The Becker Buzz...

“The Becker Buzz”
California 70.3 Race Report
March 29, 2008


This last weekend I raced the first important race of the 2008 season at the California 70.3 Half Ironman. I came into the race with 5 days rest as I started my taper for Ironman Arizona on April 13th.

Training has been going well and I hadn’t been below 20hrs of training per week since the middle of December. Needless to say I was anxious to see what I could do.

Race morning brought cool temperatures in the low 50’s, but not as cold as they could have been. The water was also a chilly 60*, which hurt the face a little bit upon getting in. I had my new Blue Seventy TST Wetsuit which is much improved over last year and I felt ready to go.

We only had about 5-8min of warm-up before the gun went off, which I don’t think was enough for me. I moved to the second row of athletes and keyed off of a few others who I thought were slightly faster swimmers. Today, they were more than that. The horn sounded and the effort was not hard, but I couldn’t get the arms to turn over like I needed. Within 300 meters I was off the back and I thought I was in “no-man’s land”……until the turn buoy when I flipped on my back to check out the situation and saw I was pulling a group of over 20 athletes. As I rounded the second turn buoy, I had NO idea where I was going and proceeded to turn 90* the wrong direction (sorry guys). This actually ended up benefiting me. Lewis Elliot took the lead and proceeded to sit in on his feet, as I had no idea where we were going. We exited in a little bit over 27 minutes. But about 2:30 back from the first pack.

Out of the water and onto the bike. My Trek TTX 9.9 SSL and Wireless Powertap SL was showing me the wattage that I was hoping for. I rode steady out to hills, passing 10-15 athletes on the way. Once through the tough climbs, I was greeted with a stiff headwind back to transition. Normal Power for the ride was 308 watts. This is 28 watts higher than I have seen in the past and a huge jump for me.

I took off onto the run with a few other athletes and found the first few miles a bit tough, but at mile 3 things got better. I was still off of my goal pace, but not by much. I ran the next 5 miles at about 5:55 per mile, but soon I had a few twinges and had to back off a bit. I managed to pass a few more athletes to finish with a run of 1:20 and a finish time of 4:15. It was good enough for 17th place overall.

This was not a bad way to start the season at all and I have been able to gather a lot of confidence from this race in knowing that I can compete with almost any athlete on that start line.

After the race I attended my Timex Team Camp is Carlsbad, CA and had a great time catching up with old teammates and meeting a few new ones. We have a great support team this year which includes great managers and new sponsors including Trek, Powerbar, Bontrager, Powertap(Saris), Rudy Project, Timex and TP Massage Rollers.

I also want to thank my homestay in Cali, Sergio Gurrieri. Your hospitality was much appreciated. Now I had about 10 days to Ironman Arizona. Be sure to check out live coverage at www.ironman.com on April 13th, starting at 6:45am Pacific.

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