IMC 2010 was a little different for me, after 6 straight years of racing and some quality finishes, this was a year to focus on my athletes. As Clint mentions in his report, we spent most of the 3 days prior to the race at Smith and Co coffee shop, calming nerves and chatting about last minute nutrition and pacing strategies. The staff knew us by name and were very accepting of the fact that we basically set up office there!
As for my athletes, this was a very successful year for me as a coach. I felt like everyone made good on their preparation and the hands they were dealt before and during the race. Everyone stayed tough and was true to themselves. It was very satisfying for me.
One of the highlights of my day was Jenna's reaction to seeing Clint and I in the finishing area... one minute she was looking deflated and done and the next she was letting out a loud "whoop whoop!" Jenna swam 1h, pretty much on the dot and then finished her day with a great marathon that surprised us all!
Nick Doulias started his day feeling excited and ready. Every time we saw him on the course, he was all smiles. Despite running into some serious problems in the marathon and spending 3h in the medical tent after the race, Nick took 42mins off his time from last year! Something tells me there is more to come from this guy!
Perhaps the most heroic effort from the Mercury Team on this day came from John Mykytchuk who came into the race with an injury, but ran the whole marathon despite some serious discomfort. The look of pain on John's face during the final miles will not easily be forgotten. Thanks for inspiring us John!
In his maiden Ironman race, Carlos Vilchez had a fantastic day, finishing in 11h50. Here he is giving me a high five at the 8k-mark on the run. Its great to see solid planning equate to solid racing! Well done Carlos!
One of the studs of the day, Kendall Pritchard (who before the race was more nervous than anyone i have ever seen!) executed a brilliant race in her first Ironman, finishing in 12h on the dot!
Eternal optimist Julie Anderson once again made the team proud by racing to a PB by just a couple minutes including a huge improvement in her marathon time. Julie's dog is terminally ill with cancer and i know how hard it was for her to continue to put one foot in front of the other. Congrats Julie!
And last but not least, Tessa P has cool down... but could someone please get her a helmet and a camera-mounting-device for her tri bars?!?!
Another IMC done and dusted and a great one it was! Thanks to all my athletes for making it special.