The End of My Season

It’s been a while since I’ve updated my site. In September and October I was just trying to focus on training for Austin 70.3 and Clearwater. Taking my dog to the park took up all my spare time. Now that I’m back from Thailand I can get everything up to date. Here’s a brief update on all the races I’ve done since Muskoka.
After Muskoka, I realized I was lacking a lot of fitness on the bike, so I went looking an olympic distance race to do. I decided to race Westchester, NY, which I did a few years earlier when it was an ITU points race. It turned out to be a lot harder race than I expected. A lot of guys rode hard. I ended up finishing second, but still needed a lot more work on the bike. After that race I spent the next few weeks doing a lot of riding.

The next race was Austin 70.3. I had been looking forward to this race the whole year. It was my plan the whole year to try and win that race, as I have a lot of friends there and I wanted to win it for one of my sponsors, Jack and Adams, which is based out of Austin (so if anyone is ever in Austin and looking for a great bike shop, Jack and Adams is the place to go). All my training worked out perfectly for the race. I felt really confident on my run because of the new run program I was following, which my old coach from school, Dave Bullock, wrote up for me. I finally regained my fitness on the bike and I came into transition with the main group, just under 4 minutes behind Kieran Doe. I chased hard right from the start and after 5 miles, I caught Kieran and Joe Gambles. The run course was quite challenging, being windy on one side and hilly on the other. I managed to pull away from Joe, who was also having a cracker race. I ended up running a 1:15 on the course, which gave me a lot of confidence leading into Clearwater.

Top 5:

  1. 3:49:44 Richie Cunningham
  2. 3:50:40 Joe Gambles
  3. 3:51:49 Alberto Casadei
  4. 3:53:19 Simon Lessing
  5. 3:54:02 Tim Deboom

I stayed down in Austin for a couple of weeks for a two week training camp, because it was starting to get a little chilly in Boston. I ended up doing all my training alone since everyone had gone to Hawaii. I decided not to take any recovery after the race and just went into a two week training block. After Austin I had to go home because my mut missed me.
I followed the same routine as the last two years and went down to Clearwater with Rinny (Mirinda Carfrae), Joe, and Thomo the week before the race to do my final taper. That whole week I felt really relaxed and confident that I had done all the right training.
Race morning yet again turned out to be perfect weather. I got a great start in the swim and managed to get onto Andy Raelert’s feet, where I stayed for the rest of the swim. The first 10k of the bike was fast, with a lot of guys trying to position themselves near the front. Joe Gambles moved to the front and lifted the pace for the next 10-15k. Around 20k, Galindez made his way to the front and from then on the speed lifted to a ridiculous 45/46 k average. Around 35k, the speed became nuts as the front guys went after the Timex bike bonus. The group started to split at this point. The next 10k was probably the hardest 10k I’ve ever had to ride in my life. I was totally red-lining just to hold the front group in sight. I managed to get back onto the front group around 50k. With 10k to go, Galindez, Colucci and Torenzo managed to slip away and open up a 45 second gap leading into transition. Leaving transition, I realized I had to catch the front 3 as quickly as possible to have any chance of getting on the podium. During the first mile, I started to panic as my legs were still on fire from the insane bike ride. After the first mile, I got back into a good running rhythm and I was starting to pull back time on Galindez and Colucci. I managed to catch up to Galindez and then a mile later caught Colucci. Torenzo was still out the front and running really strong. Going over the bridge for the second time, I managed to get rid of Galindez and Colucci. At this point I thought I was feeling really confident and second was looking really good. That didn’t last too long as Andy Raelert came flying past me. I tried to go with him for a little bit but my legs told me I was kidding myself as Andy was on a 1:10 half marathon pace. With a mile to go, I realized I had third place sewn up, so I just ran to the finish enjoying the crowd and the great atmosphere. There was not much more I could have done during the race and I was really happy to be on the podium for the second time in the last three years.

Top 5:

  1. 3:40:10 Terenzo Bozzone
  2. 3:40:42 Andreas Raelert
  3. 3:41:46 Richie Cunningham
  4. 3:42:28 Oscar Galindez
  5. 3:43:22 Reinaldo Colucci

After the awards ceremony, we all headed to one of the local bars, which turned out to be even more fun than the race, with everyone getting extremely drunk and having a great time. I tried to put on my good dance moves and get up on stage with Chris Legh, but the bouncers were intimidated by our killer dancing skills and kicked us off. Rinny did us proud though and managed to stay on stage. I guess she had better moves than we did. I was more sore the next morning from the drinking than I was from the race.
I went to St. Croix for the island classic race there to defend my win from the year before. It wasn’t pretty. I hardly trained all week (possibly because of all the alcohol I had on Sunday night). Ohh good times.
After St. Croix, I returned home for one day and then flew directly back to Australia to take my girlfriend on a holiday back home. With Phuket triathlon still to come, I had to force myself out the door each day to do at least a little training. Phuket went surprisingly well considering the lack of training I did. I think I must have been totally rested. Leaving transition onto the run, I was in the same position as last year, with me and Mossimo going head to head. I managed to open up a gap around 4k and held it to the finish line. After 5 years, I finally accomplished my goal of getting to run to the finish line with a baby elephant. Phuket has the best finish line. Running with an elephant was awesome, but I think the sneaky bastard put in a late surge just before the line and got me by a trunk. Once again, the after part turned into a drinking festival with me, Rinny and Chris. This time, Chris and I got to show off our moves on stage (not pretty).

After Phuket, I flew home to Australia for a couple of days and now I’m back in Boston stuck in the shitty snow. I don’t know who hates the cold more – me or Sam (my dog). This morning, me and Melissa (girlfriend) took him to the park. Last night we had a huge snow storm and he got to play in the snow for the first time. He ran around like a spastic in his spandex suit, sweater, winter coat, and booties. He lasted about 20 minutes and then wanted to go home. He’s high maintenance.