Last Wednesday the wife and I packed up the Nissan for the long haul up to Kansas via Dallas. After a day in Dallas we were rested and mentally fresh to tackle the 7.5hour journey up to Lawrence, Kansas. I tell ya, I don't think I will ever do that drive again! After 4 hours in the car I turn into a 3 year old.
We arrived at our homestay's place mid evening and they were fantastic. Just want to give a huge thanks to the Patrick family for taking us in over the weekend. You guys made us feel so welcome. Look forward to seeing you again next year.
Saturday afternoon was the race meeting and I thought I had cherry picked this race. With eagleman (highest paying race), Alctraz, Boise, UK 70.3 going on it appeared this race was the one to go to early on. Wrong, race meeting was packed with Aussies and lots of other superstars. Race day was not going to be easy with names like Bell, Tim O'Donnell, Marsh, Paul Matthews, and a handful of other top athletes.
SWIM: Race morning arrived too quickly and before i knew it I was in the water waiting for the gun. BANG! I wanted to be very aggressive in the opening 200m to establish a position high up so I didn't get dropped off the lead swim pack like at Wildflower. I found a good draft and hung on to the front pack of 6 or 7 guys coming out of the water. T1 was pretty shocking and I came out 5 seconds to late and missed the front pack on the ride.
RIDE: I rode as hard as I could for the first 7 miles trying to catch and realized it just was not going to happen. I slowed up and waited for my local buddy, Brandon Marsh, to come up so we could ride strong together. Eventually we rode up to an athlete who lost contact with the main bunch. We soon dropped him and we riding strong. Tim DeBoom rode up to us and hung out for a while and then slowly started opening up a gap with Marsh. At about mile 45my opening effort plus the constant rollers left me hurting. I lost contact with Marsh and DeBoom and really had to stay focused so I wouldn't lose anymore time.
RUN: The goal for Kansas was to swim and ride as strong as I could and then open up and see what I could do on the run. My biking has been geared around big gear work to get strong and be able to run strong off the bike. After mile one I slowly started picking up my pace as my legs were coming back. I caught up to Marsh and DeBoom at the bottom of the hill and decided..what the heck, lets go for it and see what happens. I slowly opened up a small gap and just tried to hold on. By mile 6 I could see Paul Matthews and Stephen Hackett up the road. I tried to pick up the pace to see if I could get a podium spot. 3 miles to go and I picked off Hackett. Matthews was out of sight but not out of mind. I tried to pull a Craig Alexandar but I was feeling the hurt. With 3/4 of a mile to go I finally saw Matthews 200m up the road. I tried to punch it but there was nothing. Finished 4th at the line with a 1:14 half marathon PB on a course that was said to be accurate. Austin athletes represented with 6th (Marsh) and 9th (Evoe) overall in the pro men field. In the woman's field, Amy Marsh scored fourth overall. Team Marsh always dominates.
Rest, recover, and race pace specific training have been the key in helping me get back into competitive form. I still bike like sh*t but I felt fresh at the start line instead of feeling tired and worn out. I hope to be more competitive in future races. 4th place is not a podium, but this race was special to me because I had my ego bruised pretty badly this year. It allowed me to see a light. Hopefully I can better my Kansas performance up the road.
Quick thank you to Matt Dixon at Purple Patch, Matt Lieto, Chris Lieto at Base, K-Swiss for sweet shoes. I'm very lucky to be size 9 because i have a pair of the new flats and they are AWESOME. Thank you Team Timex for you support. Thank you Jack Murray and Justin at Aqua Sphere.
pics will be up soon!