Thursday, December 6, 2012

Season Finish!

OK, the following is a much overdue race report and season recap.  August and September are challenging months in South Texas!  Growing up in Iowa the winters are long and seem to never end.  Well in San Antonio you get the opposite; wonderful winter training but a brutally long hot summer.  By the time August rolls around you are well into 3-4 months of hot and the end is not in site.  The challenge for a South Texas triathlete is making the last couple months count.  I’ll give myself an award for improvement as this summer I finished much better than last summer but I still have a ways to go!
After racing in the TX3 Series last year and being impressed by both the race quality and great competition I put the entire series on my calendar in 2012. The series consist of three races, two Olympics and a Sprint sandwiched in between.  I was pleased with my 5th place showing at Kemah (race report here) the first race and even more thrilled with my win at the second race Bridgeland Tri.  Bridgeland was especially satisfying because I was battling the entire race. From the swim to the bike and into the run I was in the mix with a group of 4-5 guys.  We were throwing punches back and forth the entire race (figuratively, though the swim was roughJ) with guys covering and countering.  Finally once off the bike and onto the run I put in a good surge the first mile gapping the other guys and giving me enough breathing room to hold on for the win and fastest run prime!
Mid-September I added a last minute race, Trifecta Triathlon.  The race was hosted at the beautiful Possum Kingdom Lake about 90 minutes west of Dallas.  The race director put up a great first year pro prize purse so myself with two other pros from San Antonio (Mark Saroni and Robbie Wade) headed to Possum Kingdom to battle it out.  Well needless to say I was a little off this day and Snapple teammate Robbie Wade was red-hot.  Robbie and I swam together the entire swim and then headed out on the bike to chase down race leader Peter Mallet.  Peter’s an excellent Pro racing out of Austin by way of New Hampshire.  By the turn-around of the bike Robbie and I had caught Peter and now the three of us were challenging for the lead.  We broke away from Peter then Robbie broke me the last few miles.  The run was brutal; I was fighting cramps and checking my watch the entire time, complete survival!  In the end I was able to hold off Peter and a hard charging Mark Saroni, for second place.  San Antonio pros swept the podium (Robbie 1st, Me 2nd, and Mark 3rd).  We all headed home happy with money in the pockets!
Fast forward two weeks and I was in East Texas for the Houston Triathlon and TX3 series finale.  Two other pros and I were all within striking distance of each other for the series win making this race very interesting.  Mother Nature showed up on the night before the race in the form of heavy rains and athletes showed up that morning to find out the bike had been cancelled due to wet conditions. This was a tough call by the race director but the correct call for athlete safety.  Cancelling the bike added some stress to my race strategy.  Looking down the list of starting athletes, I was looking for guys that had a strong swim and run combo.  Not having the bike leg to make up for any lost time from the swim (my weakest leg) concerned me.  I knew Peter Mallet was going to be one of the favorites to watch as he has a fast swim and closes well on the run. In the end I pulled out a great race.  I swam where I normally do coming out of the water with 4-5 guys in front of me.  Most of the guys I chased down within the first mile however Peter was really making me work.  I caught him around mile 5 and slowly put enough of a gap in too cross the finish line the winner!
At the end of the day I won the race with the fastest run prime, took the overall series win, and a nice cash purse.