New Orleans 70.3 proved to be one tough race! Although that course CAN be very fast, this weekend it was not! We were greeted to a long swim, and Kona like conditions on the bike and run. Luckily I love hot and humid conditions which these were……could have done without the wind though!
Being the first Tri of the season, it’s always exciting to pull a race together and see what the outcome will be. This was no different. Off the starting gun, I was able to go off the front of the pack and then settle into a rhythm. A group of 3 outpaced me immediately and I was then forced to swim alone between that group of 3 and the rest of the pack. It was actually quite nice to swim alone with zero “contact” the whole swim. Having said that, I came out of the water 4th in my wave with a pretty darn good swim time relative to the field. I swam 30:xx which on a day where the fastest times were 24:xx….I’ll take it!
Onto the bike……I began executing my race fueling plan without a hitch. I did notice the heat though and began taking fluid beyond what my plan calls for until I pee’d once on the bike. The bike was very flat, hot and very windy. I knew immediately after the first turn around that the goal outcome of a 2:15 ride wouldn’t be possible so I readjusted and pedaled 90-92 rpm into the wind. I then came off the bike in 2:23:xx which I was happy with given the conditions and early season event.
Onto the run…..again with the heat and wind I knew my goal outcome run time wouldn’t happen so readjusted my pacing plan to go out at 6:18 and hold that as long as possible. I held it very well until about mile 10 where it slid to about 6:35 through the finish. This had me average 6:25 on my Garmin and not a bad run split given the conditions and early season event. Total run was 1:25:xx. What a nice finish line area in the French Quarter! Just a huge field of 2500+ made this race an interesting one. I ended up as the 5th amateur in 4:23 being bested by Chris Casey, one of the athletes I coach who had a stellar day finishing 4th. He has a ton of talent and will have a phenomenal season given where his training is now. Other beatings I took by the athletes I coach were Tim Snow as usual, and for the first time (since the late 90s), Cait Snow! This one I couldn’t be happier about since her progress is a reflection that what we are doing, is doing its job. Again, it’s going to be a great season for her since we still have dials left to turn going into the season.
Our other QT2 athletes had fantastic days as well producing multiple PRs even with the tough conditions. A couple of exceptions including a QT2 guy who almost chopped his fingers off by reaching for his speed sensor on the bike, and one other due to the race organization running out of Gatorade/fluid for the second half of the bike and run.
I couldn’t be happier with the race results we had at NOLA, California 70.3, and Lone Star, among others this weekend! Off to a great start……
Next up: St Croix 70.3 where my goal outcome will be 4:35 and a top 3 amateur placing.