and Rudy Project, in particular, have supported me with the best products on the planet and really believe in me. These sponsors do anything they can do to help me succeed- which says a lot about their dedication to this sport as well as their dedication to their customers. Quintana Roo, Hammer, Champion System and Computrainer have stepped up this year to help me in any way they can, also enabling me to use the best products on the planet (it feels good to believe so strongly in the products of my sponsors). I am so thankful to REV3 and their sponsors like Pilot, who make it possible to pursue a career in professional triathlon. We are so blessed in triathlon that the money is there to make a living. I have friends who are dominant professional runners and swimmers who struggle, so I know we are lucky. It is all thanks to organizations like REV3 and their sponsors that support the pursuit of professional endurance athletes and a quest to expand the limits of human performance. Mostly I have won because I am healthy, happy and living a great life right now. It may sound nauseatingly cheesy, but that is how I feel. I have a great future, no matter what I decide to do, and I have the freedom and support to pursue it. To be toeing the start line next Sunday in the position I am in right now- it would be insane for me not to realize that I already have it all. Of course I am going to turn myself inside out on the course next Sunday, but no matter what happens, I am loved, supported and blessed beyond anything I ever imagined- the rest is just gravy…and it is going to be fun....