Mark Bowstead has packed his tri-gear up for the winter and headed to the USA for the summer racing. Last weekend Mark opened up with 70.3 New Orleans and earned a 5th place finish. We will be following Mark all season as he toes the line across the US in some of the most talented fields. Here is Mark's race recap from New Orleans:
Well the 'irst race of my US campaign is done and dusted, and to say it was testing would be an understatement. This is my second year racing in the USA and I must admit I forgot the trials and tribulations you go through while on the road as apposed to racing at home. I left NZ on Tuesday night and arrived in New Orleans about 21hrs later. I have a good couple of mates here in New Orleans so I was excited to come. New Orleans is a real unique place and I really enjoy the food, atmosphere and friendly people of this city. I have pretty much tried something new every day here and loved it. Anyway race week after traveling half way around the world seems to drag on so come race morning I was pumped to get things going!
Being a pro often means rolling with the punches a bit and dealing with the unexpected the best way possible. This was the case a fair bit in this race right from the go, we were not given anytime to warm up in the water which was the 'irst testing moment, so when the gun went off I found it very hard to get going. Uber swimmer Andy Potts took off and built up a larger lead. He extended this all the way to the end of the swim and exited 2mins a head of me, I came out 2nd. When I heard the split I couldn’t believe it but just moved on to focus on the bike. I think I had about 50sec to Ben Hoffman and 1-‐2mins on the main pack. On to the bike which is usually a strength I had a few issues and just found myself 'ighting it the whole day. I was riding in 2nd until about 20km when Hoffman caught and passed me. I jumped in and sat 12m back of him for the next little while until powerhouse Trevor Wurtell pumped it past us! I didn’t even try to go as he was hauling (ended up riding 2h 3min for the 90km), Ben went with him for a while and then dropped off. I slowly started to catch Ben back up, and at about 50-‐55km bridged the gap. For the next 10km I paced off of him and then at 65km my left VMO (inner quad) turned to concrete, I went from 310W to 200W for the last 25km as it got progressively more painful, this wasn’t a blow up I think I slightly set my bike up wrong and 'inally caught up to me at this point. A couple of people passed my on the ride in to T2. I was going to pull the pin as I didn’t think I’d be able to run but started anyway as I’d traveled so far. After 3-‐4km my leg loosened up and I could run strong. I passed a couple of guys but thought I was out of the prize money until a small out and back at mile 11 when I realized I had 5th. This was very pleasing as it is great to come away from a race that you had a bad day at with something. I know there is a lot more in me than what I could produce but getting this under the belt is a decent start. Next up is St Anthony’s 5150 in a weeks and a half and I hope to have ironed out all the little kinks by then to be able to give that race 100%. This is the US 5150 champs so it will be a stacked 'ield and I’m excited to toe the line!
Thanks for the support. Take care
Photo Credit: Scottie T Photography, Auckland NZL