Please excuse all my typos. I’ll fix them when Iâ€™m not posting via iphone. My predictions for this race were right on. I had decisively the worst swim of my career, despite outsmarting the surf and getting to the first buoy third. I followed Andrew Starykowicz and Chris Foster (wish i has his swim coach, a year ago there’s no way he could have made the first pack, let alone lead it) and when they turned a buoy too soon I followed. After all, the kayakers and life guard boat were directly in front of us. We swam 50m off course, and I was the only one to catch back up to what became the lead pack. I stayed in the back of the front pack, which set me up perfectly to miss all three waves in a set that took everyone in front of me right to shore.Â I really should know better than to miscount buoys.
(photo: hanging our with Triathlon Lab and USAT after the race)
Perhaps the fastest bike split would make up for a bad swim? I grabbed my bike and set my sights on the lead police escort, about a quarter mile up the road. I started passing people pretty quickly, and by 10km in I was leading the race. At the turnaround I misread the directions while trying to look into the sun and read signs inside a tunnel. I turned 5m too early and did a full 360 back to the correct cone. I can be so stupid! Back in 5th I passed back up to the front and settled back in. At 30k Greg Bennett surged past. I kept him in site but couldn’t keep pace. When we got to the tunnel again it was even harder to see than before. We were supposed to go through the tunnel and then turn right to go to transition, but I passed the turn before I saw it, and again the pack behind me went right by while I did a 540 degree turn to the left. What made my stupidity feel worse were the volunteers shouting, “you need to pay attention!” Thanks bra. I still managed to have the fastest bike split.
Coming out of T2 I started the run having already lost the gap I’d put on Javier Gomez I hung on for 30 seconds, which felt like 3 minutes, then found myself running in 7th with a large gap behind. I lost a lot of ground on the hills, which I just don’t train for, and with a mile to go I was passed, then Chris Foster caught me (with the fastest run split) at 1/4 mile to go, putting me in 9th.
I’m really happy to have raced, despite a few small mistakes. My cycling ability was a big question mark coming in, but it looks like I must be doing something right. I know I can swim well when I don’t have a broken wrist, and I definitely will run faster when in not at the end of a tough training block. Next week I’ll be racing the Toyota US Open Triathlon in Dallas.