I had a solid warm up, which helped to take the edge off of the nerves. I was ranked 49th, and with the largest field of the day, 75, I was right in the middle. Everyone before me decided to line up on the left because it was slightly shorter, not much though, so i took the right side. After that people started to line up beside me. They screwed up on the number of spots and had to extend it, so i lost my end position by 5 places. They were a little disorganized for the swim start. They didnt have any speakers, so one moment I was standing there, and the next the horn went. Withing about 20 strokes I was in clean water. I swam the next few hundred metres by myself before hitting the first turn in about 4th. From there on I just swam on some feet and rested for the rest of the race. I exited the water in third, had a quick transition and was first onto the bike.
I realized my lack of bike fitness about 200m into it. An American took off, then a South American went too and I was unable to respond, but that fitness will come over the next few months. Cole, Aaron and I rode together got 5km before two guys caught us. we worked together for another couple km before Aaron and I made the decision to wait for the chase pack which was only a few seconds away. After that the pack pretty much grinded to a halt. We caught the chase pack, but other than that nothing happened. There were attacks, but none of them sucessful. The roads had many cracks and holes in then, so a few people went down. In the last few kms, I made my way to the front of the pack and entered transition in the top 5, about 1 min down on the two leaders. I had a good transition and made my way onto the run.
Just exited T2
My plan was to build the run. I felt great on the run, and was running behind the leaders of the chase pack not even trying, so I passed them. Ian joined me about 500m into the run, and then an American, and the eventual winner (ran a 14:18 5000m indoor this year) passed us right after. Ian and I worked well to catch the leaders. After the first lap we had caught one of the leaders, but the two Americans remained up the road. At the turn around we were within sight of one of the Americans, and the eventual winner was running with him. With about 200m to go, 2nd place was about 20m ahead of me. I started sprinting, I had caught him with about 100m to go, I passed him, but he surged ahead and passed me, then gave it everything I had to put it into final gear. I held him off for second place, and about 20 seconds behind the winner.
It was not only a great day for me, but many Canadians. Kayla placed 1st, and Marianne 3rd in the junior womens race, and Andrew McCartney placed 3rd in the U23 division after leading everyone, including olympians out of the water, and congrats to Ian Donald who had a breakout performance on the international stage. Last year the Junior men only had one in the top 10, this year we had four, so our junior men are finally beginning to establish themselves in the world, congrats guys.