Swim: 17:54 4th fastest split
Started about midway through the 15 male pros with the time trial start, one person every 10 seconds. Immediately felt great, had a good turnover and strong kick, things were clicking. Passed one person pretty early on and then midway through had someone come by me. Latched onto his feet and he wasn't quite strong enough to pull away so I was able take advantage and stayed with him for the next several hundred meters. We caught two more up ahead towards the end of the swim and I think someone caught us from behind. Came out of the water in a group of about six or seven. Funny how you do a time trial start but still end up in a big pack by the end of the swim. This was a great swim for me, fourth fastest out of 15 is the highest my swim has ever ranked in a pro race. In my previous two races in Memphis I swam right around 17-flat, but this was my first time without a wetsuit. Have no idea what to say about my swim, two weeks ago it was atrocious, today it was great.
Bike: 55:06 25.6mph 5th fastest split
Got onto the bike in a large group. Made my way up to the front in the first few miles and soon our group was down to just three people. I lead nearly all of the first half into the wind with the other two taking turns at the lead the second half of the ride with a tail wind. Super clean riding by all of us. The heat wasn't an issue in the first half of the ride with the wind in our face but I really started to overheat towards the end when the breeze went away and we had a tailwind. The other two rode away from me in the final miles as I was really struggling with the heat and all I could do was limit the damage. Having nothing but 90 degree fluids to drink the whole way didn't help either, so much for the ice I added before the start. I'm pretty happy with the effort I gave on the bike although I could tell my legs weren't clicking the way they have at times in the past.
Run: 39:18 3rd fastest split
Started the run already overheated, I don't think I've ever overheated on a bike before. I knew I was running slow but didn't really care. Turns out everyone felt the same or even worse as I got a confidence boost when I saw the person up in front of me walking within the first 5 minutes. Went through the first mile in slower than expected 6:30 and decided I shouldn't look at my watch anymore. I've done some hot races in the past where I've slowed considerably at the end of the race but I've never done a race where I've been so slow right from the very first step. My plan was to take it easy the first half and then try to be tough the second half when I knew everyone else would crumble. The second aid station on the run was the only one that had cold drinks and ice I took full advantage drinking and covering myself with plenty of cold fluids and putting ice down the jersey. That must have dropped my body temperature considerably because within a minute I started feeling so much better and my stride started clicking. Was surprised to see just one competitor out in front of me at the turnaround and he looked to have a sizable lead. Behind me there were about five others all pretty close and I knew it was likely a tossup for second through sixth place. Really wanted to finish second as opposed to sixth. Pushed as hard as my body would allow the second half and I think starting so slow may have helped me finish relatively strong. With less than a mile to go a spectator told me the leader was just 30 seconds up the road and for a moment I thought I might be able to win but it was false information. Crossed the line in second and ended up second overall for the second time in this race. I think second through sixth place ended up being decided by who slowed the least the second half of the run. I ran a full five minutes faster here two years ago and was just two seconds off the fastest run split on this day. That says a lot about the heat.
Overall: 1:54:01 Second place Top American
Really happy with this race result. Was just talking at dinner Saturday night about how it's been over a year now since I've had a race result that I'm really happy with and the confidence has been pretty low. I've had great training this past month but without any race results the confidence has been absent. So this one feels extra good in that respect. Got out of this race exactly what I wanted. Felt very good about how I handled the heat as well which is encouraging, after pouring water on myself for five minutes at the finish line I was feeling pretty good. Heat index was 101 at the finish. Had four athletes race here, it was a big race for all of them. None raced as fast as they wanted but that was just a product of the day and I thought they all did well. Ron won his age group by 15 minutes! From here it is two weeks of rest and recovery as I peak for the Mooseman 70.3 in New Hampshire. Excited to take the momentum and confidence from this race and see what I can do rested in a 70.3. Also good to know that just four races in I likely already have my hottest and coldest races out of the way for the year. And finally it's good that I brought home a check that will easily cover the speeding ticket I got on the way to Memphis! Below is another video documentary masterpiece by the ever popular Jun. Enjoy!