Tongyeong and Miyazaki World Cups

Summer Cook Uncategorized

Tongyeong World Cup

This was my second trip to Tongyeong. After last year’s win, I had fond memories of the town and the course and was excited to return to race. After my crazy September racing schedule, I felt pretty run down for most of my October training block. As my coach promised, I would come around and the first time I felt good since Jersey was the day before the race.

Race day was perfect weather with the water just under the wetsuit cutoff. I led out of the water and a group of five out onto the bike. Two of my Triathlon Squad training partners and I formed a breakaway trio about a km in. I really thought it was going to stick until one of the other girls missed the soft right turn into the parking lot where transition was set up after following the lead motorcycle which continued to go straight down the road which was not (but should have been) coned off. I really believe our break would have stuck and it totally changed the dynamic of the race, but that’s racing. The chase pack caught us maybe 2k later and about half the field came off the bike together. I had a slow transition, but then quickly established myself at the front of the run in the exact same position as last year – head to head with Japan’s Ai Ueda. I felt strong running and tried to use the steep hill on each lap to my advantage. I opened up a gap on the (scary!) downhill and was so happy to take the tape for the second straight year! I love the course in Tongyeong and it shows in my results! 

Trying to open up a gap on the downhill – Tommy Zaferes

Into the finish line – Tommy Zaferes

Podium with Ai Ueda and training partner Claire Michel – Tommy Zaferes

Throwback to 2016 🙂

Miyazaki World Cup

Miyazaki marked my fifth time racing in Japan and my second time racing in Miyazaki. I found Miyazaki challenging last year, as the race site is in a more remote part of the city and the hotels nearby are expensive resorts. Last year, I struggled to get in enough calories and also to fill my time since there aren’t that many accessible places outside of our hotel. This year I felt more comfortable and confident in Miyazaki. I knew what to expect, but I’ve also spent enough time in Japan at this point that I can go to the grocery store and there are certain foods that I look forward to buying. I knew to prepare myself for the portion sizes and buy a lot of healthy snacks. It made a big difference in my outlook going into the race.

Race day brought beautiful weather and a non-wetsuit swim. I led out of the water for the second straight week and by the end of the first lap we had established a pack of nine. My legs felt awful during the first two laps of the bike and I struggled a bit technically, but by the midway point I was able to get into a rhythm and even contribute to the pack. I felt much sharper physically and technically by the end of the ride than the beginning. I quickly established myself at the front of the run and held the lead until the end. I was so happy to end the season with back to back wins and in the process take some steps forward in my racing execution.

Thanks to my family, Ian, Paulo + The Triathlon Squad, my friends, USA Triathlon, fortynine Group, ROKA Sports, Team Psycho, and the New York Athletic Club for your support. I’m enjoying my off season very much and I’ll have my now traditional end of the season recap done before 2017 ends 🙂 see below for some added Japan tourist bonus photos!

I can make it through one more! – Tommy Zaferes

Looking more powerful than I felt at the swim exit – Tommy Zaferes

Running strong and solo – Tommy Zaferes

Time to high five the crowd into the finish chute 🙂 – Tommy Zaferes

Podium with Taylor Spivey and Emma Jackson (AUS) – Tommy Zaferes

Sento Palace Gardens in Kyoto

Fushimi Inari Taisha Temple with Yuko! – Keiko Takahashi

Kyoto at Sunset from Kiyomizu

Purifying waterfall at Kiyomizu – Keiko Takahashi

Kinkaku-ji (The Golden Temple) in Kyoto

Osaka Castle

A stamp of my name (Natsu) in Japanese! Thanks Yuko and Keiko 🙂