Division: Age Group 30-34
Distance from home: 360 miles
Travel: Blue Mini Van
Travel Time: 7 hours 20min
Race Entry Fee: $150.00
Stayed with Family = 5
Total in Krew: 7
The morning started out very cool. I was very reluctant to get out of my warm clothes to put on my wetsuit. As my wave start approached the sun started to come out which started to warm things up a bit. I raced here last year so I knew what to expect from the course. A little bit of this and a little bit of that. Overall not to difficult of a course but a really fast race field. This race if able to qualify would put you on Team USA and a race in London England. There is a lot on the line and really wanted to be part of Team USA for the second straight year.
As I stuffed myself into my wetsuit and said all my goodbyes, I started to focus on the day ahead of me. My goal was to take the course as hard as can and hold it for as long as I can. I said my final goodbyes and headed for the corral. I met up with some racers I had seen before and shot the breeze with them before filing down to the water. A few moments earlier we found out that an older man had died in the water of a heart attack. It was hard for everyone to take especially for the waves that saw the EMTs bring to land while performing CPR on his lifeless body. My thoughts and prayers went out to his family but unfortunately we had to keep racing. My division headed down to the docks and we slid into the water. This is a very tough course to navigate, there are 6 turns total and being one of the last waves we swam through a lot of very slow swimmers. I said my good lucks to my friends and headed to my starting position. The gun went off and all hear is the bubbles I am blowing as I exhale. I went out with the lead pack and settled into a nice strong groove. It didn't take long to came up on the earlier wave and then waves. I navigated my way through the course and made my way to transition. I found my quickly and my told told me I was third out of the water in my division. I made quick work of T1 and made my way to the streets of Burlington before climbing 7 miles out to the beautiful outskirts of the city. My legs still felt the fatigue from Ironman Lake Placid but I wanted to push through all the discomfort and improve from last year. I held my own on the bike giving up a couple spots on the bike and headed back to Burlington on a mission to make the most of this run course.
The run course was a loop with a steep quarter mile climb coming right out of T2. It is a tough climb right at the get go but is worth the work once you get to the top because it is pretty flat for the rest of the course. I was passing athletes left and right from so many different age groups that I had no idea were I was in my age group. The only thing I new was I had a podium spot but wasn't sure what spot. Then I came up on a 30-34 that was hauling, so I decided to stick in his back pocket and try and push him till he broke or we had to ground and pound the last mile. So we made our way back to this park area side by side before hitting the bike/running path. The final two and half miles were starting to get brutal. The sun was blazing, getting hot and we were pushing each other to a whole new uncomfortable zone. He was huffing and puffing pretty good (I probably was to) but felt like I sounded better than him. At the last aid station he decided to get water and kept going. I pushed with everything I had left. Right Left Right Left - faster faster faster I kept telling myself, hes going to catch you. I made it to the finish line in front of him and finished 4th in my age group. I was happy and got a PR for the course. I wanted to break 2 hours but came up 2 min short, not bad considering how heavy my legs felt. All in all a great day.
This was a great event and USAT really put a great race together in a beautiful city. The organization, volunteers, awards banquet (a bit drawn out) were all top notch in my eyes. I can't wait to see where they hold next years National Championship race. Hopefully it won't be to far away.