I've been off the grid for a while and for that I apologize. But part of my excuse is that I literally HAVE been off the grid. I'm sending this message out from Jiayuguan, China. The Chinese government has put up a firewall that blocks all social media sites, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and most unfortunately, Google. This means no Gmail, no Google+, and no blogger. Luckily, a couple of days ago I got an IP-address masking program going and now I can use these sites! On Saturday I'll be racing in my first World Cup of the season here in Jiayuguan and I'm super excited about the chance to earn both ITU and Olympic points. World cups are a great level of competition for me and offer significantly more points than Continental Cups. This looks to be a good race setup for me in that Joe is also here and the bike course would be advantageous to a group making a break out of the water. Check out details and live timing Friday evening on Triathlon.org here.
Last weekend (the 12th) I raced in Hamburg, Germany in my second World Triathlon Series race, and my first where I had no domestique responsibilities. It was the strongest field assembled in years, with the entire Olympic podium present, and something like 19 of the top-20 ranked athletes in the World. I had a great swim, but poor pontoon start position (as a result of ranking) and missed the lead pack by mere seconds. I chased hard, but ultimately had to wait for the second pack and save my legs for the run. I ran a PR 15:45 5k and came in 50th place. While 50th place may sound less than impressive, (and don't get me wrong, I want much more) this is my strongest race showing to date, and represents a great progression point on my way to competing for top-10's at the highest level. Things are going well :)
Back on the subject of China: follow me on twitter and Instagram for frequent updates, pictures and musings. China has a lot to offer with crazy driving, signs, and historical sites. It's an awesome place to visit and I'm super glad I'm able to do it with my squadmates, Jason, Joe, and Coach Paulo.
I have to give a shout-out to my partners, Athletes Lounge, NYAC, Roka, Rolf Prima, and Saucony for supporting me and making races like this possible. USA Triathlon has been awesome with travel, airfare, and accomodations, so please give them your support as well!