TOM FRANCIS 5TH IN NEW ORLEANS 5150!
New Zealand athletes had a stunning weekend of racing with a bunch of Kiwi's pulling top results! First in with a race report is Wide Open team rider Tom Francis who pulled 5th place in the New Orleans 5150 international multisport event. Read Tom's report on tough race below-
I have just finished the most gruelling race I have ever experienced, and turned out one of my greatest results so far.
The water was murky as,you could not see the guy in front of you's feet which were inches away from your face, It was a bit of a job staying on the feet as between sightings you could easily drift off. I exited the water in 12th position but only approximately 60 to 90 seconds off the main bunch. One of my best swims, even though it was 1500metres of non wetsuit. Luckily the swim was in a protected marina, so it was relatively unaffected by the high winds. I posted 12th swim time, of 22.07.
We had a long run to transition (approximately 600m) where four of us entered together. Then it was onto the bike where I felt pretty good. We had two laps of 20km, tail/side wind on the first leg, head/side on the way back, twice over, and it was blowing hard. I would turn out the first 10km to the turn in just over 12minutes then it was approximately 16minutes on the way back, slogging it out hard. The bike course had a few big high bridges to climb over both ways. I caught up to third place on the bike and heading out to the run I maintained that placing. I posted 3rd fastest bike time, 58.03. I am really happy with that in such windy conditions.
By the time the run came it was 88degrees Fahrenheit already, and it was only 8.20AM, plus humid as. I was immediately passed by Chris Foster who was on a mission. Then Tim Reed approached me, we swapped positions a few times, but eventually the strong Aussie pulled away, with between two or two and a half miles remaining he kept increasing a gap I could not get back. I was proud of my effort to run with him for those first 6kms, its a great gauge of my improvements over the past 12 months. I think I am just lacking a bit of strength toward the final kilometres compared to these seasoned athletes, but it will come.
The final mile and a half seemed to take forever. I felt as if I was in limbo, 4th place was far away but fading, and 6th was a bit too far back to get me. I tried as hard as I could to pick another spot but failed. The humidity and heat seemed like it was wearing my legs down each step closer I got to the finish. It seemed like I creped home in 5th, but I got it, and that is all that matters. I posted 5th fastest run in 35.20. All our times were slow because of the heat, the fastest was 34.16 in the PROs. The day took its toll.
My final placing was 5th in 1.59.27. Congratulations to David Thompson who took the day by the horns and won in a time of 1.57.27. I am well pleased with my efforts. I am also excited about the improvements I have made over one year, and what the future may hold. Also I think its worthy to note that I could not have made these improvements and start achieving some creditable international results without each and everyone of yours sponsorship and/or support. It is much appreciated. I am stoked with a International 5th place. The prize money may be handy too.
Thank you all,