Like any other race day when you live down in Mexico (Waxhaw), the day started with a alarm. Having packed most of my things up the night before, I grabbed a quick breakfast and was on my way up to the race pretty quickly. The drive was relatively uneventful except for the 30 – 45 minutes worth of rain I drove though all the while praying it wasn’t going to be raining during the race. Thankfully I arrived at the race to rainless skies and comfortable temps. I parked, grabbed my packet, and setup my transition area.
I got in the water about 5-7 minutes prior to the scheduled start time to warm up. The race was wetsuit legal but I opted to go without one since I figured I would spend more time getting the suit off than what I gained by wearing it. As we got out of the water from the warm up it was announced the race start had been moved back 10-15 minutes because there were quite a few people who could not find the race site. I’m not sure how long the start was actually delayed but it was more than enough time for me to be shivering almost uncontrollably. Finally, after the national anthem, we got in the water and the gun went off.
|The picturesque swim setting; with ROCKS.|
I was sort of surprised to see the setup of the swim course had changed for this year. Last year the course went from one side of the point to the other but this time it was setup in a rectangular configuration. After the gun went off I took off pretty much as hard as I could. There was a little bit of jostling around but for the most part I swam beside Carrie Andrews for the majority of the swim with the other folks in the open wave close behind. To be truthful after the second turn buoy Carrie put a 15 yard gap on me and was out of the water first. I beat her to the timing mat though because that’s what really counts, right?
T1 was pretty uneventful. Got my biking gear on and headed out of T1 in first.
Bike – 42:54 (4th)
As I came out of the park I put my head down and pretty much tried to hit threshold watts to get out of sight of anyone behind me. As I passed mile 3-ish Sonny Dyer came riding by me and a decent clip. I was pleasantly surprised to find the amount of traffic on the second loop of the bike was much lower this year than last. Last year there were a few times where I just sat up and pedaled along at 10mph because traffic couldn’t pass the slower cyclists. There was no problem whatsoever this year. Sonny and I traded leads back and forth a few times until the final climb on the second loop where he put in a monster effort and gapped me by maybe 30 yards. I was able to reel him in a little as we made our way back to the park but I was content to let him have the small gap as I had heard from one of his clients that he wasn’t going to turn in his chip after the bike. Right as I entered the park I got passed by the eventual winner (Adam Weeks).
I came into T2 a little hot and as I went to rack my bike I was carrying a little too much momentum and bumped it hard. I was relieved it didn’t fall down but it definitely gave me a little scare. Got my shoes on and headed out of T2 right behind Adam and Sonny (yes, he decided to run).
Run – (3rd)
|Out of T2 and running straight uphill!|
For anyone who hasn’t done this race the run is a killer. Straight up out of the park for a mile or so then up and down some pretty substantial hills on the out and back sections. This changed too (slightly) from last year in that the short out and back was first rather than second. On the first hill out of the park Adam, Sonny and I were pretty close together. However, as we neared the top of the road into the park Adam pulled away. I knew I didn’t have the energy to try to match him and continued to close the small gap on Sonny. I passed Sonny just as we made the first turn out of the park. From there I just tried to maintain a good pace and maintain a good gap on Sonny. I came over the line in second place but was beaten by a UNC student who entered age group instead of open. Overall, I feel the race went well and I’m happy with my performance.
(thanks to Jones Racing Company's Benji Jones for the pics!)