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4 in 4: “Podium Shot”

 

matt_sharpe_podium

 

 

Coming into this race I wasn’t exactly 100% confident. Our training the past six weeks hadn’t exactly been the kind of prep I would envision to perform for this specific event. But I’m not in charge of that all that stuff, and I’m still trying to get better at having faith in those above me. After successfully (for me) navigating a two week niggle I was on the start line in good physical health, which is ultimately going to be the ideal prep.

 

 

In part due to my positive experience with the homestay and also due to my post-Chengdu racing mindset (be grateful you’re even on the start line and have the opportunity to race) I was in a good head space as the gun went off.

 

 

The plan was to push the second half of the swim and keep the pressure on to start the bike. These sprint distance races are always full gas so you just have to expect to hurt.

 

 

Onto the bike we had a good crew and once the tone was set it rarely let off. Pennock, Paquet, Smith, Zagar, Hindman, Greiner-Talavera, Huffman, Lussi and myself settled into our team time trial and stayed smooth the whole way through. Big shoutout to the boys for not letting up, although there is an interesting psychological aspect when your group is putting time into the next bunch, guys will just bury themselves. It’s awesome.

 

 

Onto the run we had a comfortable gap on a couple of the quality runners of the field (not Pennock tho, he was right up with us). We took it out hard and I just hung with whoever was at the front. The last lap I found myself running on Pennock’s shoulder. You’re never quite sure how the other guy is feeling and you think well maybe if it stays together for the sprint…

 

 

The other guy was feeling good.

 

 

He took off with about 500m to go and I couldn’t hang. Russ was first, I was second. Martin, in his first elite race finished up in 21st. Years ahead of Russell and I who both crashed out in our elite debuts.

 

 

It was a well executed race and looking back I clearly got the most out of it. The Canadians swept the podium and while singing the anthem I somehow fudged it which looking back is pretty damn embarrassing. Didn’t have enough time to dwell on it after though, we had to get back on the road, back in the Yaris.