Many of you have not heard from me in quite some time as I have been off the racing radar for over five months. My offseason passed nicely and I have been building into the season ever since the new year in January. This past weekend provided my first opportunity to get a glimpse of my race form. Ahmed Zaher and his crew at Playtri (www.playtri.com) put together a great Half Ironman last year so I felt it would be a good choice again for an early season marker.
The race takes place in Irving, Texas on an urban circuit very closely situated to the Golf Course used in the Byron Nelson PGA event. Race morning was clear and cool, but the wind was already starting to pick up. Last year's event was no stranger to wind and I expected little else this year. It is simply too hard to avoid on the Northern Plains of Texas.
The swim start was too quick for me to latch on to any feet and I ended up cruising along solo for the most part. I definitely lacked the 'hurry up' for the swim start and found myself FIVE minutes down on Brandon Marsh and James Cotter who exited in just over 22 minutes. I knew Marsh was a great swimmer, but thatwas a bit ridiculous of me to give up time like that.
Nevertheless, I thought I could work to chip away at their lead and after that you never know what could happen. The course suited me well with more technical turns and lots of wind so I did my best to take as much time out of the leaders as I possibly could. Around mile 40 I got a split of just over two minutes and so I kept things rolling.
I managed to come off the bike around 2:30 down on Marsh and Cotter, but considering their run skills I was not holding my breath on a comeback. I settled into my own tempo and made sure I was running quickly enough to hold off a fast-paced Brent Poulsen. I held my position running a 1:21:31 and finished up in4:07:xx.
I was satisfied with my day and my effort. I am glad I had the chance to go up against some quicker guys as it gives me a better understanding of where I stand at this point in the season.
Until next time,