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Going Pro: Bryce Burchi’s Pursuit of a Pro Card | Part 2

Earlier in the season, Bryce outlined the process of earning and acquiring his Pro Card in triathlon. Since then, he’s put in months of work and tackled some very serious events to be in a good position for the Pro Card at the end of this season.

Bryce debriefs the recent event at Mont Tremblant for us, in addition to the specifics of his fueling that day. As we know, having a fueling plan is one thing…sticking it is another.

Mont Tremblant was a crazy race! Leading up to the race, I had moved to Flagstaff for a month to train and work with some top-level athletes as well as work in altitude of around 7,000ft. I felt that really helped prep me for the big day – mentally knowing I did great sessions at high altitude and to bring it down to 2,000ft should feel good.

I was consuming a lot of LMNT during the day and what I typically use to stay hydrated before and after hard training sessions, I noticed this helped with overall hydration.

I showed up on race day feeling good, everything went smoothly getting into Canada with [both] travel and bike. I did some shake-out runs and swims to get loose and was feeling dialed.

Race Morning: my mind is strong and I consume 2,000mg of OSMO hydration pre-fuel with four pieces of toast and jelly. Then, a banana and caffeine PowerBar gel 30 minutes before the race with some sips of PowerBar Isoactive sports drink.

The Swim: I seed myself two back from the start, get on someone’s legs, and have a great swim. I swam 54 minutes and was top three for the men out of the water. The swim felt smooth and solid and I felt the nutrition went a long way to carry me for that hour.

The Bike: I came into transition to grab my bike and felt awesome, excited to ride 112 miles through Mont Tremblant – and it was stunning! My bike leg was strong and fast, 5th overall male off the bike but I did not execute my nutrition plan to the best of my ability. I was under[fueled] on fluids and carb intake, digging me into quite a bit of a hole during the second half of the bike. Once mile 80 came around, the wheels did start to fall off but remembered to take in more nutrition while I could, allowing me to start the run strong.

The Run: I get off the bike a bit disoriented but feeling good. I remember my legs not feeling too amazing from the 5500 feet of climbing on the bike but said to myself, “We are almost done, let’s finish this thing” and it hurt bad. The first 6 miles were great and pacing for a top-place finish. Almost around 9 hours which was my goal. It was a 6 miles out and back for a 2-loop course, all rolling hills with 2,200 feet of climbing. Right as I turn the corner of the first 6 miles, I just remember my legs not wanting to ever run again! I was beat up and done and wasn’t sure what happened. All the training and planning for this day made it hard to fight. I kept walking and jogging then running then walking again. For 20 miles I battled myself mentally and physically to keep pushing and don’t let up.

“Just get to the next aid station and there will be water there…”, things started getting dim and grey and it was time to work again. There was someone I ended up with who kept telling me to stop walking and I got the message loud and clear. This was with 2 miles left to finish. Mind you I was running at 8:30 pace and my goal was around 7:20, so [I was] far off but still moving… then I dropped to a 6:30 minute run for the last mile or so to finish 3rd in my age group and 15th overall.

I’ve never fought harder than that and it wasn’t the race I planned for. I was prepared to win but didn’t execute and paid for it. Lesson learned. I secured a world championship slot and waiting on point results back to see if I am able to get my professional license in the sport.

Where does this position you for your Pro Card goal now?

This positions me well. I’m racing Arizona 70.3 on October 22nd to finalize my application standard and submit both races to USAT to obtain my license. This race will be fun and competitive but I’m ready to see what the body is made of.

What unexpected challenges have presented themselves this season?

A lot has presented itself this season: moving/travel, getting married, changing coaches right before Ironman (a hard decision but had to happen…), working a full-time sales job while maintaining elite training quality, and spending quality time where I can. It can always be a challenge – it’s what we do and make out of our day [that determines] how difficult it becomes. We can always control our attitude and outlook towards things and, if that’s positive, usually everything else is. There’s so much that happens daily in our lives – I like to think if we show up for ourselves and set a good example, we can create a solid ecosystem of like-minded individuals to help with any obstacles that come our way.

Now, what lies ahead for Bryce? As we await more updates on his Pro Card, he’s still got some work to do…

What lies ahead for me… well, I’m racing hard and smart for Ironman Arizona 70.3 in less than two weeks now. I’m happier and healthier than ever with my new coach and the protocols I’ve been following. I’m running 100 miles for fun six days after my Ironman to really test the mind/body and see what this is all about. And while all of that happens, I’ll be waiting patiently for my elite card results from USAT.

I’m an elite athlete. I love the journey and the pain that comes along with it. I want to share with others that no matter what you face and go through - doing the harder option and right things when no one is looking will really build you up to become a savage. I battle the mind game every day and love it. I love winning and showing myself I beat the small voice that says stay home.

Avatar Carson Beckett

Carson Beckett / Friday, October 20, 2023