It seems like an age old issue for me. As an age grouper I had epic battles with Michael Boehmer, Michael Smith, Mark Hauser, & Vachee Loughran finishing second to them overall more than 20 times before I finally won a race. It was that being so close that I could see it but not taste it kept me training hard day in day out and finally in 2005 I tasted victory big time!
The story did not change when I started racing pro I was consistently finishing ONE SPOT out of the money. ITU races, Lifetime races, your local triathlons, it didn’t seem to matter the size of the race it just seemed that every race I was within sight of the last money spot. This made me keep a full time job because it was very apparent that triathlon was not a sustainable source of income.
In my third pro season I started to regularly finish in the money making this triathlon thing a break even hobby (through many homestays which I am extremely thankful for and sleeping in my truck and living at home). At the end of the season I was ONE SPOT out of the money for the Lifetime Series bonus and all I needed was to have gained two positions over the season to bank a few thousand dollars. A similar thing occurred the next season, finishing ONE SPOT out of the series bonus.
Then last year I got to live on the other side of the coin as the July Kona cut was drawn, I was #39 out of 40 that locked in. Going into the final week of racing, in which I was idle, the spot that I lost to Ian Mikelson in the final mile of Arizona and the losing Racine by a minute loomed large. Yet I made the cut and if I would have lost ONE SPOT at any race the whole season I would have been on the outside looking in.
Yet this year I went back to the ONE SPOT scenario finishing ONE SPOT out of the series prize money at Rev3. Granted my performances consisted of one great race, one good, two mediocre, and one I should forget during the 2013 season, it still frustrated me that if I would’ve gained one position over the course of the season I would be able to pay some bills. The more I look back at it the more I shake my head because at each event, except Florida which I won, I could see the spot in front of me. Yet the thing that really sucks is that I dropped my nutrition coming out of transition at Williamsburg (b/c it was pouring I was unable to get tape to stick) and had to go back and get it then at Knoxville I launched a bottle on a downhill and had to climb back up the hill to get it because the official was camped out on my rear wheel trying to improve his fuel economy. Through all this one spot would’ve really paid dividends, but now it is left as history and it just fuels the fire to work a bit harder.
It is always good to throw a little more kindling in the fire for those hard training days…because I am going to get that ONE SPOT in the future.
Fighting to win and punish,