Tacen World Cup: A 13th Place FinishPosted by casey
The course in Tacen, Slovenia is one that we built a familiarity with last year when it was the venue of the 2010 World Championships. At that time I really loved the course but had not been able to dial it in yet. I felt like I had done alright but I knew I could do better. Turns out, I got a second shot at it!
The race in Tacen was the first World Cup in a circuit of four this year. The others take place in L’Argentiere France, Markkleeburg, Germany, and Prague, Czech Republic. The training week had a string of up and down workouts for me and didn’t really let me feel like I was very confident on the course but I knew it well and knew that I had to trust myself with everything that I had learned about the water.
After a few sessions the race weekend arrived and the team fell into race mode. We all have our own ways of coping with the race stress. Some of us get excited while others become pretty subdued. You have to do what is good for you and trust that you in fact know what is good for you. So we all muddle through as best as we can and focus on what we need.
For me it is hard to tell what it is that I do that makes the difference. Sometimes I do well with a double warm up and other times not so well. Do I stretch, do sprints, eat a snack, walk around? It is hard finding that balance that you need and sometimes I wonder if there is a balance. I know there are things that I like to do and that is usually what I stick with. I believe that you need to want it and to know that you can have it in order to take it. So maybe it isn’t what you do before the race but what you do during your actual run. When you finish your run you should be able to feel if you pulled each stroke like you wanted it or just pulled because you knew you had to.
After a first run that wasn’t anything that I would think said I wanted it; I took my second run knowing that I wanted it and that I was going to have it. It was only important to push myself into the semifinals and so I raced like I wanted to win it all, even though it didn’t matter in the qualifiers. My second run, aside from an unfortunate mistake, put me into the semis as the 30th boat. They only take 30 C-1s into semifinals. I had made semis before and I liked that but I wanted the finals. I had never made a finals before and that was an important part of winning when you race internationally.
Semifinals took place the next day and I was the very first boat down the course. I knew what I wanted and I was going to have it. After doing nothing particularly special for preparation I took my run down the course. My run was a 106.13 if my memory serves me well and that included one touch on the very last gate. One touch is a lot of time when it comes down to an international race. The coaches and I sat across from the scoreboard watching racer after racer go down and for awhile I held onto the first position. Soon enough the top racers came down the course and I would occasionally get bumped down. Mind you, they only take 10 boats into the Finals. The last three racers came down and I was finally pushed from the top 10 and down to 13th place.
The cut off time for 10th place was about 105 seconds. A clean run for me would have moved me from 13th to 8th and safely in the Finals. You can imagine my disappointment with myself. I had touched the last gate in such a way that could have been avoided had I pulled just a little bit harder. That is it though. That is the nature of the sport that I love so much. I can’t hold it against myself because I cannot change what happened but only learn and grow from it. I know now that I can compete with the best in the world where I had once been unsure.
So here I am training for the next World Cup and I am ready. I know that I can be as good as the best in the world I will train even harder to become the best in the world. It was a dream that started when I was only two years old and it is a dream I intend to see through. And who knows, maybe one day I will help someone else see that dream. For now it is about me and my love for racing. Here is looking forward to a summer of racing with the best racers around!
Click here for the link to see the Men’s C-1 Semi-Final runs!
See you on the water!