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

Monday, October 31, 2011


Beach 2 Battleship was an excellent race to end the year.  Any one looking to finish with a half iron distance or full iron distance race should definitely race B2B.  Set Up Events puts on a top-notch race and the City of Wilmington has a lot to offer.  I'll be back next year!

My goal coming into B2B was to set a course record and go under four hours for the race, but I didn't acheive all of those goals because the wind and weather had different plans. I battled the 20 mph wind, slight rain, and cold weather to set a new course record, 4:08:19, but missed out on going under 4:00.  Next year! 

Swim: 20:42

The B2B swim takes place in a channel connected to the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway and is timed with an incoming tide providing a nice strong current for the swimmers.  The current is a bit slower for the half iron distance than the full (because the half starts quite a bit later than the full), but the current was still moving.  The gun sounded and I went straight to the front of the pack and off the front.  I had a lead kyaker paddling with me for about 500-600 meters and I thought all was great.  However, suddenly, the lead kyaker splashed me and pointed to the red buoy about 75-100 meters to the left of me and shouted for me to go left. I was shocked! I had not been sighting other than to look for him, and now I'd swum about 100 or so meters off course. (Lesson for the future: don't rely on the kayaks! from here on out, I'll always do my own sighting.) I still made it to the first buoy in first place, however, my lead was only about 25 meters.  I swam well and on course for the rest of the swim and had about a 90 second lead coming out of the water.  Without the little sighting problem, I think I would have exited the water in just about 19 minutes, and with a lead of almost three minutes.  Oh well..it was time to bike, no time worry.    

Bike: 2:18:29 (Fastest Split of the Race)

This was the toughest 56 miles of riding I've done all year.  The first 35-40 miles were almost all into a head/cross wind. I rode nearly as hard as I could but was only going 21-24 mph, making for a long day in the saddle. In addition, the temperature dropped to about 50 degrees, and my super fast, but skimpy Kiwami tri kit wasn't offering too much warmth. About 30 miles into the ride, I was shivering but kept a positive mindset and hammered away.  I kept saying to myself, "ride strong, create a big lead, and maybe I can still get under 4 hours."     

Run: 1:24:16

Coming into T2 I was super cold and shivering, but with a lead of a little more than seven minutes.  I handed off my bike to the T2 volunteer and went to get my running shoes on.  I had a little trouble getting on my shoes, my hands were not cooperating and were shaking too much.  My shivering likely costs me about 30 seconds but once the shoes were on, it was out onto the run to warm up.  

The first few miles of the run were excellent and I maintained a 5:45-6:05 mile pace.  I made it to the run turn around at mile 6.55 in 39:18 and was excited to be on pace for a sub 1:20 run.  At the turn around, I also was able to see where my competition was.  It took nearly three minutes to see the next runner, Kenneth Svendsen, a very strong runner and triathlete.  Kenneth took 9th overall at Augusta 70.3 so I knew there was a fast guy behind me but I had just under a six minute lead.  Miles 7-10 were not as fast as I had wanted, my right hip started to give me some trouble. I knew I was in for tough final few miles.  I also knew Kenneth was running fast.  I came through mile 10 in 1:01 not a blazing fast time, but fast enough to still run under 1:20.  However, the final 5K was a struggle.  The combination of my hip and fatigue slowed me down and I shuffled the final 5K in 23 minutes. I was a little worried Kenneth would catch me, however, I kept my focus and stayed positive.  I came through the finish chute with a new course record and won by a bit over one and half minutes.     

Full Results

Rounding out a great race was all of the support I got during the weekend. I had a wonderful homestay, and want to thank them for the hospitality. Also thanks to my coach Dave Williams, his wife Monette and my better-half for cheering me on. 

B2B was an excellent way to end the season. I've raced twelve times this year, including eight 70.3 distance races, and I have had a great time racing at the elite level again.  I can't wait for next year, but first, some rest and recovery.  

Post race I was wrapped up like a burrito and got a massage. 

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