- I get to sleep at home
- It comes at a great time of year, as I'm usually pretty fit
- Further, August is just an awesome month in general
- There are usually plenty of friends there, which makes for a good time post race
- It is short... 600m/16.2mi/3mi so it takes just over an hour
- The weather has been, surprisingly, pretty good
So we went.... after the relays. Nothing like some extra bodies to dodge in the water. After making it around the first turn and past most of the relay swimmers, I tried to find Bruce's yellow cap with the hope of at least having someone to pace off. Coming around the second turn, though, I was suddenly engulfed by a motorboat. A bit shocked, I jumped on the guy's feet and was semi- relieved to see it was Jacob Shults, one of the HS "kids" I used to swim with who now goes to Auburn.
As I got to my bike, Bruce was on his way out, so I knew he didnt have much time on me, which I was happy about. Out on the bike, I passed Jacob within the first mile and had Bruce in my sights. I caught him around mile 3 and went straight by. Apparently not fast enough, though, because to my surprise he came back by me a few miles later. I think he was just trying to be nice. I let him lead for about a minute, then repassed and rode the rest of the way on my own. I kept waiting/expecting someone to come from behind, but it never happened.
Its always good to start the run first but............. you never know when it is a TT start! So I took off running. I didnt feel great, so I just wanted to get to the turnaround and assess the damage. At the turn, I saw my closest competitor 1'20 after the turnaround. So, thats 2'40" back. He was number 15, which meant he started, at most, 30" after me. So, that still put me over 2' ahead. It also helped that said competitor was my doctor, Dr. John Krichev. He is a very solid runner, but I knew that as long as I kept running he'd have a hard time making up 2min in only 1.5 miles.
It was great to see the other competitors heading out as I was heading back, and I was definitely ready for the finish line. I crossed, and stopped my watch. But then I had to run back around to the start to watch the clock, just to make sure my earlier math was correct. It was close enough, and I was pretty confident I had the win. Results confirm this.
Post race gets better every year, as more and more people in and around Huntsville are getting into triathlons. Its pretty cool to see, but I'm just mildly disappointed that this TT style start is the first type of race they get to experience. But it should make the real thing that much better!
During the race I must say I didnt feel great. But, looking at my splits, I had PRs for both the bike AND the run on this course. (I dont bother with the swim, b/c it is always all over the place. But, I was only 13sec behind The Man, which I am not at all disappointed with.) Considering I've done this race in '08, '09, and '10, I was pretty stoked to see the improvement, especially since I did it from the front. Needless to say, I'm definitely feeling pretty good about IM Louisville, which is now less than two weeks away!!!! :-0