2018 CAMTRI American Cup of Triathlon / Sarasota, FLAndre Barbieri
I just raced the PanAmerican and it was a VERY eventful one. First of all, they changed te date on the PanAm and that was not cool: we got a 6weeks notice –from originally going be hold in Brazil (in June) it changed to US (in March!). Timing on my training schedule was not ideal, but this was all political, what can we do?
-Well, on my part I can only do my best, and honestly, I’m grateful I even raced!!
1st thing: as I’m assembling my time trial bike upon arrival, I discover a crack in the bike frame that does not look good. Hopefully it will hold for the race (AND IT DID!!). Hopefully also warranty covers it and if not, hopefully we can weld it on the way back. (That’s a lot of hopes!!)
2nd thing: my running blade has been delaminating for the past few weeks, which is not ideal, but it’s fine. Thanks to my luck (and some really good contacts) I already have a replacement on the way. My prosthetist assured me it was only gonna get (gradually) softer – slower, with time. As it turns out, the day before the race, I’m about to go train and then my first step on the floor I hear a loud crack –the blade just completely gives out! -Not good.
I then start a series of calls and research on the web to see who could help in Florida. Keep in mind, a running blade is not something you can go buy at “Home Depot,” they’re very specific in size and height and thickness… so I had to be lucky to find someone, in Florida that had the right “demo” one I could borrow. Or find some clinic with a new one and spend a lot of money so I don’t miss this (very) important race. Or fly back to CA where my replacement blade just arrived (well, that’s not really an option, no time for that before the race). Turns out my lucky star shines and I find some angels that let me borrow one! They even give me a shipping label to send it back after the race so I don’t have to drive back again. Prosthetics & Orthotics Associates in Orlando saved my race!!! I go rent a car and take the lengthy round trip that will potentially have a lot of traffic on the way back.
Because of traffic, I arrive late to the Race Briefing, which grants me a penalty on race day. Not cool…
I have to pay a 10 seconds penalty, so it’s a late start after everyone else, which really puts a dent on my race beginning (the strategy was getting right behind the fastest swimmer to “draft” off him, meaning, you keep up with him at his speed without making all the effort. Well, I never had that chance because I started alone and had to catch up). Race referees messed up and lacked communication: I keep looking in their eyes and they never blow the start horn, until I say something! There goes 20 seconds instead of 10. Not cool.
Race level was high and I could never catch up with the first 3 opponents. I was close in time, but not enough to contest the mistake that the judges did. So I didn’t even bother contesting that penalty. I finished 4th. There’s a new athlete from USA’s army that adds even more competition to the scene.
It was really not fair what the judges did and I really wanted to podium. But I fought hard with what I had; and even raced with a different blade than what I’m used. It could have been worse, as in not racing = meaning a lot of training gone to waste, sponsors money and my time gone to waste.
So I am extremely grateful with a 4th place.
Also very important, on March 11th I celebrated my 7th Ampuversary! I must say it’s wonderful to be alive!
Thank you all for letting me vent.