Last weekend we spent a long weekend near Middlebury, CT. I raced the Rev3 Half Ironman which was on Sunday and was held at Quassy amusement park. It was my second half ironman and being that it was so early in the season and I only swam about 6 times since last October, I wasn't expecting much more than having fun. It was a great event for the whole family and the kids had a blast. I'm pretty sore today...the hills of CT got me!!
We headed out Friday morning...
After a relatively uneventful and "short" 3 hour drive, we arrived at our hotel. Was a pretty cool "resort" if you will called Heritage. Condo's, hotel rooms, indoor and outdoor pool, meeting and reception areas, this place was huge...and about 10 minutes from the race site. The kids saw the pool and IMMEDIATELY wanted to go swimming, which we did for a while. I wanted to head over to the race site so I could find it Saturday morning when our team was manning the mile 1 water stop for the Olympic distance event being held that day. We met up with some Trakkers teammates and had a great dinner.
Saturday morning we woke up to some rain, so Lauren drove me over to the race site (instead of me riding over as originally planned). I headed down to the water stop as we got ready. Word has it we were the best aid station in the race......
Here's the "crew"!
After we were done at the aid station, I took a ride on the run course. It was billed as a hilly run course, and it delivered. There was a brutal uphill section about 4 miles in that was on a gravel road and the last 1.5 miles was a gnarly uphill. I was glad I at least got to check that out before the race. The lake looked beautiful, so I took a little swim to calm the nerves. It was warm enough (low 70's) that I didn't need a wetsuit...but I did plan to wear mine for the race on Sunday. We then headed back to the hotel, took the kids to the pool and down for a nap so we could head back to the race site to rack my bike and get a bite to eat...
Rev3 does it right. When I picked up my packet, they took a picture to use when I crossed the finish line, then when I brought my bike into transition, they snapped a picture of the bike! I get to my transition area to find out I was "pro"...
Racked my bike and we were off to grab some pizza.
As we were ordering our food on the outside patio.....the rain hit... The forecast for Sunday was not good, 70% chance of some rain, thunder and lightning! Woke up to dry conditions though, but figured it was only a matter of time. Had my oatmeal, packed my things and headed to the race. Sipped on some First Endurance EFS in, put a full bottle of it on my bike and filled my Aerodrink with EFS as well. It was humid and I was worried about getting the right amount of fluid and nutrition so I wouldn't bonk. I carried a flask of Liquid Shot to sip on the bike, had a Clif bar for the bike and I had another flask of Liquid Shot for the run.
The race itself went well. Water temp was mid 70's so still wetsuit legal. I was the 4th wave around the triangular 1.2 swim course. I started mid pack and felt pretty good. Somehow I got way off to the left so I wasted a good amount of time getting back on course. Once I hit the back leg I was feeling good, following the bouy's well and actually catching people from the wave in front of me (started 3 min. before me). There was a pretty good pack for most of the swim and I even got to practice some drafting! I had enough left to push the end of the swim and made some more passes, something I'm not really used to doing in the water. Came out at 35:26, AWESOME! 35 out of 96 in my AG and that's including my "detour", I'll take it. I really hope to continue to improve my swimming this summer.
Had a decent transition, and out onto the bike. Felt great right off the bat on the bike. I was passing people consistently on the rolling terrain of the first few miles. My goal was to maintain a decent effort for the first 30 miles until we got up the big hill then push it a little harder and make up some time. All was going according to plan until.....the "hiss of death". I had just put brand new tires on but still managed to get a flat. Off to the side I go...and watch my Trakkers teammates go by. Got it changed and back on the road, according to my Garmin I lost about 9 minutes. Once I got going I passed quite a few people and I was still feeling pretty good. I finished nearly two bottles of fluid by the time I hit the mile 29 aid station so I grabbed some fluid from them. The course wasn't very forgiving, always climbing, turning or descending. It was great though, because it really broke things up. Near mile 40 was a short out and back section where you could see who was in front of you and behind you. By that point I was pushing pretty good and felt strong. The next 10 miles were the best on the course, some beautiful scenery, great downhills and no traffic. The last 6 miles I was sweating pretty good and there were some good climbs so I tried to focus on getting the rest of my Liquid Shot down and keeping fluids in my. I rolled into T2 feeling pretty good. Official bike split was 2:52:52, 19.44mph. Actual riding time subtracting the flat tire was 2:43:43, nearly 20.5mph. I was only passed by one person (a relay) the entire ride, happy with that.
Official Bike Split 2:52:52 (now 30th in my AG)
Coming out of T2 I saw Lauren and the kids coming to the race site, it was awesome to see them!! So while I was out getting my butt kicked on the run course, they were having some fun.
The first 1.5 miles are down hill, so I was cruising along pretty well. By this point it was HOT and HUMID so hydration was huge. I would take one or two water cups to drink and one or two to dump over my head at each aid station. As we started to climb the first big hill about 3.5 miles in I heard an official say I was 128th overall. Considering my flat tire, I was surprised. I decided I was going to shoot for top 100, so I just started picking people off. I focused on a short steady stride up the hills and a recovery down the hills. Due to the heat I had to keep my HR low. I had counted myself down to the top 100 by mile 7 and kept going from there. At about mile 9 (ironically the same aid station that I worked the day before) I started to slow down. I don't think it was a nutrition issue as much as just the heat. I had done the math in my head and figured if I ran sub 1:28 I'd be pretty close to sub 5:00 at the finish, but I just couldn't hold it. I did get passed by one person on the run, coming up that killer last hill...he was the only one that passed me.
Run split 1:31:00 - up to 16th in my AG out of 96 finishers. I'll take it..I passed 14 people in my AG on the run alone!
As I came into the finishing chute, I saw Lauren and the kids. Joshua wanted to run across the line with me, so I grabbed him. His face was precious as he took all the commotion and excitement of the finish in.
We crossed the finish line and he got to hang out with me!
After the finish they came over to greet me...check out the awesome Trakkers shirts!
Overall chip time was 5:02:47, 89th overall and 16th in my AG. Subtract the 9 minutes for the flat and I would have been 4:56, mid 60's overall and top 10 in my AG.
This was my first Rev3 race and they did an incredible job. Every last detail was taken care of. A cool race shirt and a technical finishers shirt, names on the bibs, beautiful venue, well marked and staffed courses and a family friendly environment.
For those of you that tried to track me live with the Trakkers device, I think my device may not have been able to locate a signal. If you did try it and have any feedback, let me know!