I did well for my first Columbia race, and my third olympic distance. I trained a number of times on the course with the bike and a few on the run, this definitly helped out. (Thanks Jake!)
I did not do as well on the swim as I wished, but did within 30 seconds of my PR a month ago so I was pleased. I had my fair share of fun on the swim as I got stuck by someone grabbing my leg repeatedly (so not by accident) just after the first orange bouye. He is lucky I am a nice guy and did not kick him in the face. I also got stuck behind a few people that were swimming perpendicular to the course in front of me, corrected themselves, and two strokes later were perpendicular again. Practice spotting in open water!
No problems transitioning into my bike. My bike was 4 minutes slower than my race a month ago, but I figure that is because of the rain and the hills. The Columbia course is much hillier than my previous bike PR in the flat lands of Alabama. I had ridden the course and was ready to attack the downhills, but got scared with the rain since I donít have much rain riding experience. I did find all of the packs of people going up the hills, and passed a bunch of them. I can not say I am the best hill climber, in fact I have lots of practice to do there in keeping my RPM up. My fellow Penn State racer passed me on Linthicum road, and I exchanged some words of encouragement to him. I was pleased to see only one person on the side of the road that had crashed in the weather, but Princeton was already helping him.
I had a great transition to the run as I just slipped on my shoes. The only problem with that transition is I had to double back about 4 racks to get to my position, I am sorry for those who were racked near the bike exit, as they added some extra time compared to those close up. For those who want a faster T2, figure out how to get a closer rack spot (other than being Pro)! When you figure it out let me know. My run went well, I think I finally figured out my nutrition a little bit better after struggling a bit with a bike/run of the course a week and a half earlier. I caught up with my friend from Penn State at mile 2, he helped me pull through once I first started seeing him again. He thanked me later at mile 5 because my passing him made him speed up to catch up to me, but I won the final last mile to the finish, with a PR in the run. How I had a PR on Columbia when Alabama had one hill and a second slight hill I donít know. Maybe some good training tips from my mentor? I will have to say I passed a mid-MD smiley face somewhere towards the end of the run, must have been Tim. Seeing that on his leg made me smile, that is for sure!
I had a great time at my first Columbia race, and plan on racing again next year! I will see everyone at Eagleman as I plan to volunteer there and help out with those activities.