This race was a last minute addition to the calendar. Rebekah had it planned as one of her races and I knew I would already be there to watch at least. Upon checking the start list there were many good local athletes including Peter Kotland, Jeff Brandenburg, David Hall, and Michael Mauhar which could make for an interesting race at the front. So I convinced best man Timothy Gibson to join in and we signed up morning of for an hour plus of fun.
The swim was in a pool as a TT start giving about 10-20 seconds between athletes meaning you would never truly know where you were in relation to the rest of the field. I tried to line up towards the back so I could be the chaser rather than the chased but was immediately pushed to 3rd in line behind Michael and David who are always strong in the water. They started sending us out and the 500m long course swim began. After a steady effort in the water of nobody catching anybody else I came through T1 ready to put in a solid effort.
Unfortunately in my poor packing for this race I had forgotten my Garmin and actually borrowed an extra watch off of Jeff Brandenburg. I didn’t pay much mind to it as it was a Polar which I had no clue how to use so this race went more off of feel. My legs felt pretty nice but I decided to not take off as I was not confident in the directions of the course. Peter quickly bridged the gap to me and I let him, David, and Michael go back and forth while I bided my time about 10 seconds back. After about 5 miles Michael fell back leaving Peter and David navigating the course for me and switching off the lead. Once we were only a few miles out and I knew where we were, I launched a surge to come by them both trying to shut down them chasing. To my surprise, shortly after a truck in the road trying to turn left thwarted my well planned attack. As David and I slowed to nearly a stop to go around the right of the truck, Peter defiantly blew past to the left in the opposing lane. I knew I couldn’t let him get too far without paying for it later so I put in another hard surge on the final hill to put us within a few seconds of each other coming into T2.
The first half mile of the run began on trails with a good amount of elevation changes and turns. I used my experience running in Harbison State Forest to quickly navigate around Peter and start building a lead. As soon as we hit the road I began to notice the lack of a taper for this race and the previous days 1km repeats. Combined with the heat it made for a long 5k of holding on with any looks over the shoulder to make sure no other athletes were trying to bridge, particularly because of the TT start. Luckily it was enough to get me the Overall win as I came through the finish line very fatigued.
The rest of the time was spent awaiting Timothy who apparently spent the run course enjoying his breakfast for a 2nd time and Rebekah who reminded me of how much she disliked running after she finished.
Overall I very pleased with another W and am glad I made the decision to race today. Next up will be the Greenwood Olympic to test out the legs for moving the distance up.