Last weekend. Matt Sharpe raced the North American Sprint Distance Championships in Sarasota, Florida.
I raced it last year and finished in fifth place, and I was stoked. I went in to it with the mindset of just wanting to see where my fitness put me in a quality field of athletes.
This year was different. I went in wanting to win the damn thing. It was a completely different mindset from the previous year. It’s not a bad thing, wanting to win. I’ve worked hard and put myself in a position where I truly believed I could. Sometimes people try and talk themselves up before a competition saying things like they’re ready to win or whatever. But more often than not its just a way of trying to convince themselves of something that probably isn’t going to happen.
When we started the run the pace was pretty hot and I settled in among three other athletes. At about 2k in I knew I was going to be fighting pretty hard as I was starting to really hurt. There were a few tough moments where I had to dig deep to just hang on. I was suffering.
But I was able to stay focused and hold on till about 75m to go when I just didn’t have that next gear. I finished up in third, disappointed in the result. But proud of my effort.
From the press release:
“I had a decent swim, not amazing, but good enough. The bike was chaotic at times with no incentive to push too hard, and the run was about as good as I could have done today so I’m proud of my effort.”
“I worked my butt off on the run to hang with the leaders as long as I did. So that was quite good. In honesty, I’m pretty ticked off with third because I really wanted to win today. But the guys ahead of me were stronger on the run so hats off to them.”
“It’s been a very consistent period of training under my coach Jono Hall. If I’m being honest I haven’t been the easiest athlete to deal with, so I’m very grateful he’s stuck it out with me as long as he has. “I’m trying to be better and have started making better decisions — trying to be less ego-based and that is paying off. So big thanks to my support crew, especially coach Jono for sticking it out with me even when I can be difficult.”
Matt is back in Arizona for another 10 day training block before heading to New Zealand and Australia for the next two races. He is looking forward to testing himself against some world class competition.