This past weekend I competed in my 7th consecutive Hy-Vee Triathlon. This is hands down one of my favorite races out there. The race is very well put together and draws a ton of incredible competition from all over the country. There’s some pretty nice prizes for the top 5 overall as well as Mini Cooper to the overall champion. I drove up to Chicago Friday with Amanda and then on Saturday we drove to Des Moines with my Mom and sister after we got in our pre-race workout.
Race morning rolled around. I had my usual banana, Cookies and Cream Powerbar, and cup of coffee for breakfast right after waking up at about 4:30. We headed to the race site and got everything set up in transition. Bikes had to be in the night before which always affects my normal warm-up routine as I usually prefer to spin out the legs in order to make sure they’re ready to go for the bike during the race. Instead, I did a short run warm-up with a few short pickups. There was also no swim warm-up and the swim was wetsuit legal.
The swim was OK. I had an OK starting position and got out alright. I was right there after the first buoy, and stuck on someone’s feet for a while. At one point about 1/4th of the way in, the water got really shallow to the point where everyone was standing up and doing dolphin dives. I wasn’t expecting that but made the best of it. After that, I slowly began to drop back as my shoulders got a little tight and had a little bit of GI discomfort. I ended up leading the 2nd group the rest of the way in.
The bike went really well. I had the 2nd fastest bike averaging 26.2 mph behind the eventual winner, Dan Hedgecock. The course was a little technical during the early stages and then opened up a little more after about 5-10 miles in. At about mile 20, my chain actually dropped, but luckily I was able to get it back on without having to get off the bike. I felt really strong throughout the whole bike and moved up into 3rd place coming into T2. I knew I needed to be in that position coming into transition knowing that there were a lot of fast runners in the field.
The run was pretty decent. I came out of T2 in 3rd, with Dan Hedgecock and Adam Webber in front of me, and Drew Scott right behind me. Drew passed me right at the start of the run and I tried to hand with him as long as I could but didn’t quite have the speed to do so. So at this point I was in 4th and knew I needed to run strong to hold on to a top 5 placing. I held onto 4th until about mile 4 when I got passed by Jake Rhyner. I kept plugging away and made it to the 5 mile mark. At this point, there was an out and back so you had a good chance to see where everyone was at. Once I made the turn of the out and back (about 5.5 miles into the run), I saw a fleet of guys coming for me and knew I had to pick it up if I was going to hold my 5th place spot. I made it to the steep hill right before the final turn to the finish line and was still holding 5th. I picked up one last time down the blue carpet and held onto 5th place!
Nearing the finish line!
Total: 1:55:10 – 5th place overall
Going into the race, my goal was to finish in the top 5. I thought it was a reasonable goal but knew it wasn’t going to be easy given the deep field racing. A huge congrats to Dan for winning and the rest of the field for putting up some great results. Congrats to my fellow FFT teammates Brian Duffy and Jay McCurdy as well. Overall, I was really pleased with the result. I know there’s room for improvement in the swim and run (and the bike too). As of now, I don’t have any additional races planned but that’s still up in the air. I also qualified to race as an Elite/Pro and am contemplating that as well.
A huge thanks to my coach, Alex McDonald, of Fast Forward Triathlon for providing me with high quality workouts that challenge me to become the best triathlete I can be. Thanks also to Brooks for your continued support in my triathlon endeavors. Having the right shoes and gear make the world of a difference. And thanks to the sponsors of FFT including Computrainer. I have been doing a majority of my riding on the computrainer and have learned to push well beyond my comfort zone, taking my biking to the next level!
Me and Amanda after the race
Manda, Me, and Mom