Reid surprises race onlookers

Reid does well in Yokohama, Japan, beside one of the world’s best.

Reid does well in Yokohama, Japan, beside one of the world’s best.

PUTTING IN THE HARD YARDS: Triathlete Tayler Reid trains on the bike. He was encouraged by his performance in the World ITU Series race in Yokohama, Japan, as he presses his claim for Commonwealth Games selection. Picture by Paul Rickard

“FIRST out of the water, Jonathan Brownlee; second, Tayler Reid . . . Tayler who?”

You can just imagine the commentator’s reaction when Gisborne triathlete Tayler Reid came out of the 1500-metre swim leg of the World ITU Series race in Yokohama, Japan, last weekend alongside one of the world’s best triathletes.

A quick check through the race programme would have told them Reid was a 20-year-old Kiwi.

Then perhaps it was something like, “Well, the young Kiwi won’t be in that position for long once Brownlee hits the transition.

“Hold on, that’s not Brownlee leading out on the bike; it’s Reid . . . what’s going on here?

“Good on you, son, but enjoy it while you can. You won’t be there at the end of the 40-kilometre bike ride.”

Guess again. Reid, in only his second World Series event, was ahead of Brownlee going out on to the 10km run.

“He (Brownlee), like a lot of other riders, crashed on the bike leg and ended up carrying his bike for about 1.5km into transition and for a moment it hit me . . . what am I doing leading out on the run in a group of six or seven.”

Fairytale run ends

The fairytale continued until 2.5km from the finish. Reid was in 14th place but then his hopes of a top-16 finish, and a foot in the door of selection for the Commonwealth Games, came crashing down.

“I ran out of steam and no matter what I did, it felt like I was going nowhere,” he said.

“I kept fighting, but runners were passing me all over the place and I finished 24th, running my last lap a minute slower than each of the previous three.

“It was heartbreaking . . . so close, but not good enough.

“In the swim and the bike and for most of the run I was there with some of the world’s best triathletes.

“I did everything my coach (Stephen Sheldrake) told me, which was hard when Mario Mola (eventual winner) went past me on the run.

“If I’d been in that position in previous races I would have tried to go after him and stay with him. But I remembered what Stephen said and waited for someone who was running at my pace. I was feeling really good, until the last two and a half kilometres.”

Reid didn’t buy into the line that he was “still only 20 and competing against triathletes at their peak”.

“I know there’s something in it, that I have time on my side to improve — but at high-performance level, no one cares how young or old you are or where you finish, unless it’s on the podium.

“We’re talking about elite athletes and I’m competing against them.

“One thing I can take from the race is that I listened to what Stephen said and executed his plan for all but the last two and a half kilometres.”

26th in the World Series

Reid went into the race after coming 26th in the World Series race on the Gold Coast then spending four weeks at the Australian Institute of Sport alongside some of Australia’s best triathletes including Ryan Bailie, ranked No.6 in the world and 18th finisher in Yokohama.

“Jamie Turner, who coaches Gwen Jorgensen (the 2014 and 2015 ITU World Tri Series women’s champion and gold medal winner at the 2016 Olympic Games), was there as one of the coaches and it was awesome to be learning from coaches and triathletes of this calibre . . . just being around them.”

Reid said he felt good before the Yokohama race.

“It was the fittest I’ve ever been and I was excited as I went into the tent and saw guys I’ve been watching on television for the past 10 years doing the same warm-ups as me, and I had another one of those moments . . . am I really here.

“Once the race started and I came out of the water with Jonathan Brownlee, I was up for it.

“The conditions were terrible. It rained heavily all through the race and a lot of the bike course was on tiles, which was why so many riders crashed.

“We were averaging around 40km an hour on the bikes and I almost crashed four or five times but managed to stay on.

“I did slip as I went into the bike-run transition and ended up past my bikestand, so had to go back.”

Overall impressions?

“Mixed emotions, gutted to miss out on a top-16 place but happy that I had put myself in a position to get there, and my run time — 33 minutes 34 seconds — was the fastest I’d ever run, and I know I can definitely get better.”

Reid said his career had included “down moments, usually when injured”, but not too many.

“The way I look at it is, someone has to be the best and why can’t it be me.”

World tri series leader Mola and second-placed Fernando Alarza, both from Spain, were first and second in Yokohama in 1:48:15 and 1:48:23.

Reid, who finished in 1:51:11, will head to Europe for his next World Tri Series race, in Hamburg next month, before setting his sights on the under-23 world champs in September.

