I had a decent entry into the water, especially considering all my prior races this season started in the water. I wasn’t quite able to stick with the top girls as they took off from the start, but I found myself in a good solid group. I had clear (but choppy) water until the fourth or fifth buoy where we started to catch the waves in front of us. It was a little bit of a “gong show” as all the waves started to get mixed up. As I made the turnaround, I got a little disorientated and swam a little off course. The buoys on the way back to shore were really hard to see with the swell, but I did my best to swim in a straight line back to shore.
|Finishing up the swim|
I held a decent pace and effort until about the 60km mark when I really started to tighten up. In retrospect I have never ridden that far in the aero position. Training in Vancouver, there is always plenty of elevation changes, but in Florida, it was dead flat. I spent the last 30km trying to find a comfortable position to ride in, but unfortunately, I lost quite a bit of speed and momentum.
T2 went smoothly and I was off on the run. The run in Clearwater was a two loop course that went up and over the causeway four times. I wasn’t feeling fabulous on the run, but I tried to keep a high cadence and work the hills. The heat really started getting to me towards the end of the run and I probably didn’t have nearly enough fuel as I mostly stuck with water at the aid stations.
I had a solid finish of 4:55:08, which was good enough for a 5min PB and 35th in my age group (Swim 27:52, Bike 2:33.52, Run 1:48.18). Had I been healthy, I am confident I could have been faster, but I will take a PB for now.
|Mark and I relaxing at the beach post race|
I also wouldn’t have enjoyed the journey nearly as much without my fabulous training buddies. Special thanks goes out to the NSTC crew, especially Team S, Steph O, Allison and all the others who kept me company for all the early morning workouts and long training weekends.