Well, race day came and went like a dream. It’s like it never happened…I was in CA for less than 48 hours. In on Thursday night and red eye back following the race on Saturday. I must have done it though, my name is on the results list!
WHAT A RACE. This race is one of the nicest half’s I’ve seen given the fact that the weather cooperated. Having said that, the swim is rough and very cold and the bike is very tough.
It was great to get the triathlon season kicked off this early in the season and I didn’t fully except the fact that I was actually racing until we were rolling into transition in the pitch dark to the sound of Greg Welch commentating the early morning race run down. It was time to race!
The swim was rough and not too good for me. Never really found any feet to follow and my left hand was so cold I couldn’t make a clean paddle to swim with. Instead, I had a snarled claw that I was trying to use as a paddle. With that, I ended up coming out about 1 minute slower than I would have liked.
The first 24 miles of this bike course was very fast. My cycling computer kept resetting so ended up having to ride blind with nothing more than cadence all day. I thought I had averaged about 23.5 through those first 24 miles which was good. Following that, we made the turn east into camp Pendleton and with that hit the first of many tough climbs. I had no clue it would be this hilly of a course. Some very steep and moderately long climbs combined with a head wind made it one of the toughest half iron bike courses I have ever ridden. Overall, I felt great and don’t think I could have ridden much faster. After looking at the results, it appears most people were about 6-8 minutes slower this year compared to last which makes me feel a bit better about it.
This was a great, fast run course along the beach. My run goal going into this race was to average 6:15 starting with the first mile at 6:00 pace. Using the garmin I was able to pace the first loop of the run at 6:07 which was dead on target….if I could just hold things together for the second loop. The second loop was tough and I had to dig deep but was able to manage 6:14 average for the whole run which turned out to be the 3rd fastest amateur run time of the day. I was happy with that. There were so many people out on the course though that I had no idea of where I was place wise. 5th AG is where I ended up in 4:31:XX. As I had suspected, it was tight up front with 2nd through 5th coming in within 3.5 minutes of one another. 1st was another 5 minutes up so I never really had a shot at Kona. I’m fine with that since I didn’t expect one here anyhow. That slot is all on Lake Placid for me now.
Tim and Cait also had great days against a very tough field which made my day.
Next up: Devilman Half with a flat, fast course! Can’t wait!