Leanda Cave runner-up at 70.3 World Championship
Cave keeps the momentum going
Cave’s performances these past five weeks have been nothing short of phenomenal. Just two weeks after grabbing the victory at Miami 70.3 and four weeks after finishing 10th at the Ironman World Championship in Kona, HI, Leanda Cave used a well-rounded attack to run herself in to 2nd place at the 70.3 World Championships this past weekend in Clearwater Florida. Known for her lethal swim and bike combination, Cave instead used an impressive 1:23 half marathon to move herself in to 2nd place and hold off a hard charging Magali Tissyre.
In her own words…
I’m not sure how I pulled this one out of the bag! I’m still in shock. There is no way I should have felt this good going into this race but I did – well, except for my swim. That story will come in a minute. But first you get to hear how hard it was to get up at 4am this morning. That was a bit of a shocker.
I haven’t set an alarm since winning in Miami a couple of weeks ago. My body thinks it’s that time of year where I should be sleeping in and to be honest, I don’t really want to argue with it right now. I have been asking a lot from myself with a season packed full of races. I have been on the go traveling and racing since February where I started the year with The Desert Duathlon. So in the past 2 weeks when my body has been screaming “SLEEP”, I’ve quite happily rolled over in bed and said “OK”! With my average get out of bed time being 8am, the 4am was not pretty! Out came an extra strong coffee and more or less, I was good to go.
Now for that swim. I think the one thing that I’ve really struggled with fitness wise since racing in Kona 5 weeks ago has been my swim. I have found it hard to get in enough pool hours and heart rate sets. I had a good start and managed not to trip up as we ran into the beautiful Gulf of Mexico at 6:45am in the morning. It was no surprise when I couldn’t find my top-end gear and I couldn’t hang with the likes of Julie Dibens , Jodie Swallow and Amanda Stevens. My pace was very bland. Kind of like a soda without the fizz. I probably lost a good minute or so on the leaders as I made my way into T1.
In T2 I had the transition from hell. I couldn’t get my wetsuit off and I lost a good minute tugging away aimlessly. The swim had left me feeling like that was what the rest of the race would be like. But I wasn’t going down without a fight. I found my mojo on the bike, catching both Pip Taylor and Amanda Stevens within the first 10miles. I sailed on past and they both stuck behind me for the remainder of the 56-miles. Dibens and Swallow didn’t seem to be making any gains on me, so I just kept my head down and cycled as hard as I could.
I came off the bike in 3rd place. But my T2 took forever, as I wanted to put my socks on, and in doing so, I lost a good 45-seconds to Stevens and Taylor. I have had bad blisters in the past, which have ruined my races, so I never risk it anymore. I had a lot of work to do to catch these girls, and that’s just what I did. I managed to pass Taylor at the 2-mile marker, and then Stevens a minute or so later. I felt really awesome. I didn’t let the fact that I had moved back into 3rd place slow me down.
I heard a split that Dibens was 3-minutes ahead at the far turn around. I was still feeling good, so I didn’t let that defeat me and I ploughed on. Back at the start of the second lap, I heard another split. Dibens was now 1-minute ahead. I knew at this point I was going to catch her, and that’s just what I did at the top of the causeway bridge. But I felt the pressure from runners behind. Magali Tisserye and Lesley Patterson were not that far behind and have a reputation for being super fast runners. So I kept pushing myself.
I crossed the line and 45-seconds behind was Tisserye. My best ever result at the 70.3 World Championships….and I have been at every one of them! I’m usually pretty bummed with 2nd place. But this is not one of those occasions. I’m stoked! With one race to go, IM AZ, I’m hoping I can ask for one more great day from my body. It is in one week and between now and then, I’m not going to be doing a whole lot of training…more like recovery.
This year has been wonderfully successful for me and I could not have done it without my sponsors – K-Swiss, Pinarello, Pacific Health Lab (makers of Accelerade and Endurox R4), Tri Bike Transport, NUUN, Easton, Giro, Computrainer, Blue Seventy, SKINS, Powercranks and Katalyst Multisport.
See you all next weekend at Ironman Arizona for one last hit out of 2010!