As I walked the plank to head into the water I spotted Jodi sporting the bright orange K17SPORT shirt with The Bridgeton Group emblazoned on the back - Bridgeton Group is my race sponsor for the 70.3 World Championships. I jumped into the 85 degree water and felt a chill go through my body. Even though the water was so warm I still got a chill because the air temp was so hot. I knew in the back of my head that this would be the last chill I would experience for the rest of the day so I embraced it for as long as I could. My wave, the 3rd of 3 for my age group, made our way to the start line. I am not sure why there were so many waves, we ended up having probably about 50-60 people in the wave. I prefer a lot of people in the waves, it gets to spread out with fewer athletes. I spotted the orange K17SPORT T-Shirt one last time before the horn went off, waved, flashed the I love you sign and we were gone. Everything I have been thinking about is all a past thought and now I'm in the now. Is this too fast, too slow, am I going to be able to keep this pace should I try and stick with the lead pack? These were all thoughts flying through my head. I decided to just pick a pace and go with it. I stayed comfortable, definitely wasn't blazing but was comfortable. I hit the turn buoys and headed back to transition and noticed I was all alone. I knew I wasn't in the front and knew I wasn't in the back, so I figured I was in no mans land. I didn't want to speed up now just to catch the lead pack so I stayed at pace and just chugged along. I wasn't sure how slow or fast I was going since I couldn't pace off of anyone so when I saw my watch at 30 minutes I was like, Ouch!! What happened. I couldn't do anything about it now.
I made my way around to transition, quickly changed, grabbed my Quintanna Roo Cd0.1, strapped on my helmet, tucked my sunglasses behind my ears and I was headed for the T-1 exit never to return there for the rest of the day. The bike was a point to point so T-2 was at a different location than T-1. I headed out of the hole T-1 was in, mounted the QR and was off into the sunrise of the hot Las Vegas desert. By this time the heat was probably in the mid 90's with not a cloud in the sky. As I made my way into the lonely desert I looked across the bleak, mute landscape where I could see the previous waves on the course probably ten miles or so away hitting the big rollers. The bike was pretty much uneventful, didn't see too many marshals, and saw some drafting going on but what are you going to do. As far as nutrition on the bike I had packed two packs of Fig Newtons, two caffeine gels, salt tablets, and two bottles of electrolyte drinks. Ironman had 4 strategically placed aid stations on the course, at each of these stations I would grab three bottles (2 water and 1 Ironman Perform - yuck). I would dump one water bottle over my head toss it and save the other water and the bottle of Perform. I can't stand the Perform but that is the only electrolyte drink they provide on the course - way too sweet for me. It was hard to gauge how much I was sweating, since the heat was so intense. As soon as sweat comes out of the pores it would evaporate, making it look like I wasn't sweating. One other thing I noticed is I didn't have the urge to pee at all, that worried me a bit, thinking that maybe I wasn't hydrated enough. So, I made my way through the course didn't see anything humorous, or anything that stood out. I made my way to T-2 after climbing the last 5-8 miles to get there. My body was definitely ready for a change. I couldn't wait to get on with the run. I came into a chute of screaming race supporters gave my QR to a volunteer and headed to the changing tent. I unbuckled my helmet through on my visor, slipped on my brooks ST-Racers and headed to the course.
One of the highlights of this race came as I entered the run course and was going stride for stride with Magali Tisseyre "Mighty Mags", one of the professional female racers. Come to think of it I am not sure what happened to her she was probably on her last lap when I was on my first since she started about an hour before me. Anyway this is where it became tough to figure out which wave athletes in my age group were from. Three waves spread out over 10 minutes on a three loop run course, impossible to figure out where I was. I did notice the guy racked next to me so I decided to use him as my pacer. He was about 5 minutes ahead of me at the first turnaround, which I didn't think was too bad considering he passed me in a big drafting group at about mile 15 on the bike. At each turnaround I would clock myself against him, he didn't look like a runner so I didn't think it would take long to make up the gap. The gap went from 5min, to 3 minutes, to 2:40, 1min then I got him part way through the second lap and never saw him again. The one nice thing with the run being three loops is there was a lot of people around and I got to see Jodi like six times on the run. It was always uplifting to see her smiling and cheering me on. I really enjoyed having her there supporting me. The course did get packed with athletes by my third lap and the aid stations were starting to turn into buffet lines it looked like for some. I'll take a little of this and a little of that. As for me I took as much as I could get my hands on. I would grab ice, water, perform, and sponges. Probably took about 6 cups of whatever at each station trying to stay hydrated and trying to keep my body cool. I was taking salt at every other station until my stomach started to feel sloshy. I decided to stop taking them thinking maybe I was retaining my liquids and not sweating them out. It seemed to work as the discomfort slowly went away. I really tried to pee on the run but just didn't have to go. On my last lap I tried to empty the tank and kicked it in to finish strong, I entered the finishing chute to about 10 screaming fans one of them was Jodi and crossed the finished line as they announced my name.
I was proud to have competed in this race for the second straight year and improve my time by about 15 minutes. I was glad to have Jodi by my side cheering me on the entire way and having all my followers back home trying to follow me on the horrible Ironman website (apparently there was a timing gliche and no one could track any of the athletes). I want to thank Stephen Roseme of The Bridgeton Group for sponsoring me in this race. His generosity, his passion for the sport, and his belief in chasing your dreams has taught me many things throughout this season. I appreciate everything he has done for me this season, so I thank him for that. I also want to thank my family, parents, and other sponsors Walabax Construction Services, Popeye21, Gatorade, Honeystinger, TryChips, PXT Triathlon, and Champ-Sys for all their support. Thanks to all my friends and family for their ongoing support.
I also want to say congratulations to my Best Friend Travis Germano and his new wife Katie who tied the knot the day before the race. I wish them all the best and many years of Happiness and Love. Congratulations Guys!!
Click Here for Official Results
Click Here read My Wife's Perspective- "Her View"
Click Here to View Pics from the Weekend