Exiting the water with Dustin McLarty, Tim O’Donnell and Brian Fleischmann, Matt Chrabot’s group maintained a slight lead during the first half of the bike over a four man chase group that included heavy favorite and defending champion Matt Reed. After the chase group caught the leaders, the pack rode together for the rest of the bike until Chrabot and Fleischmann broke away in the final lap. Check out Chrabot's SRM power file here.
On the run, Chrabot was soon out in front by himself, with Reed and O’Donnell in pursuit. The chase continued over the four-loop run, but the advantage remained steady for Chrabot as he ran to a race-best 29:49 10k run and a 34-second victory over O’Donnell, with Matt Reed third.
Describing the most challenging and rewarding moments of the race, Chrabot said, “The most challenging part of the race was the start of the swim. Getting caught in some of the scrum really takes a lot of effort to break free of. Since I was on the end, I had a clean start and swam most the whole way with no contact. The most rewarding was not having any issues bonking or cramping on the run. That's where I knew all my preparation and hard work paid off.”
Confident in his preparation, Chrabot felt ready to deal with anything that happened during the race last weekend. “My strategy for the race was to accept that my training has been adequate and to deal with whatever circumstances arise. I was ready for either a hard or easy swim, a two man breakaway or large pack, and the hottest conditions… Those who worry in races usually don't end up winning. I just go with my gut instinct.”
Chrabot’s training leading up to the race was specifically designed to mimic the focus and intensity that he will need to maintain leading up to the 2012 Olympic Trials. So far, this approach seems to be working well. “The great thing about 2009 is that there's still plenty of time to test out different strategies and really get it dialed in for when it counts most in 2011 and 2012. The next thing I'm looking for is top performances on a consistent basis - that way I can earn enough points to help solidify a 3 man Olympic team. Half way through 2010 we will begin to start racing for Olympic Points. This is crucial for the US, especially since we have the depth to send 3 guys to the Olympics. Each year I'll have to continue to step up my game just to keep up with the curve.”
As part of his training, Chrabot uses TrainingPeaks to stay in touch with his coach Melissa Mantak, a long time TrainingPeaks member. “TrainingPeaks makes communication with my coach almost effortless. When we're both very busy or traveling she can at least read my daily entries to see how training is going.”
In the women’s race, Jasmine Oeinck and a group of five other triathletes including Jenna Shoemaker, Margaret Shapiro, Jennifer Spieldenner, Jillian Petersen, and Mary Beth Ellis managed to catch swimming expert Hayley Peirsol on the final lap of the bike. When pre-race favorite Ellis pulled out with a hamstring injury, Oeinck took charge in the run to win with a race best 35:14 run to seal the win in a time of 2:02:49. Shoemaker ran to second in 2:03:17, with Peirsol grabbing third in 2:04:29.
“Everyone did a really good job out there. It was a tough race,” said TrainingPeaks member Oeinck in a quote featured by USAT. “Hayley was so far ahead. She was phenomenal. I just tried to encourage everyone [in our group] that we could get her, if we kept working and plugged away. It’s a really nice feeling to hold the finish line tape. It’s pretty cool.”
Congratulations again, Jasmine and Matt, and happy training!