AIDAN McGlynn overcame suffocating humidity and severe cramp to seal a podium place at the Sarasota-Bradenton ITU Paratriathlon World Cup last weekend.
The Strabane native, who suffered a disappointing mechanical issue at the World Grand Finals in Rotterdam last month, produced arguably his best performance of the year in Florida and had it not been for a bad cramp in his calf, he may well have been standing on the top step of the rostrum, rather than in second place.
In the end though, the 37-year-old was delighted to have sealed his first ever podium finish at world level after finishing behind Mexican athlete, Jose Abraham Estrada Sierra, but ahead of Argentine Pablo Pormata.
“That was one of the hardest races I’ve ever raced,” Aidan admitted after the punishing event, which was essentially a duathlon after organisers cancelled the swim section due to an over-population of alligators in the local waters following Hurricane Irma.
“The conditions were brutal out there – 34 degrees with 98% humidity,” he added.”The biggest competitor was the humidity. I have never struggled to breathe so much, even the local Floridians were struggling for air!”
Having led the race after the first run, McGlynn was looking strong before cramp in his calf struck, forcing him to dig deep just to finish.
“I led on the first run by about 30-40 seconds, had a good transition, but I struggled on the first lap of the bike, lacking any normalised power output,” he explained.
“I went into T2 still in first spot but as soon as I hit that last 5K my left calf cramped severely and it was a huge effort to get to the line. I really struggled to breathe throughout that 5K – over 15 pro females pulled out of their race citing high humidity, so I was happy to hang on to second spot, which is the first ever podium for me!
“I expected better of myself if the truth be told but conditions played a huge part in this race and I am happy with silver. Not delighted, but happy,” he concluded.
Aidan will now take a break for few weeks in order to recover before he starts planning for next year.