The pre race meeting really set the tone for the race in Lubbock, TX. According to the race director, this race was not "starbucks" racing. It was old school racing! It would be hardcore and you didn't have to be too concerned about venomous snakes or any critters deciding to wander about on the course. I loved it! His attitude and story telling was fantastic.
I lined up race morning in my new Xterra Velocity++ suit that I received the morning of our departure. This is the first speedsuit I have owned that goes down to the ankles. Beautiful suit. Made sure I was close to Terenzo Bozzone and Stephen Hackett so I could jump on fast feet. I learned how much easier riding with group of guy is compared to riding solo. Making and getting out of the water with the top group is crucial for me. Gun went off and it was crazy start as usually to establish position at the front. I got it right and tucked right behind Terenzo who was tucked right behind Hackett. That is the way it would be until we jumped out of the water and onto the bikes.
I fumbled my way through transition and only just managed to jump on the group before we left the camp grounds. Chris Lieto was now in the pack with us riding and I knew it was going to be a very fast ride especially with Ben Hoffman and TJ Tollekson still behind us but charging hard. Around mile 6 Terenzo started pushing the pace so I rode up to second slot to hold my position. Not long after Lieto rode by and the pace picked up again, this time the pace jump hurt but I tried to stay tough as my ego was not letting me ease up. Around mile 9 TJ came flying by me like a possessed man! I've have never seen somebody go by as fast as he did. I was no riding solo and I could see Hoffman closing in on me when looking over my shoulder. I managed to yo yo back and forth until around mile 16 and then I cracked. The gap open to around 3-4 minutes when I arrived back to T2.
Once on the run I felt pretty good. From the splits I was getting I was bringing down the time to whom ever was in forth place. Started at 4 min and came down to 2:15 at the half way point. Once I hit the turn around, my pace made a fast around. I was struggling and knew I was becoming rather dehydrated. I was looking over my shoulder constantly even though my gap to 6th was around 5-6 minutes at the turn around. With 50m to go my wife was yelling at me. I though she just wanted me to look strong finishing. NOPE! I crossed the line and 5 seconds later Tim Reed crossed in 6th!! I stumbled around for a few minutes before I was taken to the med tent. In a matter of moment and needle was stuck into my arm and I received a liter of goodness.