By Kent Gray/Triathlon.kiwi
A week of training with coach Rob Dallimore has Kurt Peterson in a quietly confident space heading into his World Triathlon Para Cup debut in Long Beach.
The 35-year-old Aucklander will line up in a field of seven PTS4 athletes in California at 7.10am Friday local time (2.10am Saturday NZT), in what is just his second offshore race.
It’s fair to say the Cerebal Palsy ambassador is on a steep learning curve as he attempts to qualify for next year’s ParaOlympics in Paris but he’s already feeling much more comfortable after his eye-opening run to silver at Oceania Para Cup Busselton in late April.
IN WA, Peterson was literally learning the rules in the athletes briefing the night before the race and only got to recce the course in the morning. In Long Beach, he’s had the benefit of coach Dallimore as a coach, confidant and training partner.
“I feel a little more confident in my abilities than the abyss of the unknown which was Busselton,” Peterson told Triathlon.kiwi from California.
“This week with Rob and training has calmed the nerves a bit and I have bounced a lot of ideas off him to help make things easier for me to manage and hopefully the result is speed.
“I have written down 73 main points to have the perfect race day and points to think about as I’m racing, from waking up at 4am for race day down to the final 100 meters of the race, so a lot to take in and think about. But if I get most of them all I have to do is follow the process, focus on my own race and the result will happen as a by-product.”
Peterson is on a global search for more ranking points to boost his Paris credentials. It is a situation familiar to his able-bodied NZL colleagues chasing Paris Olympic selection, a chicken-and-egg scenario of needing more points to get races, and races to collect more points.
It makes every race critical. Peterson clocked 1h 23m in Busselton and is confident of slashing a significant portion of time off that in California after prepping well at home and in LA.
“This week has gone great with training in a general sense. All trainings have hit the mark and all the work is done and now I just need to put it all out there for the race day. Having Rob here has been great as he’s doing the training with me which is like having a training partner over here.
“My hope was 1:20.00 coming into this event. I feel we have improved a fair amount this week, anything is possible. I just got to follow the process and the time will come.”