Although he "felt awful" about mid-way through the swim and got progressively worse until he finished the run, Whistlers Daniel Havens came home from the 2002 Gay Games in Sydney, Australia, with a silver medal in the Triathlon.
"Everything in my preparation was different," said Havens. "The only thing I did the same was to hydrate before the race."
According to Havens, he was jet-lagged, hungry, and not acclimated to the climate, which was humid and topped out at 42 degrees Celsius towards the end of the race.
"In hindsight, the heat definitely affected my run," he said.
To make matters worse, he missed the instructions from race officials and literally had to race to make it to the start line in time for the swimming leg.
Despite these hardships, he still managed a time of two hours, 17 minutes and 16 for the Olympic-sized triathlon 1.5 km swim, 40 km cycle, 10 km run.
He was seventh in the 45 to 49 age category in the swim, first on the bike, and second in the run. He also credits his fast transitions between the legs with his finish.
"I realized after my finish in the Ironman (Canada) that I had a good chance of a podium finish in this race," said Havens.
"I knew that it was also going to be a very competitive race, with a very competitive field including teams from the U.S., Germany and of course Australia," he said.
"I wanted to go faster, but I had nothing left. For a while I was going to pull out. Still, it was good enough to land on the podium, so I was happy with that."
At Ironman Canada this summer, Havens qualified for the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. He decided to go to Sydney instead this year, and is already in training to qualify again next year.
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