|Swim Start at Dawn|
Left Omaha around 7:30a on Friday to drive out here. Ben wasn't able to make it because of school so I had to drive up here by myself. I don't enjoy driving, but I loaded up with some good podcasts and music and did A-OK. Thank you, Terry Gross and Marc Maron.
When I arrived in Minneapolis, I drove right to the race site so I could pick up my packet and hang out for the athlete meeting. The race allowed for early bike check-in so I wanted to dump the bike, attend the meeting and then drive the bike course. They told me at check-in that you could only transport your gear in a clear transition bag. Wasn't thrilled about that (I have a system), but fine. Drove the bike course after the meeting and I was pleased to see it was fairly flat. A few little rolls but nothing crazy.
The swag is pretty good for this race. The t-shirt is underwhelming but wow, you get so much stuff in the swag bags (yes, 2 bags). I estimate they probably gave away nearly $75 in products.
Alarm went off at 4:25a. I had been up until 11:30p the night before watching "Gone Girl." I was not planning to stay up that late, but it sucked me in. Needless to say, it was rough waking up. Ate some oatmeal and coffee. Out the door at 5a and arrived at the race site within 10 minutes. Surprisingly, there was a lot of street parking available and transition was not busy. Note to self: arrive early for all races going forward.
I set up my transition area chilled out by the swim start. It was really calm and quite lovely at dawn. Race officials announced that the water temperature was 76.1 degrees - wetsuit legal, so I headed back to transition to get my wetsuit. I did a quick warm-up swim and felt good. I was ready.
The swim start was a time trial start which is awesome. I really prefer this over the wave start. Ran into the water and start swimming. And I kept swimming. It was an awesome swim. No fear, smooth sailing. I flew past a bunch of people and started catching folks in earlier waves. Crossed the swim mat and was like, "yeah, that was good." SWIM SPLIT: 00:33:50
T1: Could have been quicker but it was fine. The transition area was HUGE. T1 SPLIT: 4:52
BIKE: Bike course is awesome. Relatively flat, scenic, even a bit shaded. I was averaging 15.7 mph until about mile 17 and I had a slight chain malfunction. That cost me a few minutes. Happened again around mile 22, but so it goes. I rode strong and had fun. BIKE SPLIT: 1:41:06
T2: I had been thinking about the porta pottie since around mile 12. I was able to go right before the swim but the urge returned. Killed a little time in the porta pottie so this transition kind of sucked. T2 SPLIT: 7:05
RUN: The run was meh. I wasn't struggling but I wan'ts pushing either. I need to get a little more serious about the run because there was really no excuse for me to take it easy. The course was not hilly and the temps were not bad. It was a little overcast and didn't feel too warm. I heard some athletes commenting on the heat and humidity and I was like, "um, yeah. This is nothing. Race in Kansas and then let's talk." In any case, not my best run. RUN SPLIT: 1:11:30
Even with the bike chain issue, slow T2 and sucky run, I still managed an olympic distance PR by about 2 minutes. Can't hate on that. OVERALL FINISH: 3:38:22
So that's all she wrote. This is a great race. Really nice course, well managed, fun. I highly recommend and may have to do it again next year. This was my last race until the big dance on Aug 9: Ironman Steelhead 70.3. Four weeks out so it's getting real. Stay tuned!
|Beach at swim start|