Usually this is my first race of the season. This year, however, I did Eagleman two weeks ago (which went as well as I could have hoped for), and so I felt very prepared for this event. This is the 7th year of this race, and I have done it every year but 2009 when I was out of town, so I have a lot of data to compare to.
Water temp was 76.5, so no wetsuits. I was worried as I really sink and like the wetsuit a lot, but since Eman didn't have a wetsuit swim, I felt prepared for this as well. I was in the 2nd to last wave, so there was a lot of waiting around. I had a good swim, and much to my surprise I swam a PR even without the wetsuit, so that was very cool.
I had the worst rack spot possible, at the far end near where the run in/out was. This meant that I had to run a long way with the bike on both ends of the transition. I thought I was going quickly, but, alas, not so much.
Bike: 1:18:22 (19 mph)
It is a great bike course, and even goes over some of the same route that the pros do a few weeks earlier in the Philly Cycling Championships. It really helps to know the course. I tried to take it easy on the first loop, and then pick it up a bit on the second loop. Overall I tried not to kill myself to have something left for the run. I came in and felt good. Got my feet out of the bike shoes and hoped off. But, there was a curb you had to lift your bike over to get to the timing mat, and when I did, I banged my shoe which came off while I was running. I had already crossed the mat when I realized it was off. I stopped, and the timing official said to just go on and come back afterwards, but I said no way, these shoes are too expensive! So, I had to go around and get the shoe, which cost me about a minute overall. Ugh.
Again, a long run/walk with the bike from the mat to my spot, but I went as fast as I could.
Run: 51:05 (8:13mpm)
This was the whole race. I have been coming off a running injury and haven't been able to run a lot, let alone with speed. I am much improved, but I didn't know what I could run. For the first 2 miles, my legs felt good, but I had a bad stitch in my side. I know from experience that these usually go away, but I had to run relatively slow for these two miles. The weather was the best race weather by far for this race. It was lower humidity and it turned out to be cloudy, so It was so good out there I was itching to go harder. Finally, I felt better and picked it up. I kept looking at my watching and computing what I needed to do to break 2:45, my pre race goal. Oh so close, and yet, so far. I went as hard as I could and pushed to the end, but it wasn't meant to be. The minute lost with the bike shoe is quite annoying, but what can you do?! It was a PR overall for this race for me by 40 seconds. A middle of the pack result as always, but I really only compete with myself.
As for Matty Reed? My bike rack at Eman was right across from him, and it was cool to see him setup and get ready to race. He had a good race there, and sure enough, here he was at Philly racing. He came in 2nd in a tight finish, but he couldn't beat Andy Potts who won setting a new course record. I like Matty, though, as he is a tall, thin guy but unlike me, he is fast as hell!
This is a great race but doesn't get the MMTC love (i.e. racers) that you would expect a big, close by event to get. Doesn't help that it is the same weekend as Celebrations. Anyway, I encourage everyone to consider it, as it is a great course and well run event.