The swim was a point to point swim so we needed to leave T1 a little early and walk over to the start. We were corralled on this deck area of the restaurant on the waterfront. Then we were escorted below the restaurant to these docks that jetted out into the lake to the jump in zone. From there we needed to swim to the start. It was pretty cool walking down to the docks with fans everywhere. The course was a somewhat difficult one having to navigate through 5 turn buoys and a mess of athletes in front of us. The gun went off and I made my way to the first buoy and got myself away from a majority of the other athletes in my wave. The water was pretty choppy, thought it would of been more of a factor than it was. I kept a steady pace throughout the swim and navigated perfectly and headed out of the water with the leaders of my age group. I headed up the ramp amongst the fans and headed into transition. I overshot my bike rack so had to back track and find my bike, a little slip in focus or maybe it was just the massive number of bikes either way my fault.
I make my way to the bike course which is one loop with the first 7 miles uphill, followed by a bunch of rollers. Felt great coming out of the water and stayed on point with my strategy of keeping a strong steady pace. I never felt fatigued or tired. My wave was one of the last waves so we had a lot of traffic on the course. With so many people on the course I could never be sure who was part of my age group. Out 7 miles from transition it was all downhill, so that was nice to let my legs recover. In the final stretch I started to take off my shoes so I could just hop off my bike and head into transition. I drop of my gear off head for the run and made my way to a bear of a hill within the first 200 yds of the course.
The run course was pretty straight forward 3.1 miles out then 3.1 miles back with a big steep hill immediately after T2. I still felt pretty fresh so I tackled the hill realizing I needed to be smart about, as to not blow my legs up, I hustled up it without to much of a problem and started to make my way through the course. It didn't take me long to start passing athletes from my age group. I got myself into a fast groove and decided to not back down off of the pace. After about the halfway point I didn't see another person from my age group. I plugged along and stayed on point a kept true to the strategy. I came up to the red carpet and entered the finishing shoot with one final boost as I heard my name being called I crossed the finish line. I qualified for New Zealand, that was icing on the cake.
NOTES: I thought this was my most consistent race yet. I paced myself right and didn't take myself out of the race early do to a bad race decision. Consistency, pacing and patience is key. I'm finally starting to figure out how my body is acting and reacting to certain situations. Knowledge of your body in stressful situations is becoming quite evident as a necessity in this sport.