This being my second oly in a row I am really starting to enjoy this distance. Short enough to hammer, but long enough to enjoy my time on the course. I say this as opposed to a sprint where when I finish it seems like I just started. Plus a short sprint has 4 times the prep time (travel, warm up, set up, etc.) on race weekend than I actually spend racing. Olympic distance seems to have a better return on the time investment. What is even better is that this race was a great benchmark. Not only was it my largest race to date, but it was a serious step up in competition. Interesting enough was that it was not the normal competition for this serious, since this was a qualifier for US Age Group National Championships it brought out a higher level of athlete- I didn't see a single mountain bike or cruiser on this race. There were even several members of US Pro Tri and some other pros. The race winner finished in 1:50 just five minutes faster than Andy Potts at the Philadelphia Triathlon.
My overall time was 2:42:02. This is a 4 minute 20 second improvement on my first race and I feel this was a more difficult course.
Bike 1:13:09 Grade A-
AG 16 of 21
In and out, except I left my bike shoes on coming in thinking about the gravel road.
AG 13 of 21
I realized on my way out I forgot my Garmin. I decided at this point to push, but have fun. I probably would have pushed harder had I had it. In the first mile me and another guy were almost next to each other so we decided to embrace it and run next to each other. We encouraged each other and cheer for others. We were both cussing the lie of a flat run course. It was three miles uphill and then three mile back down. In fact according to map my ride it was about 500 feet of elevation gain over the 3 miles to the turn around. My new partner and I decided once we hit the turn around we would hit the gas- and we did. Taking our 8:45 pace to closer to 7:30. Shortly after the turn around I noticed two blister one on top and one underneath my left foot- I kept pushing. At mile 5 I got a cramp and had to slow down till it passed. Once it was gone I hit the gas again and took down two guys in my age group I saw. I tried to push as hard as I could until the end. Sadly it wasn't hard enough for a pukie.
Overall, I was 15 of 21 in my age group, 149 overall of the 400 finishers (oddly this event was sold out at over 700, supposedly over 900 athletes with relay members, I don't know what happened to all of them ???). I thought I would fare better given the level of competition at previous races, but I did not do as well as I had hoped. I am still HAPPY and had a GREAT time!