Brief race summary of first 70.3 WC race.
Who wouldn't be excited about competing in their first WC?? When I got the email in June after 70.3 Hawaii, it was game on and the excitement only grew week to week. My college athletes I think were more geeked about it than I was, but in the end, it was one of the single coolest experiences I've had to date.
Leading into race week, I only pack two cycling kits, my Flo Cycling and Team Zoot kits. One because they look great, but two because you rep what you use; plus I rock my Flo tee shirt and hat on the plane rides. Did some light riding around some trails and got some swims in at the local pool leading up to Saturday's race. Recon'd the bike and run courses in the car the days leading up to things and while intimidated, felt confident that I had done enough that I was prepared to take on things...might have spoken a little too soon.
Race morning came and went. Into the water with the last wave of male age groupers and out about mid pack right around where I thought I would be. Onto the bike and started to execute the plan to a tee. Power was right where I wanted it to be...then I looked up and the sky was black and saw lightning in the distance. I though to myself, well this isn't going to end well. Forty five minutes later, the bottom falls out, with 30-40 mph cross winds, rain as sharp as knives and a 140# triathlete being blown three lanes of traffic over coming up a mountain. As I looked up from time to time, I saw what looked like people walking their bikes and thought, "heck no, not me." A couple minutes later, that was me for about 5ish minutes till I got close enough to the crest that I was comfortable with my abilities to ride without crashing (flashback to Boulder). For the next 2 hours my brakes at times were my best friends, navigating rain soaked winding roads, passing people on the uphills only to have them get me on the down.
Finally got into transition changed and was off to MY discipline...the run. The two lap format made for some tight racing on the second loop with the bulk of the athletes on the course. My thought was to get to mile 3 as easy as possible cruise the next 4 then do it again; the plan worked like a charm and finished nearly 10 minutes faster than both Hawaii and Florida from earlier in the season.
Ended the day in the top 30% of all finishers and top 50% of the AG. Honestly, the goal was to finish based on my Boulder experience, conditions aside I probably could have pushed a little harder on the bike, but again, the goal was to finish my first WC and come back for more.
Excited to have qualified and raced at WC's, hope to be back next year, fitter and faster!!!