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San Francisco, California and, Carrboro, North Carolina, United States

Friday, July 15, 2011


REV 3 PORTLAND -- 4:03:57

SWIM (25:58)
Wetsuit or no wetsuit?? That was the question that the pros were asking the day before the race.  We all received emails earlier in the week that the water temperature was 62 degrees -- well below the 68 degree USAT pro limit for wearing a wetsuit.  However, after swimming in Blue Lake before the race, it was clear the water was warmer, but... just how much warmer?  On race morning we were notified of a "non-wetsuit" swim.  I'm strong in the water so a non-wetsuit swim benefits me (less competition from the guys who get extra help from the buoyancy of the wetsuit).  However, I don't have a rubber speed suit and I knew at least a few athletes would have them and would benefit from the extra hydrodynamics they offer. 

Race time! At 8:00 a.m. the gun went off and I bounded into the water and did a couple dolphin dives.  Rounding the first buoy I was in fourth place, right behind Graham O'Grady, James Cotter and Richie Cunningham -- a fantastic start for me.  All these guys are top world class athletes.  Around 400 meters there was a quick acceleration and I lost Richie's feet, but continued to swim strong. I exited the water in 4th (and was the first guy out of the water without a speed suit) just about 30 seconds behind Richie and James and 1:15 or so behind Graham O'Grady (who won after leading the race wire to wire).  I had a good lead in front of 5th and was feeling really positive.

BIKE (2:12:34)

My plan was to work my way up to James and Richie and ride with them for 56 miles just like I did at Eagleman 70.3 a few weeks ago. I was hoping to stick with the group and get off the bike in a top 5 position. All was going according to plan until I received a "stagger" penalty.  In the Rev 3 series, no matter how far the rider is ahead of you, you must staggered to the left or right.  I was riding in 5th position behind Chris McDonald who was about 300-400 meters ahead of me.  I stagged into the middle of the road to comply with the rule, but the road condition was terrible, and I had to increase my effort to maintain speed. However, on the right side of the road, the road was smooth and fast.  In an attempt to push the rule to the limit and avoid wasting energy, I shifting slightly to the right, hoping I could stay left of Chris, but also on the smooth road.  Unfortunately for me, the referee deemed my riding position in violation of the rule -- my decision cost me a penalty.  The referee pulled me over, I got off the bike, and stood on the side of the road and watched the other pros scream by.  During my 3 minute stand down I went from 5th to 14th.  

At the end of the penalty I jumped on the bike and hammered away.  I came into T2 in 11th, with the goal of running myself into the top 10.       

RUN (1:21:29)

I came off the bike with Jesse Thomas and Nicholas Thompson and set my aim on running with them as long as I could.  I was excited to have the company of these two great runners and was hoping that they'd help lead me into the top 10. 

The first two miles went to plan.  I ran about 5:35 pace and stuck right behind Jesse and Nick.  We had passed one runner, putting us in 9th, 10th and 11th. Plus, we had the 8th place guy in our sights.  In mile 3, I slowed and lost touch with Nick and Jesse.  By mile 6, Mike Levato and Chris Bragg caught and passed me. I gritted my teeth and carried on, finishing 14th in 4:03:56. I did not have a horrible run, I held about 6:25 pace, but could not get my pace down to 5:45-6:00 pace, where I really want to be.       

In all, I was happy with the race and my performance.  I had an excellent swim, recovered after a 3:00 mistake on the bike and had a decent run, not great, but not horrible.   

I'm also pleased to announce that 4:03 is a new personal best for the half ironman distance. Now to get my running speed up and crack 4 hours as soon as possible!

Monday, July 4, 2011


I don't have much to report other than I've been training very hard and getting myself ready for REV 3 Portland.  The race is July 10, 8:00 PST and you can follow it live on Sunday

Rev 3 Portland is a half iron distance race.  Top two Americans on the course will earn a trip to the ITU Long Course World Championships.

Back to training!