One of the things I had considered doing in Mexico was to take a crack at the World Record for the 2km Individual Pursuit. The record was set by Gary Mandy in October, 2016 at the Master’s World Championships in Manchester, England. His record was 2:19.395. To try and beat that I set a schedule that called for an opening lap in 23 seconds, followed by 11 laps at 16.5 seconds for a total of 1:18.5. I have very limited experience in the 2km. This would be my second one ever. But I do know that it’s a pretty violent effort. It’s much closer to a sprinter type of an event than the 4km pursuit (elites) or even the 3km pursuit (younger masters groups). I liken it to the 800 meter running race in the track. My point being that a schedule and pacing for this event is somewhat notional. There isn’t much time to settle in. The schedule is useful in the case where maybe my second lap was a low 15 second lap. I’d know to ease up just a bit. Or if it was 17 seconds I’d know I need to dig in harder. But this is not an event where there is much time to settle into your pace.
For this event you want it as hot as possible to minimize the air density. I ended up making my attempt at about 4:15pm when it was about 95 degrees in the velodrome. I warmed up for about 15-20 minutes on the rollers and then went out to do some laps on the track to get a feel for what a 16.5 second lap felt like. Back on the rollers for another 5-10 minutes and it was time to give it a go.
There really isn’t a whole lot to say about the attempt itself. Considering my relative lack of experience with the starting gate I think I actually did a really good job of getting off the blocks and my opening lap was right on schedule. Rob was calling splits and each lap seemed right on schedule as far as I could tell. It’s kind of hard to hear splits when an aero helmet on. With three laps to go it started getting pretty horrible and I think I was feeling the effects of my hour from the previous evening. But it’s only three laps so you just suck it up and keep going. The last lap was kind of a blur of suffering and heavy breathing. And then it was over. I didn’t think I had done it, but when I came by the start/finish line Chris was cheering and smiling so I figured I had done it. My final time was 2:18:052 so I took a bit more than a second off of the record. That made me very happy of course and now I think I have a reasonable shot at winning to 2km at worlds in October. I don’t necessarily think that this record makes me the favorite by any means. It’s hard to compare times between Aguascalientes and Manchester. But I am optimistic. Also, Rob tells me that my opening kilometer is a new national record for my age group. My time was 1:12, which I think is pretty soft. It was only a record because nobody had bothered to set/submit one to USA Cycling before.
Afterwards we packed up our bikes and went out to a celebratory dinner with the whole group. All told there were 16 records set, most of them world records. Then to bed for our 2:30 wake up call for the trip home.
Now that I’m home it’s time to change things up and prepare to defend my national hill climb championship up Pikes Peak on August 12th. Long rides, LOTS of climbing and some dieting are in my future for the next couple of weeks. I’m looking forward to the change and the challenge.