On Saturday I toed the starting line of the Wildflower Triathlon, one of the most historic and recognized events in the sport. As a first year pro, I’d never raced Wildflower, registered 2 weeks ago, and hoped for a top 8 finish…if I had a great race, maybe top 5. In an incredible experience (that I’ll describe in detail later this week), I shocked everyone, most of all myself, and crossed the finish line first, becoming the 2011 Wildflower Champion. Wow that sounds weird.
The result is, without a doubt, the most surreal and humbling performance of my athletic career. I never expected this, didn’t believe it when I moved into 1st on the run, didn’t believe it when I crossed the finish line, and still can’t believe it now.
The last 36 hours have been an appropriate balance of intense introspection, and of course, celebration. While I feel a thousand emotions, the one that surfaces most abundantly is gratitude. Gratitude to the many people who vitally supported me through years of chasing my dream to become an accomplished professional athlete. To my wife, my family, my coach, my friends, my sponsors, thank you. Seriously, thank you. I certainly hope there are more good performances to come, but if this is as good as it gets, I’ll take it, and it wouldn’t have happened without you.
I’ll write a full race report later this week once I catch my breath. Lots of good stories to tell, and many specific thank you’s to give. Until then, check out a couple by the triathlon media, links below.
***Here’s a new one (5/5), my first post race interview with Slowtwitch.com – talks a bit more about the details around the race, fun stuff!
- My wife’s favorite, hands down, by Jay Prasuhn at Lava Magazine - Thomas Surprises, Cave Kicks to Wildflower Wins – (Updated at 5pm PST, wrong link before, my bad)
- Comptetitor.com - Mystery Man Jesse Thomas Wins Avia Wildflower
- Slowtwitch.com – Longshot Thomas, Favorite Cave win Wildflower
- Tricalifornia.com, also a video posted at TriCalTV.com
***Here’s a new video posted by TriCenter, pretty funny, with “Who is that guy?” and “Clause C” of my contract with Matt Lieto.
Thanks to Jim McDannald at Track Geek for finding this video of my post race interview with Tri California. It’s long, but has some fun details about the race, my borrowed bike, and Walgreens Aviators.
Thanks to Mackenzie Madison for capturing this video of the announcer recounting the race and my interview during the awards ceremony.
Just because it’s freaking awesome, and this rookie pro is admittedly a little star-struck, I’ll post Chris McCormack’s (one of the biggest legends in the sport) twitter shout out to me.