I thought I should write a race report before I forget more of the details from this last weekend. Each Ironman that I race, I find another piece or two to "the puzzle" of having a great race. This time was no exception. Improvement is ALWAYS good and this race was just that. It was my first top 10 professional finish, it was a PR on a tough course and it is the first time that I have qualified to race in Kona as an elite.
All week everyone worried about the water temperature being too cold, but when we arrived at the start line on Sunday morning, it was back up to 59*F...perfect temp to me. The swim started off pretty well considering it was a beach start...I don't do well with those. I missed the front group of guys that broke away, but ended up in the second pack about 4:45 behind. There was a wicked current that seemed to push us all over the place, so everyone came out a bit slow. I exited the water in 9th and hustled through T1 to make it out onto the bike in 7th.
Onto the bike I felt pretty good. I was really looking forward to the ride, as it is similar to what I have been training in. I let a few guys go, who were HAMMERING the first section, and just stayed steady. Having my Power Tap is a HUGE key to doing this. I stuck to my plan and rode along in 9th or 10th spot for most of the ride. I started to bring back time on a few guys up the road, but at about mile 70 I started to get tired. I just tried to take advantage of the downhills, stay aero where I could and keep on top of my nutrition. I wasn't sure what was going on, but I just stayed positive and in the moment. The last 20mi were back into the wind and this section was pretty tough for me.
I got off the bike in 10th and was soon out on the run with Olly Piggin. We chatted a bit in the first few miles and had similar paces. The effort and pace seemed good, but I didn't have the rhythm that I wanted. I hoped that I would find my groove and could settle in. I was pulling back time on the guys up the road, but then the wheels started to come off a bit. I knew I was in 9th or 10th, so I just focused on running as strong as I could. I was happy with my ability to not back off mentally when it got tough, this is easy to do. Soon, I was in the last mile (a looooooong downhill that feels awesome on the legs) and before I knew it, I was done.
I want to thank all my family, friends and sponsors who support and believe in me and my future in the sport. Timex, The Trek Store Madison, Blue Seventy, Coffee's of Hawaii, Twin Six, SaltStick, Berkeley Running Company in Madison and my coach, Kurt Perham, for all his guidance.
I want to give a huge shout out to the Fortis family for hosting me. You guys are awesome!! I also want to thank Sue Hutter and her family for setting everything up and always making sure that I had everything that I needed.
One more fun fact: Tom Evans, who won, is 14yrs my senior :) Needless to stay I am just beginning!!!
Next up is Ironman Wisconsin on Sept 7 and Kona on Oct 11!!