Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Blake Defends & WINS the 2006 Muncie Endurathon

“The Becker Buzz”

July 15, 2006

Blake Defends & WINS the 2006 Muncie Endurathon

Swim: 30:09 Bike: 2:11:52 Run: 1:26:38 Finish 4:10:47

After 8 solid weeks of training, it was time to rest and then test my fitness at the 2006 Muncie Endurathon Half Ironman in Muncie, IN. This year was different then last. When I won the race last year, no one really thought that I would be in contention for the win. This year I was the defending champion and wore the number one. I tried not to give it much thought and though I had only been training at Ironman intensity I was confident in my abilities. I just told myself to trust my fitness and race my own race.

The race started off on a high note with the non-wetsuit swim. I knew that the swim was usually a bit long and thought it would be a good pre-IM test to see if I could stick with the lead group of faster swimmers by taking the swim out hard. The gun went off and I held my ground and stayed with them for about 1k of the swim. Though I lost the feet of those in the group I stayed close and exited the swim only 20sec down. After a speedy transition I managed to get out onto the bike with the group.

I was confident in my ability to ride well and with my Zipp 606 wheelset built up with a Powertap SL, I knew that I could dial into my exact Half Ironman race effort. Once onto the rolling course I had shed all but one other rider and had to make a decision. Do I attempt to ride away or do I hold my effort and just ride steady with him? Well, I decided to lift the effort slightly and started pulling away. I felt good and reached the 45k mark in just over 64min. We turned back into the wind and it was decision time again. Do I keep riding hard or do I back off a touch? I was riding in second and was up about 60sec on 3rd. I decided to hold a steady effort and then pick it up in the last 10k.

In retrospective, this may have been a bit of a mistake. I didn’t realize that I was almost 4min ahead of 3rd at the 80k mark and could have just rode steadily into T2. The lead cyclist, who is a fantastic swimmer/biker but not so strong of a runner had only gained 30sec on the ride and was about 3min up the road.




I exited T2 with a water bottle to help me stay honest through the first mile of the race. I felt good despite temperatures that were now climbing into the 90’s and took the lead at just over 2 miles into the race. It seemed that as soon as I took the lead, the cramps started creeping in. I was running alright, but spending 10-15sec in each aid station getting in the calories and sodium that I needed. I knew that I wasn’t going to run to my potential today, so it was all about doing as well as I could.

I ended up getting caught at mile 10, but hung tough. I stayed about 5-10sec behind the new leader until about mile 12. It was then that blisters and the heat started to creep in and I knew that I wouldn’t cross the line first.

However, after finishing I was surprised to learn that the athlete that crossed in first, had received a 4min penalty and I would be only the third athlete to win a second straight Muncie Endurathon in the 27 year history of the race.

Now I have a few days of recovery before I race the Boulder Peak Triathlon next Sunday. Thanks again to everyone that supports me in my racing and training. Please visit my website(www.blakebecker.com) to stay up to date on the latest “Becker Buzz” and check out the links to my sponsors. Talk to you all soon!!!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Update

Well, I am sitting here in a hotel in Muncie, IN waiting, waiting, waiting until tomorrow morning when I will try to have another good race here at the Muncie Endurathon. The race organization has done an awesome job again this year in putting together what looks to be another great race. They also were nice enough to put me up in a very nice place.

This year will again be competetive with the athletes, but there is an additional challenge of heat and humidity forecast for tomorrow. I have not rested like this in a long time, so I hope that means that I will have a good day.

After the race I am hoping to be able to recover well enough to do a local sprint race on Sunday...I know, if you are an athlete you know that this is not the BEST idea, but you have to do what you have to do, for a shot at a paycheck!

I will post results and a report after the weekend. Hope all is well with everyone. Time to get some rest.