At just 24-years-old, George Goodwin was one of the lesser-experienced athletes at the PTO 2020 Championship at CHALLENGEDAYTONA®– but the Brit certainly stood out in what was one of the strongest fields ever assembled in triathlon.
Goodwin was unfazed by the calibre of opposition as he surpassed a number of triathlon legends to claim an impressive third position.
In the star-studded field, Goodwin arguably produced the most consistent display of the entire race – he was the only athlete to record a sub-25-minute swim (24:47), sub-100-minute bike (1:39:34) and sub-hour run (59:29).
But his performance didn’t come without adversity as Goodwin’s body, like everyone else’s in the field, suffered from the unforgiving layout in Daytona.
Goodwin admitted he struggled with cramp midway through the race but there was little evidence of that as he picked his way through the field and into the top three.
“I’ve had 10 weeks’ (training) perfect, absolutely perfect,” he commented in his post-race interview “I knew I had a top 10 in me.
“Going off to the run I had a really bad cramp in my left quad, in T2. I thought maybe it just won’t happen today.
“I just managed to build my way through. Everyone went off really quick, and I just sort of gradually made my way through.”
The PTO 2020 Championship was held at the historic Daytona Speedway® in Florida, and Goodwin was delighted to have had the chance to compete at such a famous location.
“The venue, it’s crazy,” he remarked. “To have a sport like triathlon in an arena like this, with the best field in non-drafting history probably, it’s just so amazing.”
Overtaking with style
To reach third position, Goodwin had to navigate several renowned triathletes – something he says he was not disconcerted by – even if he did afford a cheeky smirk as he overtook Rudy von Berg.
“I’ve had enough experience now that it doesn’t faze me when I’m racing,” he professed. “He (Von Berg) asked if I was a lap down, and I tried to look as relaxed as possible going past.”
Goodwin raced at the absolute limit to secure his podium finish and pointed out the moments where he struggled the most with fatigue.
“My face gives away the answer on the last part of the run,” he observed. “Some moments on the bike were also in the red [such as] overtaking.”
The run leg was completed on the Daytona Speedway® tarmac, and Goodwin believes this may have been a contributing factor in the number of cases of cramp across the race day.
“No variation meant almost 100 per cent of time in position, which is probably why we saw so much cramp in both men’s and women’s races,” he explained.
Familiar face on the podium
Goodwin doesn’t believe any particular training session proved to be the tipping point for his success, instead hailing the months of work he did as a whole as the secret behind his accomplished performance.
“No one particular session was a standout,” he affirmed. “10-12 weeks of nailing every day gave me confidence.”
“I raced ITU as a junior at U23,” he recalled. “I raced Gustav Iden a few times then, he beat me at that distance as well.”