Saturday, September 20, 2014

Runner-up finish has Tilbury on hold

With his nemesis nowhere to be found, Jeff Tilbury thought he had a clear road to the Windy City.
But another Manitoban now has put those travel plans on hold.

The Fort Frances resident and Rainy Lake Triathlon Club member placed second in the men’s age 45-49 division of the sprint distance event at the Pinawa Free Spirit Multisport competition in Pinawa, Man. on Sunday with a time of 1:14.23.
Winning his age group automatically would have qualified Tilbury, who finished 18th out of 50 men and 19th out of 97 participants overall, for the 2015 World Triathlon Grand Final in Chicago.
But in the latter stages of the running portion of the race, Triathlon Manitoba member Quinn Dykstra sprinted past Tilbury and crossed the finish line 35 seconds ahead of him (1:13.48).
Now Tilbury must wait until Sept. 30 to see if his time was good enough to secure one of the rolldown spots for the worlds.
“I am not that familiar with Quinn as he usually does the Olympic distance events but dropped down for this event to see if he could qualify for worlds,” noted Tilbury.
“I stayed ahead of him on the swim and bike, and then I do remember him passing me with about one kilometre to go on the run.
“I thought to myself, ‘He is in my age group,’ and I had to keep up and get past him,” Tilbury added.
“I was able to push the pace a bit and actually got in behind him for a bit,” he recalled.
“But then the legs told me that they could not keep this pace as they felt heavy from the extra weight of wet shoes and socks.
“He [Dykstra] gained some distance on me and I could not hold onto him, and he crossed ahead of me,” Tilbury said.
“I could see him up ahead all the way to the finish [line] but just could not get the legs going any faster.”
Tilbury received encouraging news in the days leading up to the race when he learned Marc Fournier of Manitoba, who had beaten Tilbury for the age division title in two previous events this year, was competing in Edmonton and so wouldn’t be at Pinawa.
But the weather on race day wasn’t exactly what the doctor ordered for anyone wanting to post a good time.
“It was a very, very wet day,” Tilbury remarked.
“So much rain fell that I think the swim was actually the driest part of the race,” he quipped.
“It was a swim against the current in the Winnipeg River for the first half, and then a fast back with the current, so I was happy with my swim time [12:39],” Tilbury said.
The subsequent cycling portion is Tilbury’s specialty, but it was a soul-testing journey through 33 km/h winds on the second half of the course.
“The bike is usually my strongest part of the race and I am able to get out ahead of some of the faster swimmers, but then generally lose time on the run to them,” he noted.
“I ended up doing better than I thought.
“I’m happy with 18th overall out of 50 men in a very competitive field,” Tilbury added.

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