photo courtesy of Super League Triathlon

by Nathan Killam

Ed. Note—Two weeks ago, we brought you the account of Nathan Killam's preparation for Super League Triathlon's Grand Final in Singapore. Today we follow-up with Nathan's account of the first day of racing with the best short-course triathletes in the world.

The weather was HOT and the competition was SPICY on day 1 of Super League Singapore. This is the Grand Finale of four weekends of racing over five months (Jersey, UK; Malta; Mallorca; Singapore) and the field was the strongest yet.

I was pontoon spot six which put me kind of in the middle of the field. Being a weaker swimmer in this field makes a middle spot hard, as the outside guys squeeze together and you get popped out the back, which is exactly what happened. I struggled to hang in there but lost :29 seconds to the leader out of the water, Igor Polyanski. I wasn’t ready to give up yet, however.

Hitting out on the bike, full of lactate, I hustled my way through the course, slowly picking up other athletes. The weather was in the 30’s C, coupled with VERY high humidity, and coming from cold and snowy Canada I was already feeling the heat. I managed to keep the gap to the front of the race at under 30 seconds, and came off the bike with more work to do.

The moment I started running I could feel the heat. But I could also see competitors just up the road, so I was motivated to suffer! I kept the throttle wide-open, slowly catching and passing other athletes. As I came down to the last few hundred meters, I saw Igor Polyanski right ahead of me and thought to myself “Well, I might as well try to pass Igor, it could be the highlight of my career so far and will make for a good story.” So I kicked (way too early I might add) and managed to sneak around Igor (although he didn’t look too interested in speeding up) and came up 18th of 23.

My best Super League finish to date, and although I had a rough start I’m proud that I left everything I had out there and dug deep to the end. The heat was incredible; I’ve never done anything so hot in all my life and I was dying the moment I crossed the line. Thankfully they had ice pools to cool off in—that perk was a real life saver!

Unfortunately I didn’t make the top 15 cut-off to make it to the second round of stage 1, but I was lucky enough to have front row seats to watch Johnny Brownlee take the overall win on the day, with Tyler Mislawchuck in a very tight 2nd and Haydon Wilde in 3rd. The other Canadian Matt Sharpe had an awesome day for 5th. I’m super stoked for these guys, as they are some of my favorites here.

Stage Two (tomorrow!) is the Enduro, a savage race of three times through swim/bike/run (300m/4.8k/1.8k) without stopping. The kicker? Bottom two athletes from EVERY discipline are eliminated. The last time I raced this format I was eliminated after the first swim, albeit close, but close isn’t good enough in the eliminator. I'll be back to let you know how it went...