“The day after the Hamburg race there is also the teams race — four in a team,” Reid said.

“It is also in the Commonwealth Games, and I’ll be going for a place in the New Zealand team.”

“FIRST out of the water, Jonathan Brownlee; second, Tayler Reid . . . Tayler who?”

You can just imagine the commentator’s reaction when Gisborne triathlete Tayler Reid came out of the 1500-metre swim leg of the World ITU Series race in Yokohama, Japan, last weekend alongside one of the world’s best triathletes.

A quick check through the race programme would have told them Reid was a 20-year-old Kiwi.

Then perhaps it was something like, “Well, the young Kiwi won’t be in that position for long once Brownlee hits the transition.

“Hold on, that’s not Brownlee leading out on the bike; it’s Reid . . . what’s going on here?

“Good on you, son, but enjoy it while you can. You won’t be there at the end of the 40-kilometre bike ride.”

Guess again. Reid, in only his second World Series event, was ahead of Brownlee going out on to the 10km run.

“He (Brownlee), like a lot of other riders, crashed on the bike leg and ended up carrying his bike for about 1.5km into transition and for a moment it hit me . . . what am I doing leading out on the run in a group of six or seven.”

Fairytale run ends

The fairytale continued until 2.5km from the finish. Reid was in 14th place but then his hopes of a top-16 finish, and a foot in the door of selection for the Commonwealth Games, came crashing down.

“I ran out of steam and no matter what I did, it felt like I was going nowhere,” he said.

“I kept fighting, but runners were passing me all over the place and I finished 24th, running my last lap a minute slower than each of the previous three.

“It was heartbreaking . . . so close, but not good enough.

“In the swim and the bike and for most of the run I was there with some of the world’s best triathletes.

“I did everything my coach (Stephen Sheldrake) told me, which was hard when Mario Mola (eventual winner) went past me on the run.

“If I’d been in that position in previous races I would have tried to go after him and stay with him. But I remembered what Stephen said and waited for someone who was running at my pace. I was feeling really good, until the last two and a half kilometres.”

Reid didn’t buy into the line that he was “still only 20 and competing against triathletes at their peak”.

“I know there’s something in it, that I have time on my side to improve — but at high-performance level, no one cares how young or old you are or where you finish, unless it’s on the podium.

“We’re talking about elite athletes and I’m competing against them.

“One thing I can take from the race is that I listened to what Stephen said and executed his plan for all but the last two and a half kilometres.”

26th in the World Series

Reid went into the race after coming 26th in the World Series race on the Gold Coast then spending four weeks at the Australian Institute of Sport alongside some of Australia’s best triathletes including Ryan Bailie, ranked No.6 in the world and 18th finisher in Yokohama.

“Jamie Turner, who coaches Gwen Jorgensen (the 2014 and 2015 ITU World Tri Series women’s champion and gold medal winner at the 2016 Olympic Games), was there as one of the coaches and it was awesome to be learning from coaches and triathletes of this calibre . . . just being around them.”

Reid said he felt good before the Yokohama race.

“It was the fittest I’ve ever been and I was excited as I went into the tent and saw guys I’ve been watching on television for the past 10 years doing the same warm-ups as me, and I had another one of those moments . . . am I really here.

“Once the race started and I came out of the water with Jonathan Brownlee, I was up for it.

“The conditions were terrible. It rained heavily all through the race and a lot of the bike course was on tiles, which was why so many riders crashed.

“We were averaging around 40km an hour on the bikes and I almost crashed four or five times but managed to stay on.

“I did slip as I went into the bike-run transition and ended up past my bikestand, so had to go back.”

Overall impressions?

“Mixed emotions, gutted to miss out on a top-16 place but happy that I had put myself in a position to get there, and my run time — 33 minutes 34 seconds — was the fastest I’d ever run, and I know I can definitely get better.”

Reid said his career had included “down moments, usually when injured”, but not too many.

“The way I look at it is, someone has to be the best and why can’t it be me.”

World tri series leader Mola and second-placed Fernando Alarza, both from Spain, were first and second in Yokohama in 1:48:15 and 1:48:23.

Reid, who finished in 1:51:11, will head to Europe for his next World Tri Series race, in Hamburg next month, before setting his sights on the under-23 world champs in September.

“The day after the Hamburg race there is also the teams race — four in a team,” Reid said.

“It is also in the Commonwealth Games, and I’ll be going for a place in the New Zealand team.”

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