The morning started early as they usually do on race day. Slept well the night before. The weather was warmer this year, so the cold water didn't feel bad at all. This year I have new Visiontech aero bars, Zipp 606 wheels and a Louis Garneau Rocket helmet. Bike weighed in at 18.0 pounds (without tire and water bottle). Next year I am going to try to learn how to mount the bike bear footed. It takes me about 20 seconds to put shoes on - oh those precious seconds. I spent a lot more time in the pool year compared to the maybe 12 times last year. It paid off because I hardly pushed it and still managed a 22:25. Kept my heart rate much lower than last year. My positioning in the transition area was not the greatest, but I still did good at 2:00. Starting on the bike my legs felt strong. A bit cool being wet and raining, but that didn't last long. By the end of the first big climb about 4 miles in my legs were buring a bit, so I cut back so as not too burn out on the first half. That plan turned out to work well. Battled back and forth with Scott Fisher (Dr.) till about mile 12, then feeling very good started to push it a little more. Finished #1 in my age group at 1:09.27. Not bad for spending most all my winter and spring swimming and running. T2 was a little slower this year due to my positioning - 1:08. Then the run. I thought 'if I can get past that first steep hill off the bike without feeling like my legs would fall off, I could do ok. Well all that running was worth it. I powered up that hill feeling pretty good. I usually don't push the downhills that hard in training, but today I extended my stride and let it loose. Scott passed me around mile 2ish. I kept him in sight till the end. Mile 4 was the worst. I think it's mental because you know it's that last long hill and have a fair amount of downhill to follow. At mile 5 I was on pace to achieve my goal of 2:20.00. But I had to climb that last hill. I didn't psych myself out thinking I can't do it and powered up (slowly). It seemed shorter going up than down this time. Then it was to the flat open road to the finish. I really picked it up at mile 6 sprinting into the finish at 45.00. Very happy with that time, and overall 2:19.58. If only I could run a little faster, I could be very competitive. I think I can shave a couple minutes off my total time next year - mainly in the run. Well, off to Eagleman, my first half ironman.