Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Austin ITU Pan American Cup Race

Hello to all you Zooters!

I wanted to do my first race report on this blog and see how it turned out. It looks like everyone is off to a great start from what I have read so far! I'm glad to see that. 

crashed in a crit/road race last Tuesday and tore my bib shorts and ultra jersey up when my body met the road :( There was a lot of blood, so I had to get stitches on my left middle knuckle and I have some gnarly road rash on my leg and the worst is the damage to my left shoulder, it suffered a large skinning on the road and so it is taking a while to heal. I was able to train after taking a day of rest and believe it or not the hardest part has been swimming, because of the left shoulder not being able to move from the large scab! Gross I know! 

On a better note, I decided to keep to my plan of racing at the ITU Pan American Cup in Austin, Texas. I got there on Saturday night and the race was on Monday. My body was weak from recovering from the crash on Tuesday, but I was really excited to race! It was really hot in Austin and the race was at around noon. There were over 50 pro men at the start, but only 38 would finish.

The swim was tough for me, but I held on to get in the front group. We swam 1500 meters in around 16:20, so it was a quick swim. I was lucky to make the front group coming out of the water and settled in on the bike. We got swallowed up by a larger pack on the bike, and so I just sat in that group and relaxed, looking to run well with fresh legs off of the bike. Unfortunately, there was a crash in the middle of the pack on the last lap of the bike and so I got caught in that and crashed again! I was able to get up and check my bike, continue on with the race, but I was very tight and stiff from falling. 

From there the race was painful to say the least. I hurt my right leg this time, landing on someones sharp chain rings :( So, the run was not fun, but I pushed on and was able to finish 32nd out of 50 or so pros. I was struggling to survive the run and wanted to quit, but I kept calm and pushed forward. It was not the best race of my life or what I wanted, but I was lucky to come out of the race without any broken bones. I will take this race as a motivator for training and racing in the future.

I hope to get healthy and continue hard training! Thank you to Zoot and all of the great sponsors, GU, Orbea, Fuel Belt, Cheetah Bar, Suunto, and Alcis for all of the support the season! Good luck to everyone in your up and coming events!

Kalen Darling

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