The official start of US Triathlon started on Saturday with the annual Ford Ironman 70.3 Oceanside California. This race has special meaning to me because it's a home course. So far away from home I followed the race and quite a few people in the race. Some notable finishers:
Kim Rouse 5:17:39 1st in her age group. Kim is wife to Mike and is a stud. She is one of the nicest people you will ever meet but when it's race time she has a game face that will make the strongest wimper away. I'm sure we'll see Kim it the Kona and Clearwater Worlds.
Mike Rouse 6:13:20 - This race was too short for Mike. At 6 hours he's just waking up. He is an Ultraman with a personality to go with it.
Mac Brown 4:16:56 - First year Pro. All around great guy. More on him below.
Michelle Jones 4:28:51 - Michelle is a class act. She is a true professional. She has won more races than anyone on the planet and always shows up prepared.
Brian Enge 4:46:03 - Brian is a Soccer Player (a darn good one at that) turned triathlete. Why not, he's also the CEO of Zoot Sports the big brand of Triathlon. He's a darn good triathlete too!
Congrats to all of you above and everyone else in the race. I wish I could have joined in on the fun!
The two pictures above are of two first year pros. Both are extremely talented athletes taking a big step from being an amature to making triathlon their living. Just looking at the photo's might tell you that Mac is a bit more serious about this going pro thing than Bree. At this point though from what I see and especially what I read, Bree is more serious about the venture. First let me tell you about what I know of the two.
Bree - I don't know her and wouldn't recognize her if she turned up at a local pool. She was the first amature at Ironman Hawaii last year, she was a school teacher and that's her son in the picture. She has spent the last 9 weeks in Austrailia training with a group of Pros and tells her stories at : http://www.breeweehawaii.blogspot.com/
Mac - He and I worked together when he first moved to San Diego. It's fun to see him progress from a runner, to duathlete and now Professional Triathlete. Mac had a great amature year last year, winning his agegroup and being the first amature in every race but Ironman Hawaii. If you watch him train there is nobody that works harder than Mac. For more go to www.macbrownracing.com
Back to my story. Both of these athletes have a blog like this one and as a geek triathlete, I keep up on what they are doing. I think I was lucky when I was introduced to Bree's blog because she was in the middle of this 9 week training block so it was just fun to read all the crazy workouts she was doing. One post from last week made me think. Her coach sat her down and said Bree - If you want to be a Pro you have to act like one too. In other words, don't complain, no excuses, work your ass off. Bree said "I fianlly get it".
Mac has a great way of writing his Blog and it's fun to read what he has to say. I was disturbed to read his last post about his race in Oceanside. He was happy with the result, 19th but said something to the fact that this result is all on base miles with no speed work so his expectations weren't high.
The Results in their first Pro Race:
Bree 3rd and a pay check. (her race was in Austrailia)
I was lucky in my life to live like a pro but more importantly I really got to know a large number of the pros who shaped the sport. I lived in the house of the Agent who has had more impact on the sport than any agent. The one thing I learned from Murphy is that he did not choose his athletes based on results only. Sure the results or the potential of results had to be there, but he wants professionalism. He expects you to work your tail off. He expects you to present a good image to the sport, sponsors etc. All the time. All of his athletes show up to a race ready to race and no matter what happens they will be professional about their actions on the course and can handle the media when needed.
So all of this comes down to a plea to Mac. Mac I really want to see you succeed at being a professional triathlete. First let me tell you one thing, there was only one athlete this weened working off something more than base and that was Andy Potts. He's trying to make the Olympic Team so he's probably on the way to a peak. But everyone behind him was working off base work. Read Brees Blog and swim your rear end off. I know Roch and there is no better swim coach but look at what Bree did. She did not settle into a comfortable pace she hung tough on toes. She credits it to pure volume in the pool with faster people. Race Often and race short. If you are a Pro, this is how you will make money. Get out there and build experience. If you want to improve your transitions like Craig Alexander, do the shorter US pro races. They will teach you to swim fast and will also teach you ultra fast transitions. You can't take your time in transition as a pro. Last bit and I only know this from being around the pros, race your tail off and get mad when you don't hit results. My old roomate Tim Sheeper (www.teamsheeper.com) would come back from a race where he didn't meet expectations and he would be fuming. You didn't want to talk to him for at least a week. Tim had a job the entire time but his job and all of his expenses were based on racing. If he didn't make money he wasn't eating. This made him work that much harder. Finally Mac don't worry about what I say. Find some really succesful pros (not coaches) and find out how they did it(not the training part, the being a Pro part). You are surrounded by them in San Diego. Ask one of them or a bunch of them what being a Pro means and learn from that aspect. You have all the tools and the desire. Now if I can be so bold, start acting like a Pro.
It's a good life.....