I copied and pasted this report from an email I sent out yesterday about the Playtri Triathlon in Dallas. It doesn't work very well when I do that so I apologize if there are some formatting errors below.
A little over a week ago I was flipping throughvarious issues of Inside Tri and Velonews (two of my roommates work for them) and I came across an AD forthe PLAYTRI Half Ironman: a Dallas area race directedby one of my friends, Ahmed Zaher. I decided to make a quick change to the schedule and 13.5 hours (in a car) later I was in North Texas.
Race morning did not bring any epic Texas heat, but it did bring some impressive wind. The swim was fairly protected, but the rest of the course would certainly force us to grind a bit. At the swim start I lined up behind Todd Gerlach of Austin, but that's about all the contact I had with him once the gun went off. Two or three other swimmers tried to make a run for his feet with me, but all of sudden it was as if we conceded and found our own groove. We had an exceptionally large pack that stayed mostly in tact throughout the swim and we all exited just shy of three minutes behind Todd. Ouch. Good swim Todd.
I hit the three loop bike course with hopes of minimizing any lead that Todd would continue to build on the bike. My plan was to keep things somewhat moderate in the first half and then start to lift the pace with the final lap being the hardest effort. After about 8-10 miles of the race I got a split of almost six minutes to Todd. Well, crap. I still decided to stick to my plan since I felt the wind might really favor an attack on the final loop. Attacking on the final loop did catapult me from fourth to second, but coming into T2 I heard my announcing over the intercom that I was six and a half minutes down on the leader. That is a lot to try and make up over a half marathon, but you never know until you try.
After 3 miles of running I got a split of 6:20. No good. After 6+ miles I got a split of 6:10. No good. I might have mellowed out a little bit at this point, but third place was only 90+ seconds back and he was not fading so I lifted the effort on the second loop. After 9+ miles I had taken two minutes out of Todd and that gave me a second wind. I had images of running him down in the final 100 meters so I kept running hard. I pushed all the way to the finish, but I came up two and a half minutes short of the victory.
Nevertheless I was happy to come in second with one of the faster runs on the day; not to mention taking home a paycheck. The inaugural Playtri Festival(www.playtri.com ) was definitely a well-run and successful event. You can be sure I will be heading back there in the years to come.
Thanks go out to my aunt and uncle for all their hospitaity over the weekend and to my sponsors: EAS, Trainingbible.com, Descente, Javelin, and Fuel Belt.
See you in Idaho in June,JD