This was my second attempt at the half ironman distance. The first ended miserably with a DNF at Eagleman 2005 (this sport can be so humbling). My goals were to number one: complete the race and number two: have fun doing so. My training has been going well so I was confident I could complete the race but with the impending weather; heavy rain all day, it didnít seem as if it was going to be much fun.
Drove down the morning of the race and arrived at the race site later than I wanted so ended up rushing around picking up race packet and setting up transition. I was most concerned with keeping me and my stuff dry and warm throughout so fast transitions were not in order as evidenced by 8:50 T1 and 4:33 T2. LOL! Plus in T1 I had to do stuff with my bike that I didnít have time to do before the race started. Anyway, put on wetsuit and got down to the water about 5 minutes before swim start.
The swim was two 0.6 mile loops where you had to exit the water after the first loop and then go back in for the second loop. I kind of liked it because it broke up the monotony of the swim and allowed you to gather yourself a little for the second loop. At first the cold water took my breath away but after the first 50 meters it was OK. Kind of thrashed about until the turn at the first buoy where I then settled into a comfortable rhythm for the rest of the swim leg. I did notice on the second loop rain drops hitting the surface of the water. The rain had started! Swim: 36:57
The bike course was two loops and rolling. There was a torrential down pour during the first loop but didnít bother me as much as expected. Visibility wasnít great but other than that, it was fun. It was the most fun at any race ever. I remember thinking during the bike how much fun I was having. Caught up with Tim Coulson on the second loop where we chatted briefly before I went on. It was good seeing other club members out there. The rain had stopped and it was good to be drying out some. Bike: 2:36:23.
At the start of the run had to a make pit stop and combined with my slow transition and Tim Coulsonís lighting fast transition, he had gotten ahead of me. When I caught up to him we ran together chatting for the next 3-4 miles which ended up making the run pass by really fast. Thanks Tim! I picked up the pace for the last 8 miles or so with the last 3 miles being pretty hard. I was ready to be finished and was glad when the race was over. Run: 1:40:08
A very well organized and fun race. I would recommend it to anyone wanting to do an early season half. Looking forward to Eagleman 2006 and determined not to be defeated (by the course that is) this year.