What a fun weekend! The Lake Logan Multisport Festival is put on by Glory Hound Events with the three races for the weekend being run by SetUpEvents as a part of the North Carolina Triathlon Series. For the past couple years I have participated in either the Olympic or Sprint distance races and recently they have added a Half to the list of races they offer. This year my goal was the Olympic distance race on Sunday with the goal being an Overall Win. I didn’t quite achieve the W but I still had a great race and am very happy with my performance!
The week preceding the event I was getting tuned up with my last bits of training and even threw in the Lowe’s Motor Speedway TT that Wednesday to assess my fitness and fire up the legs for a short interval. Setting a PR on the course of 20:53 for a speed of 28.7 MPH meant my cycling should be ready to roll and I was confident I had the fitness for a strong performance at Lake Logan. Upon checking the participant list that SetUpEvents has for their races, I saw that the competition may be steeper than previously thought. Two professional triathletes named Matthew Wisthoff and Derek Kidwell were signed up which meant things were going to get much more interesting. Matthew had won the Olympic race by 7 minutes the prior year when I did the Sprint. I knew Derek had a reputation for being a stud cyclist and would likely put in some time in that leg. Either way, I headed up Saturday morning with Rebekah (providing support for the race), Mike, and Timothy (racing the Sprint on Sunday).
The day before the race went smoothly with some swim and bike course scouting and getting set up to camp in the field that is shared with the Transition Area. The area is beautiful and the weather has been perfect every year for tent camping. Upon awakening Sunday morning I ate my Kattouf Kookie and a banana and was all set to race after setting up and a quick warm up run. After a few minutes of splashing around in the water they called us out of the water to process over the timing mat and enter the water for the start. With a quick 10 second countdown and go we were off and the excitement had begun.
I immediately noticed a super swimmer or two to my right and noted Matthew Wisthoff heading out at a pace I wouldn’t be able to follow. Instead I got very familiar with the face of David Hall to my left and eventually settled in behind him and found his feet. The last time I attempted to draft off David in an Olympic I had been dropped and suffered the remainder of the race. This time, though, I found the pace just right in being hard but maintainable for the duration. We stayed that way until approaching the last 100 meters where the water temp drops to the 50’s and the depth is only a couple feet. I made quick work of the run to T1 and getting the wetsuit off and grabbed bike and helmet and started booking it down the long run to the mount line.
Rebekah informed me that I was in 3rd starting the bike with about 2 minutes down from Matthew which is about what I expected. There was no time to waste so I immediately cranked up the intensity and hammered the first steep hills to get away from the lake. The course is generally rolling with a few steep climbs within a few miles of transition reaching 9% grades. This also meant for some screaming downhills that I had practiced the previous day so as to be able to maintain the aero position while descending. I’m generally not a fan of taking risks on the bike but felt confident and fast throughout the ride while cornering and descending. The ride was a lonely one as I didn’t see any of my competition until the last couple miles on the climbs back to transition. I had been riding strong throughout and upon arriving back to T2 learned that I was about 2 minutes down to Derek and only 30 seconds down from Matthew. I noticed Matthew leaving T2 as I made my way in and I immediately took off to try to reel in some time during the 10k run.
The run course for Lake Logan is a pretty tame one with a general 1% incline out and a 1% decline returning on one relatively straight road. This means for pretty much the entirety of the run out I was able to see Matthew about 30 seconds up the road. Every time I would throw in a short surge to gain ground I would look again to see him the same amount up the road. As we neared the turn around I noticed that Derek was still about 2 minutes ahead and not showing any signs of fading. Basically, we were all running a very similar pace. The final 5k wasn’t extremely exciting as the 3 of us had a large lead over any chasers and Matthew pulled away a little more while my legs started to feel the bike and the surges in the first 5k of the run. Coming into the Finish Line at the field at Lake Logan I was very grateful to have put together a great race and to have been so close to 2 stellar athletes. See results here:
A lot of Team Kattouf athletes on the podium!
Timothy and Mike had already finished the Sprint race and both placed well with Timmy taking 5th Overall and 1st Open! We spent the time until the awards ceremony talking with friends and then headed out for a nice traditional Chinese buffet before heading back to Columbia. Next up will be a few local race to end the South Carolina Triathlon Series and then prepping for next season and putting some bigger races on the calendar.