|Rainy swim start|
I recently had the privilege to race at the 70.3 Championships for the 2nd year and it was the last year it would be in my hometown of Las Vegas. This year has been a long year of racing starting in March with San Juan 70.3, which was where I qualified for the WC. April I did Ironman South Africa and a few weeks later I did 70.3 St. George. I completed my second Ironman for the year in June at IM Couer D Alene in Idaho. By the time Worlds came around I was ready to get the race done and have a little down time. I had a few setbacks after IM CDA leading up to Worlds. Two weeks after CDA, I came down with Shingles. This set me back some however I was lucky to have a mild case of it. A few weeks after shingles went away I came down with a chest infection. I missed more workouts from the chest infection than I did with shingles. 3 weeks prior to Worlds I was feeling back to normal. I had some great workouts and my run was really coming along. Last year at Worlds I fell apart on the run because of the heat. It was really hot and very humid and this year it was looking like we were going to have a very similar day. Leading up to the event I did most of my runs it the hotter part of the day with my Desoto skin cooler top. I was feeling really good about my run and my tolerance for the heat. I wanted to finish as close to my time last year as I could. I most importantly wanted to have a good run. Last year I had to walk some on the run and felt like I was overheating and I didn’t want that to happen this year.
The weather forecast for race day was overcast with a 40% chance of rain. I didn’t think much about that because anytime we have a chance of rain in Las Vegas it usually comes later in the afternoon. I was hoping it would rain for the run, not for the bike. I woke up race morning and was excited to start the race. I didn’t feel nervous at all until we started driving down to the start and the rain was pretty steady. I don’t like riding in the rain and I am sure other people don’t like it either. There was no sign the rain was going to let up. Racing in pouring rain was one of the worst things in my mind. This course has a lot of climbing and descending. Even on dry roads I don’t descend very well so I expected a bike time that was slower than last year. I figured I would just have to hope for a great run and I would be very careful on the bike.
We started with a steady rain and I got to the front of the group for the swim start. I felt really strong the entire swim and my sighting was great, I did not swim off course at all. I figured I was going to exit the swim about the same time I did last year. Last year I did the swim in 30 minutes which was a pretty good time for me. When I got out this year I checked my watch and it was 34 minutes! I was surprised because I felt much faster than that and that’s a lot of time to have to make up. I got on the bike and it was still raining. Right from the start coming out of Lake Las Vegas you hit some hills on this bike course. I was very cautious the first part of the bike course. I was probably overly cautious but I kept thinking to myself that a race was not worth dying for. About mile 20 I started to gain some confidence and picked up my effort because I had some time to make up. I picked up my effort and the last 20 miles I pushed pretty hard. I ended the bike about 3 minutes over what my time was the previous year. I guess that was not too bad considering the conditions. That meant I had 7 minutes to make-up to match my time for last year. I knew my run was going to be better but I wasn’t sure I could make up that much time. The weather fortunately was not too hot so that was in my favor. This run course is crazy and probably the hardest run course I have had to run. The St. George run course is as hard with lots of ups and downs but I seem to be able to go faster on a course like that. This course was 2 miles up and 2 miles down with a huge hill in the middle that you have to hit twice. The run course is 3 laps of 2 miles up and 2 down. I was keeping a good pace and I only walked through 2 aid stations. I kept a pretty good pace ending in 1:57. The previous year was 2:02 so that meant I was 5 minutes faster. Overall my time was 2 minutes slower but strangely I feel like I had a better race this year. When I can finish the race with a good run I always feel great. Finishing the race while struggling on the run is always frustrating. Finishing with a great run and feeling awesome at the end of the race is a great feeling.
I decided this would be the last time I raced in Worlds even if I did qualify again. It won’t be any better than doing it two times in my hometown of Las Vegas. I am glad I got to race here and was so happy to see so many people on the course that I knew. I was also amazed at the support of my clients, friends and the community. There were so many people cheering us on. The support was the best part of this race and made a huge difference in my motivation to get to the finish line.
|Tigger wears my medal well!|
|Michael and I after the race he was a great supporter!|
|Frank my client who did the race too!|
His 2nd Half Ironman!