Year in review: 2017

With only a few more weeks left in 2017, I guess it’s that time of the year when we all look back on the past 12 months.

As I’ve mentioned (a lot) 2017 was a year of change, not just change of countries but also a year where I’ve spent most of the time on the road, traveling, and 90% of the time doing it solo. It’s the marriage thing, you are alone all your life and it’s fine and then you get married and it’s just more fun to be together, feeling almost odd to go back to the old travel routines.

This year, however, our professional lives took me and Carolina to different countries, and that was probably the hard(er) challenge for both of us. Ironically, Carolina is back in the US working in a cruise line as a host for America Test Kitchen but not before she spent the summer in London, UK, while I was back and forth between the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates. Needless to say training took a bit of a toll.

My best racing years always came from solid winter setups, either in the US or even when I was back in Portugal, and then a settled summer of racing, something that didn’t happen this year. I don’t want this post to turn into a pity party, life is way too short for that and I don’t feel sorry for all the decisions we’ve made recently. We are both doing what we love, 2017 just happened to be a lot more unsettled than we had hoped.

Between London and Dubai (also, check the living in Dubai post!) for most part of the summer, I tried to fit as much reasonable racing as I could. Well, and training in between. I decided early in the year that Kona was not going to be a goal this year, way before even racing any Ironman, rather trying to pick races where I thought I could do well, even on the worst case scenario. Because with Ironman you always hope for the best but prepare for the worse. With this in mind, my Ironman racing season compromised of Ironman Brazil, Ironman Cairns, Triatlon Vitoria-Gasteiz, Ironman Bolton, Ironman Maastritch and Ironman Argentina, and I guess the above premise was true for most of them: out of the 6 IM starts, I finished 4, always with a shuffle of things happening during the races itself. Still, I was always in the “money” as they say, and always Top 10.

I do feel like the unsettled year reflected on all of them but that’s just how racing goes sometimes. Along the year though, I was able to finish a bunch of other triathlon races – including winning London Triathlon Olympic Plus and podium’ed at Dubai International Triathlon – squeezed quite a few fun experiences like the Rapha Club rides in London, “the” Ride London 100, swam at the Indian Ocean, did a bunch of road racing in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, made a ton of new friends both in London and Dubai, visited two new countries (Oman and Australia), took the Eurostar train from London to Bruxels, ran 45Km at the Red Bull’s Wings for Life UAE with excruciating 43C and started leading group sessions for a Triathlon Club in Dubai. See, no pity party needed, while racing itself was a bit short of the high bar I’ve set for myself, I still accomplished quite a lot and  had enough on my mind to keep me (very) busy. I finish the year more hunger than ever, motivated to continue to work hard, every day.

 

So, what’s up 2018?!

Well, race calendar is still uncertain as it’s going to depend on how December and January go in terms of training. Looking forward to it though since I’ve found a solid group of training in Dubai and am well more aware of where to go and take the most out of the region’s good winter training. Everyone knows I love to race, so besides Ironman races, I will be keen on supporting and racing local races in the GCC, not just triathlons but also single discipline ones.

Apart from racing, launching the series #2 of triathlon videos on youtube (youtube.com/pedrogomestri) will be a priority for January and February, as I still have a lot of share and help! I do have already a few videos made, just need to trim the edges and put it to one. If you haven’t already, please check the channel for past videos, some good and helpful stuff like changing a tire, placing and carrying gels on the bike, what is the most aerodynamic place to carry bottles, etc.

With the InGruppetto Triathlon Club in full swing in Dubai, the plan is also to extend it’s reach in the UAE and over to Abu Dhabi, organizing a few weekly sessions in this close emirate. My plan is to lead and expand the engagement these group sessions have and hopefully lead a few more athletes to their own success in the sport.

Last but not least, give a little more care to sleep so I’m able to continue to spend a tremendous amount of energy on having this amazing life that is anything but normal.

Pedro Gomes

Pedro Gomes is a professional triathlete made in Portugal, currently based in Dubai, UAE. He's also a certified Ironman triathlon coach and a self proclaimed donut connoisseur.