This past weekend I competed in the 70.3 World Championships in Clearwater, Florida this weekend. I traveled by car with my Timo from Tyler, Tx, but who is from Finland. Going into the race I had a few goals in my mind with my first goal is to always go out have a good time. I had a few sub goals under that though which included coming into the top 100 overall and top 10 in my age group. My time goal was to break 4:10.
The swim was the most competitive swim I had ever been. The 18-24 and 25-29 age group males were combined at the start, therefore there was an abundance of testosterone floating around out there in the choppy ocean waters. I was thinking I should have went out for 8th grade football when I was asked too, I think itwould have helped as I was getting kicked, wacked in the head, and people grabbing my feet and trying to swim over me. I came out of the water in 32:18, which is very close to my swim time at Austin and this was heckuva a lot rougher swim. Coming out of the water a yellow and black Brian Loncar jersey and though heck naaaw!!! I wasn't going to let Travis start the bike ahead of me so I was so fast in T1 Travis didn't even see me go by him.
On the bike there was lots of drafting and honestly there was no way to avoid it...well you could avoid it but then you would be out of the hunt because everyone else is also drafting. I felt like I did more than my fair share of work in the pack I was in. I averaged 25.47 for the whole ride but it should have been easily over 26. I saw lots of people that had wrecks out there. Timo was one of them who crashed hard around mile 35 when two riders in front of him went down he went over on top of them slicing his thumb open on probably a bladed spoke. He ended up having 12 stitches on this thumb. He is one of tough dude! He didn't complain very much though, but the nurse said he passed out when she stuck a needle in him.
Off the bike, I made sure I started out quite conservatively as compared to Austin. I stayed calm. I liked the two loop run course as we had to run this big bridge. Going up the bridge I took my coaches advice and counted the light post inside of the median to help me keep my mind off running uphill and it helped me get up there faster. I am sure people thought I was crazy as I was counting out loud and talking to myself during the run. "Alright baby that's 10, onto the next 11. You got this." "Harden up baby, don't let up now." I finished the last 3 miles of run faster than I started the first 3 miles which surprised me. I ran the last 3 miles as if I was originally from Gun Barrel City, on meth. I finished the run in 1:21.57. When I crossed the finish line I heard the announcer say "William Ritter, from Gun Barrel City, Texas. You gotta watch out for them guys from Gun Barrel City."
In the end the final results of the day concluded with a place of 89th overall, 17 th in my age group, with a total time of 4:10.29. My fitness got better as the season went along as this was the first 70.3 in quite sometime where I did not puke or need an IV.
Here I am playing around on Pensacola Beach Monday morning. Timo talked me into putting on my wetsuit and playing in these huge waves. I tried to get out for enough to ask these surfers if I could borrow their board, but the waves were hitting me so hard, I decide I better come back closer to shore.
Here is a sunset over the beach near Shalimar, Florida near a restaurant we ate at that night.
The Clearwater beach on pre race day.
Wow what such a fun trip. I thank the Lord for letting me travel safely with no car problems and glad I didn't lose Timo anywhere and that his injury wasn't any worse than it was. I owe a big thank you to our great homestays for this trip. My friends Kelly Caton in Shalimar, Florida and Tammie Wonning in Tampa, Florida were nice enough to put up with us stinky athletes for a few days. Also to Shirley Green and Courtney Hill and ETMC Olympic Center CCL members who put together a huge card together with money in it :) to help the expense of travel. It took me by a complete surprise (see facebook for pics of this). A big thanks to my sponsors this year! ONURLEFT, BLUESEVENTY, BROOKS, MONAVIE w/ Rep. Brandon Perry, and RETIBOL VRIL. A huge thank you to my coach BRENT POULSEN for coaching me to a successful season and more to come. I can't say thank you enough for the encouraging messages and comments I've received from many people. I am enjoying the off season right now taking a break from the training, staying up 10pm some nights when I have the energy, and eating all the wrong things.
You can check out the rest of my pictures on facebook. www.facebook.com/williamtritter
Thanks for reading!