Erin and I took off Sunday afternoon for Austin. We took care of the usual pre-race stuff and I got a chance to sit down with my coach Zane Castro to go over the race plan. After that Erin and I were off to dinner with training partner Robbie Wade (robbiewade1.blogspot.com) and his fiancée Heather. We even got to see the legendary bats of Austin (literally thousands of bats flying out from under a bridge). Then I prepped the bike for racing and I headed to bed.
Monday morning started off with temperatures a little cooler than normal which was most definitely welcomed with all the heat we’ve been having. I knew in this race it was going to be important for me to get out quick as there were several guys in the race I could out swim but they have killer closing runs. I had a solid swim and came out of the water around 9th in around 22 minutes with over 30 guys in the Elite/Open wave. The fastest swimmers were 3 minute in front of me so I knew I had my work cut out.
I made it through transition smoothly and was out on the bike. The bike was a three loop course with hills and plenty of turns. This course definitely makes it a challenge to settle into a rhythm. I passed around 4 people on the bike and ended up finishing in just over an hour and improving my position.
Out on the run it took me a mile to really get into rhythm. The course had a couple out and backs which I like, it gives you the opportunity to gauge where your competition is. By mile two of the run I had passed two guys in front of me but by mile four running studs Robbie Wade and Joe Thorne closed on me and went by. I tried to respond but didn’t have it in the legs. A little over a half mile before the finish there is an out and back and at the turn around I could see Derek Yorek was closing on me fast. I picked it up a notch and waited for him to catch me. He passed me with about a ¼ mile to go and I made my move to latch on. I kept stride with him to the finish but he had a little more in the tank then me. He out kicked me to finish about five feet in front.
When the dust had settled it turned out 3 guys in front of me accidently went off course and were disqualified This bumped me up to 6th place which made Derek’s out kicking me at the end sting a little more because 5th place was the last money spot. Overall I was happy with my performance. I still thinking I’m just starting to scratch the surface on what I’m capable of doing. A big shout out to James Bonney for the overall win, Robbie for finishing in the money (4th) and D’ Ann Arthur for taking the overall women’s title. D’ Ann is another one of Zane’s athletes and is having a heck of a year!
Congrats to all the Trisition Area Troopers out there (Orissa, Brian, Carlos, Luis, Vish, Charanya, Bonni, Raul, Matt, and many more)! I saw a ton of Orange and had a blast cheering everyone on.