The 2009 Tri the Midlands was the 2nd Setup Events Race of the season for me. I really wanted to put together a solid all-around race and hoped to place in the AG. The forecast was very hot and humid and the weather cooperated with the computer models!! Luckily I finished fast enough to miss the super hot temps.
Swim: The swim is 500 m open water. The 34-under men usually go in the 2nd wave, but we went 3rd this time. It was a very large wave for a race this size too. I started far to the right and didn't encounter any arms and legs until the first turn buoy. I went real hard for the first 150 m and then settled into a pace I thought I could maintain. I had to stop after the second turn buoy and rinse the fog out of the goggles so I could see. I came out of the water in 8:56 for a 1:47/100 m pace. This is almost 20s per 100 m slower than I'm doing in the pool. I just can't seem to get the open swims to go as fast as in the pool. This was good enough for 43rd OA and 7th in AG.
T1: Got my helmet on and left the sunglasses because they were fogging up due to high humidity. I put on the race number belt so I wouldn't forget it again! Ran the bike out of the transition area, about 150 m long. I hopped on and got rolling. Time of 1:10.
Bike: For the 14 mi bike course I was wanting to go out at least 22mph for the course. I was riding a set of Zipp 404s that Jay Allen let me borrow. Thanks man!! I could definitely tell they made a difference in the flats. Once I got up to speed, it was much easier to maitain than my old wheelset. I was crusing in several sections at 27-28mph. Well, I was passed by 3 or 4 in the AG and maybe 1 or 2 others. I did do my share of passing, especially in the first half. In the end I was about 21.4mph for the course, but I had to back off a time or two because my hamstrings felt like they wanted to cramp. A little disappointed but still respectable time of 38:20 for 42nd OA and again 7th in AG.
T2: I threw the bike on the rack, dropped the helmet, put on the shoes
Run: This 5k course has 3 very challenging grades to take on. I knew the heat and hills would be a factor, but I wanted to definitely break 20 min on the run. I caught one in my AG in the first 1/4 mi, but was never able to catch any others. I did have a great effort in the last 1/2 mi where I went after two guys who I thought my be in the AG, but were not. The second of the two guys and I had a fun sprint finish and I left him reading the back of my jersey!! My time of 19:51 was good enough for 7th OA and 1st in AG.
I was happy with my OA time of 1:11:58. This put me 17th OA, but only 4th in AG. The AG was well represented in the top 20 finishers with 5 of us in the top 20 male finishers. Once again, I lost the race on the bike...dang it!!! I can't wait until these bike times come down more!