Compared to most of my race reports, this one is going to be very brief.
I like these small, reverse-order, sprint distance races because it is truly is a race. We all start at the same time and if you pay attention and are good at counting, you can find out your position at any given time during the race.
One the race started it took about 30 seconds for a group of five guys to take off at a blistering pace on the 5K run. I was running around 6:30/mile pace and they were leaving me behind. A chase group of about 5 or 6 of us settled in and watched them extend their lead. The lead group was down to three at the turn-around with the rest of us stretched out behind them. After running the Rodes City Run 10K the day before, my legs just didn't have the speed that I had hoped. I finished the 5K in 21:34 (6:56/mile) and came into T1 in 10th place.
I always make up precious seconds in the sprint races with quick transitions and yesterday was no exception. After coming into T1 in 10th, I pulled off a 29 second T1 (third fastest out of everyone) and managed to start the bike in 7th place overall.
I knew that I had some ground to make up and as I started to push the cranks on the bike, I could see two guys up the road ahead of me. I made it a goal to catch them and I managed to pass both of them about 3/4 of the way through the first loop of the the two-loop, 12 mile bike course. At the very end of the first loop, I managed to catch 5th place as well. I pushed hard on the second loop as I wanted to put as much time as possible between myself and 5th place as I knew he was a good swimmer. I finished the bike in 30:09 (23.9 mph), good enough for the fourth fastest bike split and to put me in 4th place overall entering T2.
My one minute and seven second T2 was faster than anyone else and helped me put a little more time on 5th place. I credit my fast T2 to the fact that despite the 30 degree weather, I didn't wear pants, a jacket or even arm warmers on the bike. Not having to take all of this gear off in T2 makes it a lot quicker transition!
As I entered the pool I did a quick survey and saw that first and second place were nearly half-way through the 400 yard swim. Third place was a lane behind them and I entered to pool two and a half lanes behind him. My swim is still coming along after taking seven months off from swimming after my son was born last August (getting out of the house to get to a pool is tough with four kids!), so I knew that I was not going to catch third place. I also knew that the guy in fifth place would probably only need about two lanes to catch me. I started strong and kept glancing back to see where it was. He entered the water about 30 seconds after me...so it was only a matter of time. He caught me about 200 yards in and never looked back. I didn't see anyone else coming behind me, so I knew that I was going to hold 5th place. My swim split ended up being 7:03.5 (1:46 /100 yards). I know that with some more time in the water, I can improve this by about 30 seconds, but I ended up finishing 35 seconds behind 4th place, so it could have been a close one at the finish if I was in better swim shape!
My overall time was 1:00:24, which was exactly a second faster than last year in this race. I finished 1st in my Age Group and 5th Overall.
Congrats to the two guys battling it out for the win. There ended up only being 23 seconds between 1st and 2nd....pretty exciting racing!
I finished 5th Overall in the February race as well. So at this point, shy of some people not showing up for the April finally, I will not be defending my Series Championship. Either way, I'm excited to see how things unfold!
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Wishing you optimal health and peak performance,