I waited a while to post this race report for a few reasons. Actually one really, and you can check the link at the end regarding that.
To start, I like this race. I like the course, I like the organization, I like the city in which it is held. These go a long way in making a decision to race here. I have good memories of this race, like having Ian Mikelson slap me on the ass in the 2009 around mile 1, then dangling off his hip for the next 4 miles and watching him run away in the final mile. Racing here with the Breakaway crew in 2011 and there was podiums all over the place, and the fact that Oakley HQ (Nytro Men’s Team eyewear sponsor) is right up the road. Good vibes surrounding this race.
The start was little hectic, as it always seems to be. No worries though, as myself and two others got away from the field and had a solid gap as we turned back for the final 700 meters. I was comfortably leading our group, and lengthened my stroke slightly to “cruise” and was swimming side by side with the eventual first out of the water athlete. Not much other than that going on. Calm, clean water and a well marked swim course leave little room for any drama. T-1 is a fun little run up hill, nothing exciting to report here. I am proud of Kristen for getting good photos of the swim exit, and running up to where I racked in T-1 to get pictures there as well. Can’t say enough about the quality wetsuit Matuse produces, which has aided in keeping me in the front for every swim leg for the past 18 months.
I don’t believe I am going to say this, and I might very well never be able to say it again…fastest bike split. It is weird, I don’t think I am known for being a guy who rides faster than the field (if I am known for anything at all), probably more known for riding “smart” or “conservative”. The course is up, then down, then slightly up, make a 180 turn via a figure eight and go back. I just put my head down and rode hard. Keep wattage up, keep legs moving, no time for dilly-dallying or coasting on downhills. What I loved about this ride in particular, getting to use the new Giro Air Attack helmet. Sure, aesthetically it doesn’t look like a regular “aero” helmet. But this was so comfortable, and was vented better than most road helmets it made for a great first race experience in it. Also, no flaps over my ears, I can actually hear what is going on rather than wind and white noise! The ENVE 6.7 SES wheels again are so stupidly smooth it felt as if I was on a F1 race track, and the Look 596 is always a pleasure to spend any amount of time riding on. (did my first tri-bike ride up Palomar last weekend and it was no different than my road bike). The only eventful things going on during the ride were passing duathletes who had started before the triathlon, and me wondering, is some fast cyclist gong to catch up to me?
Side note for T-2, while dismounting my bike, I managed to unclip my left shoe and as I hit the dismount line it fell off and rolled on the road. Aside from feeling “so fucking pro”, I didn’t want to stop in the middle of the course when there are athletes behind me. I yelled to volunteers my race number, and they were quick to say don’t worry, we will take care of it. Big thank you!!!
This I am happy with. The time is great for the course, but more than that, I think I did a good job of pushing the entire run. I got out of T-2 and hit the first 2 miles pretty quick. The slight downhill on a paved bike path made it easy to keep legs turning over. The remainder of the course switches from trail to road on and off, and goes up or down, with some technical turns as well. My internal goal was not to let up and just keep pushing hard through the finish. Mostly I was running past duathletes again. It wasn’t until I hit the final 1500m that I saw the first triathlete on an out and back section. That was the first moment when I felt somewhat secure about my position. I crossed the line announced as the first triathlete, gave a number 1 fist pump then a Tiger Woods arm-swing. Then this happened…
Total time 1:58:36.
I am of course happy with the result, happy with my focus during the race and glad to win. Also great to have two of the athletes I coach have good days out on the course, and see others form Breakaway getting it done out there also. Great performances all around.
After racing every two weeks since Oceanside, I had a short re-group in training before focusing on preparation for SDIT and then Carlsbad. I am looking forward to some more days of focused training and getting into a normal routine with no hassles of race week etc.
I should clarify, that Kristen does a lot to help out and make training and racing go smoothly; that does include laundry and other household chores for which I am very grateful!!! Also posting photos from all the races on Facebook, so look for them there.
Big thank you to sponsors and supporters who enable me to race and train year in and year out.