3.8km Swim 180km Bike 42km Run - Temperature 34oF
Swim 1:10:47 - T1 05:56 - Bike 05:40:25 - T2 06:15 – Run 03:47:18 Total Time 10:50:39
55th 50 - 54 Age Group, 915th Overall
I came into the race pretty relaxed, with no real expectations of getting a result to match previous years. I know what it takes in terms of work and life commitment to get in the right shape to be competitive and my preparation was well short of that standard. The late June bike crash and broken collar bone brought about an enforced 8 week rest and a subsequent 9 week fitness build for the race.
My ambition for the swim was to stay out of the combat zone and just swim within myself right from the gun, no sprinting, no elbows, no punches, just long easy strokes. Boom, off went the cannon and off I went, breathing to both sides and keeping away from the A types gunning for a time. It turned out to be a really relaxing swim and not really much slower than usual. Note to self, saving energy at the gun by not sprinting pays back in the second half.
T1 was a calm affair, taking my time with no anxiety about losing more time to my competition. A good day for me wasn’t to be measured by how high up in the field I placed, it was how much I enjoyed the day and fuelled my love of the sport. For about the only time in my life I was in Zen Roger (ZR) mode !
The first 15k on the bike is through town with lots of hills, riders mashing the pedals to establish anearly advantage, ZR just let them go and started the discipline of self-preservation. I was not going to make it to the finish line if I bent the racing rules I had promised myself. Normally, I suffer from bib number paranoia and consequently if I spot anyone in my age group riding by I have to retake them and then smoke them lest the race disappears up the road! However, the whole ride was pretty uneventful apart from a little venting at the cheaters drafting and it was novel to be able to stay strong right to the end and not start to implode in the blasting hot wind on the return leg.
T2, like T1, was ZR just strolling through the tents and out onto the run. I had a clear plan that I had spent the last 9 weeks practising, run 2k walk 60 seconds which pretty much meant I would walk through each aid station to cool and fuel, it was the only chance in order to last the distance.The yanks don’t do metric or precision so I had to kinda improvise but broadly stick to the plan. I knew I would be in a hole by half way due to the lack of preparation so when it came before half way I accepted the discomfort and stuck to the run/walk plan albeit the run portion was now much slower. More athletes in my age group passed but ZR just let them go.
Prior to the race I had figured what good looked like, under 11 hours, so I was doing the mental gymnastics to tick off the kilometres and know I would beat the glow stick challenge.
I crossed the finish line just before sunset, sans glow sticks, very chuffed. I am leaving the Big Island hungry to race head to head with the best. I’ll be back.