On Saturday morning I headed over to Lake Guntersville for the Mountain Lakes Triathlon. Like the Music City Tri a couple of weeks ago, this was another Team Magic race with a $1700 prize purse. The differences were that this is a sprint and it is located a little closer to home. Close enough that I actually got to sleep in my own bed the night before.
As usual in the Team Magic races, a TT start was on tap for this morning. Unlike last year though, Timex teammate and uber swimmer Bruce Gennari was starting ahead of my rather than behind. He has won this race a few times in the past so my main focus was to try to catch him before the finish and hold off others from behind.
The college kids went off first so Bruce at #38 was one of the first non-collegiates to start. About 20 seconds later I barreled into the water wearing #44. After navigating around some of the college kids I came out the lake and sprinted into T1, hoping to at least catch a glimpse of Bruce. He was exiting as I was entering so I was pleased that I had mitigated the damage on the swim.
Out on the bike I just wanted to keep it close. After passing the last of the college kids and fast swimmers, I could occasionally see Bruce up ahead on the long stretches of the road. Nearing the end of the bike, a couple people caught and passed me. The first, Jay McCurdy, was #42, so I knew all I had to do was out run him for the win. The second guy caught me with about half a mile to go but he was #70, meaning I’d have to put some time into him on the run to make sure I had a enough of a cushion to cover the starting time gap.
After a quick T2, Jay and I were out on the run with #70, Joseph Welch, a bit behind. I passed Jay about at about the ¾ of a mile mark and set my sights on Bruce. By about mile 1.25 I had reeled him in, giving him a nice slap on the ass for his efforts. My only worry now was the aforementioned #70. The run was an out and back so I got a check on the gap and it appeared I’d be OK. Of course you never know. I wasn’t feeling particularly great on the run but maintained my pace and hoped it would be good enough for the win.
After finishing, I waited for a couple of minutes for #70 to cross the line and after some quick math, realized I had probably held on for the 'W'. Sure enough, I was first while Jay barely held off Joe to take 2nd. Too bad they didn’t start together… it would’ve been an awesome finish!
Full results can be found here.