By 12km Jesus Angel Garcia, at the age of 46 and at his 12th World Champs, had caught up to us and we as a group knew that if we could latch on to him and his incredible consistency that we would pull us to good times. I walked with him from 12km-42km with my 5km splits not wavering more than 10seconds. At this point we had separated ourselves in 9th and 10th place and I was just under pace to break the Canadian record of 3:47:48 set in 1981 by Marcel Jobin. However at 42km I started to feel the wheels coming off and once the cord to Garcia broke I started going backwards. In the final 5km the record slipped away and I was passed by 2 people. The new goal became to get under 3hr50min and with a hard effort over the last km I managed 3:49:56 for 12th place. Garcia went on to finish 9th in 3:46:43, meaning I lost over 3min on him in the final 8km. Fun fact, every year since 1992 Garcia has walked quicker than 3:48:30.
It was so much fun to be part of such a successful team. Canada had their best showing ever, and while it was personally devastating for me to not get a top 8 to help add some points to that final tally, it was incredibly motivating going into next year. We are a close team, and we all push each other to our limits, despite the vast differences in our events. Im excited to see what the future holds for us as an Athletics nation.
After the 50km I took 10 days off before getting back into some training to get in shape for my final race of the year. I'll blog about the Around Taihu Multi Day Race Walking Tour in a couple of days, because this post has gotten long enough.
PS the 20km and 50km events can be found on youtube (unfortunately you don't see any of me in either, I'll try to change that for next year!)