15 March, 2009
1st overall amateur
The best part of my weekend was no doubt the fact that my dad's cousin and her family hosted me at their home in Ft Lauderdale. They took me to and from the airport, fed me, gave me a great bed to sleep in, fed me, shuttled me to and from the race site, cheered for me, and fed me. Words cannot express my gratitude towards Tina, Brett, Tyler and Brittany. Thank you guys.
Saturday, the day before the race, I felt okay. I was finishing up a pretty heavy training block, so I was anxious to test out my racing abilities slightly tired. A good hour ride on Saturday loosened up my joints and got me ready to kick the tires and light the fires...yeehaw. Sunday, at approximately 5am, my adopted family shuttled me down I-95 towards Miami. On the way, we passed a "gentleman's club," which was still thriving with activity...at 5am. Bienvenidos a Miami, for sure.
We had to deposit our children, errr, bicycles, the day before the race, so the set up on race morning was fairly simple. I go for a quick jog warm up and throw on my awesome new Zoot wetsuit, the Zenith 2.0. I warm up for a few minutes in the water and get ready to lay the hammer down. The last instructions that were given to the Elite Amateur wave were to swim to the left of the big buoys, which I did. After about 200m, I had a nice gap on the rest of the field, and proceeded to hammer the rest of the 1500m. I swim to the left of the last buoy, as instructed, and exited the water with a nice 1:40 lead, give or take. As I am running up the beach, I hear my cousin, fans and race officials yelling at me to go back into the water, and swim the RIGHT of the last buoy, which was a good 30m away. Bummer. I came onto the beach the first time in about 17:30, so my little detour cost me about 1:15, which as fate would have it, still allowed me to be first out of the water. Onto T1.
The bike course was a two loop, out and back adventure on the Rickenbacker Causeway, towards Key Biscayne. Traveling west, towards mainland, we had a nice tailwind, almost direct. Traveling east, towards the Key, was a not-so-nice headwind. Oh well, everyone had to deal with it. My Kestrel Talon SL, thanks to Steve Harad, performed wonderfully. It was my first race on this machine, and she was nice. I bike the second loop in roughly 90 seconds faster than the first loop, which got me pumped for the run. Onto T2.
Matt Reed and Andy Potts were about to finish their first 5k loop when I started the run, as their wave left about six minutes before mine. It was fun pretending I was ahead of them for at least a little while, and when Matty caught me before I started my second loop, reality sunk in: I had another 5k to go, but at least I held them off for three miles (please include sarcasm). The run itself was beautiful, with some decent shade and views of the Bay. Last year, I was caught in the last half mile of the run by a Gazelle, and got second place. This year, I was looking over my shoulder, probably too often, nervous of a repeat of last year's efforts. I held my own this year and broke the tape to earn the W.
I'm already back to fairly intense training in preparation for my next race, which is the St Anthony's triathlon on April 26th. See you then,