1/2 mile swim, 18.2 mile bike, 3.1 mile run
What a great race! Norman had told us about this race back in the Spring. I have admit I was a little skeptical, but the goodie bag did sound fun and I'm partial to these slightly bigger races. Sometime back in June we signed up. Registration opened at 6am. By 9am the whole thing was sold out with 1400 participants! There must be something attractive about this race.
This were already looking up when we went to packet up Saturday afternoon. Talk about organized. We were treated like people, instead of cattle. No line, but lots of volunteers handing us cool stuff. We also scored some new racing shoes. I had thought our old shoes had been discontinued, but it turns out instead of going from 833 to 834 they went to 825. Anyway, we stumbled upon the 825s and my toes are happy again as these shoes have no seams on the inside. Perfect for sockless racing.
I was hoping this race would be a bit of turnaround from Nationals which was really a bit disappointing. I swam terribly, biked softly, and ran average and without any endurance. I also think I was a bit intimidated by the competition. So during the few weeks since we had really worked hard to get our swimming back on track and upped the bike and run volume to reestablish some endurance. It seemed to have worked!
Swim was much better. Top 10 in AG and right behind several guys. I knew things were going much better when Chris Hunt was running up to his bike as I was leaving with my bike. I haven't gotten out of the water ahead of Chris in either of our earlier non-wetsuit races.
The bike course was really nice. The roads were smooth and immediately I was in catch'em and pass'em mode as I moved through the two waves that started ahead of me. After the first mile I only saw 2 guys in my age group and it took a few miles to get separated from them, otherwise I was passing a lot of younger guys from the earlier waves. My intention was to push the bike harder than previous races and see how my run worked out, so I rode the first half between 170 and 175 then settled in around 170 for the 2nd half. I eased off a bit more for the last mile or so and felt great coming into transitions. Ended up with a 25.4 mph average and 8th fastest bike split on the day. Pretty happy with that. My new Hed Jet 90 really felt good and I think it is making a small, but noticeable difference.
The run wasn't bad. I did get passed by the two guys I passed on the bike. Turns out that put me in 3rd in my AG out of 99. I was actually first in my AG off the bike! It's a start!
I ended up 9th overall. Percentage wise that is my best finish ever and I think this was probably my best race of the year. I also finished ahead of Chris Hunt for the first time in 6 races this year. Not that it matters.... ;)
Average HR for the race: 170