After a typical race warm up (some light biking and a swim), we lined up and got ready to go. Off the gun, one swimmer pulled out in front, and set a pretty fast pace that no one decided to match. He went off the front, but the rest of us (Mikael, Alex, Jack, and I) formed a pack and pretty much kept it steady for the whole 750m. Out of the water, we were all together.
After a short but steep uphill to the main road, we began to battle it out on the bike. Jack moved to the front pretty early on, and none of us matched his pace. He pulled ahead, and the remaining three of us stayed pretty close the whole ride. I seemed to be in the front (of our group of 3) for most of the 20km...Alex moved ahead of me just after the turnaround (maybe to try and prompt a response that would help us close in on Jack), but we didn't catch Jack, and we all came into T2 pretty close together.
I've had people tell me over and over again..."it's all about the run" or "bike for show, run for the dough". Pretty much, you have to have a good run to be competitive when it counts. This wasn't my thing. In previous years, I've had a pretty big gap off the bike, but then got chased down on the run. It's easy enough to say "just match their pace when they catch you", but that never happened, and I usually lost it in the run.
This race was a bit different. You see, I kinda got tired of being run down, so I got faster at running over the winter (and stayed injury free). So when Alex and Mikael caught me at 2km in, I just tucked into their group and stayed with them. This turned the race into a 3 WAY SHOWDOWN (for 2'nd)!!! We all ran together for the next 2km. It was almost a surreal experience...it was super fun to be hanging with both these guys, battling it out head to head. With 1km to go, I was feeling pretty good, so I tossed in a bit of a surge. I ran hard for maybe 10 seconds, which proved to separate our 3 man pack. Mikael got gapped, but Alex stuck with me. After re-grouping with Alex, I did another surge, but he was able to respond again. Then he attacked, and put me on the ropes. I stayed with him for a bit, but eventually a gap opened, and that was it.
This was probably the most fun I've ever had at a race. It was really exciting racing, and also a super supportive atmosphere. Mettle Multisport (who I have started coaching with) was out in big numbers at the race, and it was great to cheer on all the Mettle athletes, and also have them cheering for me. It was also great to be out racing with my girlfriend Catalina (who had a great race after returning from injury), and to have the support of her whole family.
Thanks also goes to Multisport Canada for their continued support (and for hosting a great event), and to eLoad nutrition for keeping me fueled in training and racing.
|Exiting the water|
|All smiles post race|