Monday, April 27, 2009

St. Anthony's Race Report

Where’s the swim? As I’m walking towards the transition area I hear the announcer state that they’ve decided to cancel the swim for all of the amateur athletes. The wind is blowing @ 30mph and they can’t launch the kayakers into the water to monitor all of the competitors. The race has been adjusted for the first time in its 26yr history. The new format will be that each athlete will go off in 2 second intervals running from the swim exit into T2 to start the bike leg followed by the run. The swim report from the pros was mixed following the race, with some including Andy Potts stating that it was the hardest swim of their careers, while others didn’t think it was that bad. Fellow Timex teammate and friend, Andrew Hodges, had a great quote regarding the swim, “I spent the entire time either trying to swim or trying not to drown…”. I fully respect the decision of the race organizer as he’s responsible for 3,800+ athletes’ lives. It was still a bit disappointing as its very rare to get an elite amateur wave of 78 in 1 place and it would have been fun to swim, bike, and run, but it wasn’t in the cards.I had the orders from the coach to let it go on the bike and reach for a new power output level. It was an interesting ride, but I had held the average of 300watts thru mile 21 that my coach Paul had prescribed, then the pack rolled up. It’s a tough setup when there’s no swim to break up things and the level of talent is pretty similiar. It was what it was, unfortunately. I came into the bike to run transition feeling like I had biked extremely hard and I had managed to put out a PR power output that was over 20watts higher then I’ve ever done for that distance. I was pleased but I knew the run was going to be a drag race with guys like Eric Bell and Vinnie Monseau ready to rip it up. They ran 32:47 and 32:51 respectively! Not bad for a 30 and 40yr old. These dudes can run. I was second body out of transition, but due to the timetrial format, I had no idea where I stood. I was able to attain 1st body for approximately .25m before Eric went blasting by. I had no chance of holding him and I was just trying to focus on keeping him in sight. About a .5 mile later Javier Beuzeville went galloping by. I could have sworn this 21yr old speedster was going to catch and surpass Eric, but as he ran up along side, they settled in stride for stride until mile 3. I had the best seat in the house to witness this duel. It always fascinates me to watch really good runners battle. At mile mile 3, Eric put in a surge and it was over. He had broken him. He ended up running :40 seconds faster then Javier on the day and was 1st body over the finish line. I was just trying to find a rythm and keep a decent cadence going. Coach Paul had instructed me to run with the runners, but the individuals that had gone past me were just too fast for me to hold. I saw friend and teammate, Ian Ray, a little after the turnaround and he yelled that I had 50 meters on the guy behind me. At mile 4, Vinnie Monseau ran up along side. We chatted for a few seconds, then he continued his push. I jumped on his shoulder for all of 10secs before the gap formed. I tried to regain my own rythm and focus for the last 2 miles. As I approached mile 5, I started looking down at the road and focusing on the next 10feet in front of me. This was the first time I have had to resort to that strategy since my Ironman racing. I was hurting and just trying to keep some sort of form. Finally, I was able to will my sorry butt across the finish line. I ended up running a personal best 10k of 34:05 and due to the timetrial format I was the overall winner, even though I was 4th body across the line. I’m happy with my effort, but it’s really unfortunate that the race format was modified.

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