Coming in to this race I was still hurting from the past weekends Rev3 double. I had been working the overnight shift at work so I was getting in to work before 2 am and not getting more than 3 hours of straight sleep with the exception of Friday night into Saturday. The lack of sleep coupled with me pushing my body to the max over the weekend brought on a cold which increased my fatigue and made training close to impossible. I felt like crap all week and really had been questioning even showing up to the race.
After getting a decent amount of sleep Friday night I went out for my normal Saturday morning bike ride. At first I was struggling to maintain a decent pace but about 2 hours in to my ride my legs woke up and I started to feel really good. I knew at that point that I would at least not be embarrassing myself by showing up to race which put my confidence at ease.
Before I knew it I was at the beach racking my bike and getting ready to race. The weather for the race could not have been any better clear skies, not a lot of wind and limited humidity. I racked my bike the same exact place as last year and went for a quick 2 mile warm up run. I was still a little fatigued and I wasn't sure what I was going to be capable of but I figured once the gun went off I would be pushed by the competition I knew that was around me. Since it was open racking I had last years defending champion rack right next to me, which is probably why he did. Last year I was 3rd place overall before a 2 minute penalty for not wearing my bib on the run dropped me down to 8th, and my teammate Chris who was 2nd overall had the same thing happen to him dropping him to 6th, Chris wasn't racing this year so Joe was the favorite to repeat.
Swim .5 Mile 12:20
We headed down to the swim start which was at low tide. I was excited to see how my Huub would perform in a ocean situation since all of my swims have been fresh water swims up until this point. I started a little to the right of the group to avoid major contact which seemed to have worked. I stayed with the main group until the first turn buoy, then I decided it was time to push, I gaped up to the chase pack and eventually swam through them, I was having a great swim. I felt amazing and it seemed like I was just gliding through the water. I couldn't see that many swimmers ahead of me so I thought I was at least in the top 5 or 6 which is a rarity for me. As we made the turn to come back in to the beach I noticed some of the guys close to me had gotten up and started to walk. I stayed swimming but the water was so shallow dolphin diving might have been a faster method of moving. When I hit the beach I noticed that I never started my watch so I had no swim split. I was completely shocked when coming out of the water I was told I had 12 in front of me, I'm used to being down out of the water, but not when I feel like I had an amazing swim. Looking at the results I was 2:35 down from the lead swimmer and :52 seconds down on Joe.
Bike 10 Miles ( 9.77 Garmin) 23:56 24.5 mph 306 watts AP/313 normalized
Coming out of the water I knew I had my work cut out for me so I focused on getting my wet suit off and on to my bike. The nature of the course is and out and back so I would be able to see how far ahead everyone was at the turns and have it help me pace my race. Last year I was a little too conservative and held back, this year I wasn't going to make that same mistake. I shot out of T1 on a mission and started to pound the pedals I passed a few guys I didn't recognize immediately and continued on the hunt. When I got close to the first turn I could see the leaders coming the other way with Joe not too far from the lead in 4th place. I was riding hard and determined to catch them. By the 2nd turn around I could see I was gaining and by the 3rd I had caught Kyle and Zach who both had a shot at the win as well moving myself up in to 4th place. Before hitting the final turn around I had moved myself up in to second place passing the lead swimmers in the process, right before the final turn I could see Joe on the other side in the lead and I shouted across "I'm coming for you". I hit the final turn and sprinted back to t2 turning my deficit from nearly a minute to just a few seconds.
Knowing I was so close on the heels of last years winner with both Kyle and Zach not far behind me and all 3 of them can run! my :22 second T2 was the fastest of the day!
Run 3.1 Miles (Garmin 2.84mi) 17:13 6:04/mi
Within seconds I had caught Joe and was running on his heels. I drafted off of him for about a minute and then I decided to pull ahead knowing the pace we were running might not be fast enough to hold off the others. I picked up the pace and he went with me, we ended up running the first mile in about 5:54. Shortly after that time I stopped hearing his breathing and footsteps. I pressed forward knowing I would see how close he was at the midway turnaround. We hit the turn and I could tell I had about a :15 second lead but I could also see that Zach and Kyle were hot on my heels as well. Even though they were so close I knew with the lead I had it would be hard for them to pick up more than a minute in a little over a mile. Joe was still a threat so I had to stay on my game. Once I hit the 2 mile marker I turned to see if he had gained but it looked like the gap had widened. I didn't want to take any chances so I picked up my pace putting in a surge. When I was about a tenth of a mile away from the finish I turned one last time and I knew it was mine. I slowed my pace to take it all in, after 9 years and 65 triathlons I finally won one outright!
It felt great to finally win a race after all my hard work over the years. I have put a ton of work in this year especially getting ready for London and I could not be happier with the results. My only regret is that my fiance Erica did not get to see me win. She has spent countless hours supporting me and traveling with me to races to spectate and the one time I win a race she wasn't there. Her support is invaluable and I don't know if I would be able to do what I do without her. Now I have to figure out a way to win another one so she can witness it!
As Always thank you to my sponsors Endurance Films, Forte Gelato, Pacific Swim Bike Run, Skora Running, and Huub USA
Apparently you get articles written about you when you win triathlons!