I just finished racing Triple T last weekend in Southern Ohio. I love this race because it is hard to replicate the intensity and experience of a race, like a race can do. Well, this event offers you 4 chances to race in a single weekend totaling an Iron distance. Not only are the total miles a bit tough, but the terrain in the foothills is super hard as well. Makes for a fun time though.
Friday – this was a sprint race which I simply do not do well. Hardly any of my training is done over threshold for long periods of time, so I knew going in this would be one of the hardest races for me. That proved to be correct, and I ended up in 7th overall place about 90 seconds off the leader.
Saturday – starts with an Olympic distance race, finally some real distances. I had a solid swim. What the main problem was however was I was swimming against John Kenny who seems to be one of the best swimmers in the US for open water. He put over 2 min on me in just the swim. I was able to make up about 20 seconds on him on the bike, and a little on the run but he held on for the win and beat me by about 50 seconds.
After a quick massage and a light lunch I went back to the hotel and rested up for the afternoon race. This was another Olympic distance but the order was bike – swim – run. I knew to have any chance of making up some serious time on John; I would have to try to separate myself on the bike. I was able to do that by out biking him by 2 min but it came at the cost of massive leg cramps in the water and he was able to not only make that up on me, but then put 2 more min on me! WOW! I am a solid swimmer, so I am not totally used to getting whooped this bad on the swim. I collected myself and tried to run him down or at least the best I could. By the run turn around I had made up about 90 seconds. I caught him finally with just under a mile to go and was able to win by 18 seconds overall.
Sunday – We started the half Ironman just over 2 min apart. Again, in the swim he was able to put 4 min on me and that pretty much sealed the deal. The efforts from the day before were catching up to me and while I had one of the top bike splits even to include the teams, it wasn’t enough to bridge the gap on John. I knew then it was time to protect 2nd place. My feet were killing me so for the last 5 miles each step was agony, but was able to hold off a hard charging Jared Milam.
All in all I ended up 2nd overall with a combined time of 9:28. All in all I was very pleased.