Beginning tomorrow I will kick off a four week block of racing that will take me to the East Coast, France and Mexico. Training has been great since my race in Kelowna, including my second and third biggest weeks of the year. Running intensity was the highest it has been since I finished up at NAU over a year ago. Swimming continues to be a year-round focus and I have swam some encouraging sets in the last few weeks. But training means nothing if you can’t put it together on race day, and I plan to show the gains I have made in these next four races.
Saturday is the Buffalo ITU Pan American Cup, which also serves as USAT Elite Nationals for the second year in a row. If I beat my 17th placing from Clermont back in March, I can further increase my ranking on the ITU Points list. This will be no small task, as I’m going into the race ranked 18th. There are guys ahead of me that I have beat this year, and I know I can do it again if I execute well. This is probably the deepest field I have raced in yet, which I think will be a good thing for me as there should be more people to work with coming out of the swim. Start list
After Buffalo, I will be staying in Boston for a few days with fellow professional triathletes Chris Baird and Brianna Blanchard. They are both from Ventura County area, and I actually ran against Chris throughout high school and while he was at UPenn, so it will be nice to spend some time with them. Chris and I then fly to Luxembourg and bus over to Nancy, France for Duathlon World Championships held on September 22. I applied to represent team USA at this event several months ago, thinking it would be a great opportunity to get international racing experience. However, I am committed to my long-term development as a triathlete, and for me, at this point, that means a lot of swimming. There is no swim portion of a duathlon (run-bike-run), so I can’t say that I have had perfect preparation for this event, but I will go out there and do my best and see I can’t get a piece of the ???80,000 prize purse! A huge thank-you to my sponsor ENVE Wheels for helping me get to France and putting me on the fastest wheels in the bunch.
From Luxembourg I will fly back to LAX and spend a few days at home before hitting the road for a quick trip down to San Diego for the F1 Triathlon. This is a crazy fast format of racing, and I’m really excited to be accepted as an entry for this event. It takes place on Coronado Island, and consists of a 300m ocean swim, a 10-lap 4-mile bike, and a 5-lap 1.5-mile run. After finishing the run, you go to T3! Take off your shoes, run back into the water, and do it all over again. If you are in the area on September 29th, I highly recommend you come out and watch. It is going to be a great spectator course, and I know the race director is hoping this will be the start of a permanent race series in the US. Back in the day, these races were quite popular in Australia. Check out the video:
Finally, my last race of the season will be my first ever ITU World Cup in Cancun, Mexico on October 7th. That I was able to qualify for a World Cup race in my first season as a professional triathlete is a great accomplishment and I plan on celebrating by sticking my nose in the thick of things with the big boys — there are at least ten London Olympians on the start list. More on this race to come, as I obviously have other things to worry about first!
Be sure to check my twitter (@jasonpedersen) or my Facebook over the next few weeks with updates from the races. If I get a chance to blog, there will be links on those accounts for you to stay updated.