Sunday, August 1, 2010

1st WIN.....Steelhead 70.3

WOW!! I managed to get my first big win at the Steelhead 70.3 triathlon in Michigan. It was an absolutely amazing feeling crossing the finish line in first place. I couldn't help but to recall all the struggles and sacrifices made in the events leading up to Steelhead. I have had a very rough past couple of seasons and I had told myself I would be done with triathlon if 2010 didn't go well! I think I might hang around a little longer and hopefully my performances will keep on progressing the way they have the past three months

After Vineman 70.3 my plan was to get in a solid block of hard training as I pretty much have been racing every other weekend since Rev 3 back in June. I was set on the decision and got back into training until my friend, Tim Marr gave me a call and told me about Steelhead. Once Tim finished telling me about Steelhead my wife, Lindsay, even mentioned the race. I e-mailed Ironman on the weekend and just hoped to receive an e-mail back telling me I was in. The days went by and I was starting to train hard but not too hard because I wanted to be fresh for Steelhead if I was accepted. Wednesday rolled around and nothing back yet so I went for a 3.5 hour tough ride. It only became tougher because 30 minutes in a storm rolled in and it poured down with rain for 2 hours! When I eventually arrived home I was not in the greatest of moods. When I sat down and grabbed my computer there was a note from the wife telling me I should start packing my bike because Ironman emailed back. I really didn't want to go. I delayed packing until 10:00pm even though I knew I would have to get up at 0350 the next morning. Finally I convinced myself to go. I had good form and looking back I was racing well with one week between each race.

Arrived in Chicago and drove 3 hours behind traffic to my hotel (microtel) in South Bend, Indiania.  Assembled everything and stayed in the rest of the evening. Friday was pro meeting and would allow everybody to see who had shown up. Looking around it looked as if Saturday was going to be hard. I knew Graham O'Grady (GOG) would tear  up the swim up. Michael Lovato, Matty White, Josh Rix, and other company would be hunting the swim leaders down and then it would fought out on the run. It was going to be a exciting day in my mind!

Alarm went off at 3:50am as I was staying 40 miles from the race site. I prepared my nutrition as normal. I have found what works for me and will continue using the same formula. First Endurance make top notch nutrition and until something needs to be changed, or I cramp, or run out of energy starting the run here is my nutrition.

Breakfast: bowl of wheaties fuel, 2 rice cakes with sunflower seed butter, 24oz of EFS lemon lime
Bike bottle 1: 24oz water mixed with Liquid shot (400cal), 1 scoop EFS Lemon lime (90cal), 5 pinch salt.
Bike bottle 2: 24ox water with 2 scoops EFS Lemon lime (180cal), scoop of pre-race, 5 pinches of salt.

Once I finished everything in the hotel, I jumped into the car and started the drive out to race site. 20 minutes on the road and it started raining. When I arrived at race site it only got worse. Thank goodness I had the ride on Wednesday in the rain of I would have been very upset. After setting up it was a 1.2 mile walk/jog/run down the beach to the race start. I made sure I was lined up around GOG because if you missed his were going to be a ways back. I managed to jump on and we opened a big gap on the main field but had two other guys 25 meters back. GOG smashed it and I lost contact with 100 meters to go. I was not too concerned because of the long jog to the bikes. Will Smith (another Kiwi) jumped aboard and it was three Kiwi's up front leading the race. The three of us worked well together and were switching pulls every five minutes. Around mile 20-23 the Aussies presence rolled in with Matty White and Josh Rix. With three kiwi's and two Aussies up front I was hoping the end result would be similar to the rugby match played earlier in morning with New Zealand taking the win! We all worked very well and clean up front pushing the pace. GOG unfortunately flatted around mile 40-45 and put him out of contention. Will Smith received a drafting penalty and Matty White received a yellow card (he took a piss on the bike.......didn't know you were not allowed to) with three miles to go. He immediately launched an attack and I jumped on to his attack. Didn't want him to get an inch because he has been racing very well.

I made it out on T2 first but Matty White blew by me 200 meters into the run. I was a little scared with his acceleration and just prayed he was just trying to break me straight away. Eventually at mile one I pulled up to his shoulder and we ran that way until mile three. It was then my turn to try and break him! I put in a surge and managed to get about 10 seconds. Next thing I know Rix made a surge and was getting close. I dug deep and went pretty hard and opened up a gap of about 400-600 meters with 4 miles to go. I held on and crossed the line for my first win! Rix and White rounded up the podium.

Thank you Matt Dixon from Purple Patch Fitness. Sometimes I think Matt can predict my performances better than I can!! K-Swiss for the best shoes on the market. First Endurance for amazing nutrition. TRX for getting me into some strength work which has proven to be beneficial. Xterra wetsuits for the fastest suits on the market.
Phase One Design, Invert Align, Ron Vaughn, and Jarod Carter for all you help.
Oh, and a HUGE thanks to my wife who supports me 100% and gets me going out the door when I'm lacking motivation. All this hard work is paying off babe!

Whirlpool Steelhead Ironman 70.3
Benton Harbor, Michigan
July 31, 2010
S 1.2 mi. / B 56 mi. / R 13.1 mi.

1. James Cotter (Christchurch, New Zealand) 3:53:13
2. Josh Rix (Boulder CO) 3:54:40
3. Matthew White (Boulder CO) 3:55:22
4. Tony White (Lexington KY) 3:58:16
5. Michael Lovato (Boulder CO) 3:58:56


Bre said...

YAY JAMES!!!!!! Congratulations!! The canadians were cheering you on as we watched the tracker :) great race & enjoy the win!! #1 is a nice place to be & you deserve it!

Love and Puppies, Christy said...

Congrats! You're doing great this season!

Nottage Family said...

What a beautiful race!! We are so happy for you from are one of our favorite athletes with your honesty, openness and total humility!! We'll never forget that you stopped in 2004 Honu Oly for the other contender who was then that we knew you were a complete class act. Congratulations James and Linsday...a huge victory and breakthrough stemming from the most difficult thing in the world; patience. With Warmest, Warmest Regards, Tad and Jennifer Nottage (wow you are fast on your feet!)

Lisa (bakebikeblog) said...

Oh my - BIG CONGRATS!!!!!

Bruce Stewart (施樸樂) (ブルース・スチュワート) said...

Do the marshalls issue "brown" cards, too?

Chuck said...

Congratulations on the win James! What an awesome accomplishment. I'll be your way for Longhorn 70.3 in October- you'll have to give me some advice on the race leading up to it

Marty said...

Way to go, James! T and I are rooting for you this season from Germany... keep up the great work and super race reports. Anytime you need a place in Germany to crash, you can stay with us. We're doing the Gerardmer half-IM in a couple of weeks, and then 70.3 Switzerland next year... maybe Challenge Roth too. Say hi to your dad for us.