This tri season saw a lot of interesting action this year, and was definitely a roller coaster of sorts. I’m so thankful for everyone who has been there for me and made my season the most successful season of my career!
The beginning of the season started with a very poor race in Christchurch, New Zealand; a crash in Mooloolaba, Australia; an “okay” race in New Plymouth, New Zealand; and a terrible DNF race in Auckland, New Zealand that included diarrhea.
I came home, reorganized my entire race schedule, moved to Clermont, Florida with Jarrod Shoemaker and Alicia Kaye, and “started my season over”. I had amazing hot weather training with Alicia for a couple months and started my season back with a 2nd place finish at ITU Bridgetown, Barbados. I then had the most “memorable” situation of the year by having a heatstroke and two seizures at our Pan American Championships in Dallas, Texas.
At this point, Katie had an injured Achilles, I was recovering from my time in the hospital, and so it worked out quite well that we were able to take it easy back in Santa Cruz, CA. Once we were both able to start getting back into things, Katie had the opportunity to work with Bobby McGee in Boulder, CO. So Katie and I moved there and were living with a guy named Craig Sweeny. Craig is freaking awesome, let that be known. He made our experience in Boulder a seriously incredible one!
Once I had gotten some solid base hours under my belt, my coach Joel Filliol spent quite a bit of time making sure all my workouts were specific towards getting me back in shape easily and safely. I came back to Santa Cruz in August for my first race back after my hospital hiccup, and ended up having an awesome race and winning. The next weekend I won my first ever ITU race in Kelowna, Canada and best of all, I got to share the top of the podium with Katie!
After that race, I drove Paula Findlay’s car to Edmonton, Canada to race Aquathlon World Champs, and watch Katie race the Grand finale. I ended up getting extremely sick the night before the race but still raced and finished 4th.
After Edmonton, Katie and I flew back to Boulder, drove to Phoenix, flew to Las Vegas and raced the Las Vegas Super Sprint, where I finished 3rd overall (2nd American for USAT Sprint National Champs) and then flew back to Santa Cruz.
Two days later we raced the Triathlon at Pacific Grove (which is just a quick 40min drive from my house) where I finished 2nd to my good friend Joe Maloy. After that I had a few days to recover which I took the opportunity to fly back to Clermont and pick up all my stuff that had been left there (because after Dallas I ended up having to fly back to Santa Cruz instead of back to Florida where I had moved).
Once I had all my stuff in one place, Katie and I moved into a trailer that is parked on my sister and brother in-law’s property, while my parents (who had just sold their house of 30 years) were living in a room in their house to help take care of my two nephews because my Brother in law is in fire academy and my sister is coaching swimming. My parents have bought a new house and will move in around Jan 1st, but until then, the entire family is all together on one property!
During this time, I finally had the perfect moment and I asked Katie to marry me! Fortunately she said yes, and we set the wedding date for January 17th, 2015!
For the end of the season push towards Tongyeong, I was training in Santa Cruz, went to Kona, Hawaii for a week with Katie and her sponsor Coeur Sports, and then flew to Tongyeong, South Korea where I was 3rd , my first ever World Cup podium – All this while planning a wedding!
After Tongyeong I flew back to San Diego where I finished off my season with a 5th place at Lifetime Tri Oceanside. Katie and I drove back up to Santa Cruz, settled in for a bit, and two days later we are off to spend our off season back in Hampstead, Maryland where her family is.
Overall this season was full of adventure with some heavy lows, but also, some extreme highs. I’m looking forward to starting next season ranked 65th in the world in the ITU points ranking, and continuing to contribute to the positive growth that the USA men’s program has been showing, and ideally be an important part in helping the US men qualify 3 spots for the Rio Olympic Games!