Curtis Laurie - MUSKOKA 70.3 IRONMAN 2014

Curtis Laurie - MUSKOKA 70.3 IRONMAN 2014

I came to Muskoka 70.3 as a complete rookie, getting pretty beat up at Syracuse I felt like I had something to prove. I REALLY WANTED AN AGEGROUP SPOT TO WORLDS 70.3. I felt sharp, healthy, well rested, and full of nutrition. I WAS READY TO TAKE ON THIS COURSE FULL TILT... I WAS HUMBLED. 

 

Killing it on the run

This is what we work for

Pre-race

The field was deep upon check in.  I was up against 82 other guys for only two spots. I've seen a few names before such as Keith Marchant so I knew this would not be an easy task but I had a plan. Shoot for 170W-190W on the bike, come off fresh and slaughter the run.  Outside of my little bubble the atmosphere was vibrant with some really big and familiar names in the field. On the pro end such as Cody Beals, a local boy Chris Balestrini (London, ON) and WHAT!!! RICHIE CHUNNINGHAM. This is an Ironman 70.3 veteran.  Needless to say I WAS VERY VERY EXCITED. I rented a place about 10 min away on a lake so I could remove myself from that action when required. It was gorgeous and highly recommended.

NOW ONTO THE RACE!


Swim - 1.9 km - 32:58
This is about the same time as I put up in Muskoka so clearly I've got some work to do over the winter, but the most notable difference was that I FELT GREAT. This was a shocker. Although my speed hadn't increased with the additional months of training, my aerobic endurance was through the roof. The uphill run to the transition zone was a breeze and I didnt feel like my heart was going to come out of my throat like in Syracuse. I swam well but with the leaders coming out of the water 10min ahead, I know that I can work harder and get better results. Big picture thinking.... swim is only a small part of the race and 10min back is something that I could easily get back on the bike. That is if my bike abilities were up to par. I know its my first year at this. Live and learn. Some people think im being hard on myself, I think im just being a realist and driving myself to do better.


Bike - 94 km - 03:03:38 - 29.5 km/h
The Muskoka course is tough, long,  bone rattling (rough road conditions), and did I mention HARD with over 1,000m of elevation gain. The climbing portion would be fine however it has a nice "Heart Beat" rhythm to it. (See below) The bike is certainly my largest focus coming into the off season. I want to be considered a good cyclist not below average.  Coming off the swim in a pretty good position/head space made the bike transition effortless and getting on the bike felt like another day back home until the up and down and up and down started. With a race plan of STAY BELOW 190W I was sure to have legs for the run (biggest mistake of Syracuse). MISSION SUCCESS. Sure there were some areas where I was standing on the peddles putting on 300+W going 10km/h up hill but that was to be expected. Cycle Culture had tuned up my bike before the race so I was confident that during my descents at 70+km/h I was in total control. I had no one to ride with so I was on my own to focus on the race plan and just spin my own game. 



Run - 21.2 km - 1:34:09
The run is by far my favorite part of the 70.3 race. The half marathon distance is long enough to stretch out the muscles without entering the danger zone of the last 10 miles on a full marathon run.  This run course is not easy by any means but its not crazy either. I believe the run at Syracuse was more difficult. I am clearly getting faster and stronger as the year progresses thanks to COACH - Matt Gervais 
The last km required a significant amount of effort and without passing a single person in my agegroup, despite a very solid effort on the run I was slightly upset. My emotions were everywhere but focused. I gave this race my all. I put everything I could into this run and yet there are others who I can look to which will allow me to get better and better. I ended up comming in 8th in my agegroup and 83rd out of 1200+ participants.  With focus, drive and determination I will be better next year. 
My main area for improvement for the 2015 season is the bike.  In 2015 I believe I can swim sub 30min, bike 2:30 with some really hard work, and run under 1:25. Maybe not at this race but certainly at another 70.3 again and not to be underplayed THIS RACE WILL BREAK YOU. 
If I can accomplish all of these goals I will have a fantastic chance to make it to World Championships 70.3 
I want to thank everyone who supports me including all my friends, family, WTC, Coach - Matt Gervais, Infinit Nutrition, Cycle Culture and the Running Factory.  Thanks for an amazing 2014 season. 


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