U23’s is over for me with an 8th place finish. I didn’t swim what I should have and I came out of the water about 45 seconds down. While I executed the bike and run exactly as planned and left everything out on the course, I missed the opportunity I had been training for all year.

I’m grateful for the support I’ve received from my coach, Mike Doane. He has not only made me improve this year, but he’s helped me enjoy the day to day of triathlon more than ever. USA Triathlon has been behind me every step of the way and without the support of Jono and Andy I wouldn’t have the experience that helped me stay focused after failing to perform in the water.

On-Running, of course, gives me the shoes that helped me run less than 5 seconds slower than the winner today. Power-bar provides the best stuff on earth, squeezed into translucent jelly and semi-solid rectangles.

I completed this course 10 minutes faster than last year and faster than the winning time of the 2011 World Cup. I know I’m improving, but that only adds a positive glimmer to the crushing disappointment of a missed opportunity. Like if, say, Fear Factor contestants were made to drink some donkey ‘juice’ and then eat a Bobby Flay cooked steak. Clearly the steak would be awesome, but it doesn’t make the other dish any more palatable.

I will now go put on a Hawaiian shirt, and it is impossible to be sad whilst wearing palm trees and coconuts.

My furnace is just about full of fuel, but this letdown could perhaps add some gasoline to my 2013 ambitions.