Chris Heffernan returns in 2012 after a year away from the race
- Youth…(see also: Weaknesses)…Chris is in his mid-20s (I think), which makes recovery easier, which makes pain hurt less.
- Rest…that year off should be beneficial. I am sure he spent the extra time training.
- His mother’s car….in previous years, after every stage Chris was able to float back into a zen-like state, wrapped in his Nana’s Oldsmobile, listening to the calming sounds of Raekwon. This year – new ride, same zen
- Wicked smarts…Chris graduated magna cum laude this spring. Not sure exactly how that translates to mountain biking and hoops, but it must in some way
- Last name…should count for something, right?
- Youth…you lose to old guys, especially at hoops, not because they’re bigger or faster, but because they have seen every move, every shot, every pass, and their muscle memory is longer than your reach. And being young also kills Chris in the expectations area.
- Rock-climbing technique, golf skills, mountain biking technique…and outside shot. A decent low-post game, but the rest of his triathlon fundamentals need work.
- a penchant for writing over training (said the pot to the kettle)
Chris put in a modest effort at rock climbing and golf during the start of the 2008 ELLT, then crashed on a couch, and was ready to ride the next morning….kind of. Right from the start, Chris was uncomfortable on the bike and feeling the cumulative effects of a full-day’s exercise and very little cardio training. Three times on that ride — a brutally technical 3 hour ride in Exeter — Chris had a chance to bail and take a double track back to the car. He stuck with it, even when he was passed by guys on foot (setting a course for a race the next day). For his efforts, Chris pulled down a bronze in mountain biking. In 2010, Chris again set expectations low before rock climbing, then successfully overcame those low expectations and actually put in a serious effort, once again gaining the bronze. Chris skipped 2011, setting himself up well for 2012.
Expectations for 2012
With the changes in scoring over the years, Chris’ chances to medal again in rock climbing (now more closely scored) and mountain biking (time trial) are severely diminished (unless he has been training wicked hard). Further, past success raises expectations. His golf game probably still sucks, but he’s got a solid basketball team, with 3-time champion Chris Roy and Most Improved Player 2010 Dan Moore. Anything is possible….