Steelhead 70.3 Benton Harbor, Michigan
Swim: 25:47 10th fastest split
I arrived at the race in the dark as a steady, cold rain fell. Sat in the car for about 10 minutes watching everyone getting soaking wet. Thought about how much I didn't want to mess with it and almost convinced myself to just drive the four hours home instead of racing. 6 of my 11 races this year have involved rain or wet roads. Got everything set up and then nearly missed the race start, made the mile run down the beach and got to the start as the National Anthem was finishing with just about 90 seconds to spare. It was actually kind of nice because I didn't have a chance to think about what I was about to undertake and get nervous. Never thought I'd race in Lake Michigan without a wetsuit but this year the water is like a pool. Seemed to pick a good spot on the start line because I got right into a good group off the start. The pace seemed easy and I stayed on the same set of feet the entire way. Exited the water at the back of a group of six.
Bike: 2:11:40 25.6mph 10th fastest split
Was last onto the bike of our group of six and I rode the first 5k nearly all out to keep contact with the group as I know the importance be being in a group on a flat course. Positioned myself legal distance back and then just rode comfortably taking advantage of what draft there is. Our group caught a person or two in front and had another group catch us from behind. For a while I was sitting 8th in line holding 28mph at about a 22mph effort, at legal distance. The pack eventually broke up but I had company the entire way. Fastest average speed of the year although it wasn't entirely my own effort. That's racing.
Run: 1:20:03 8th fastest split
Took the run out pretty conservative coming off a terrible blowup in Racine. Conditions were very favorable for fast running, coolest temps I've felt in about two months. Just picked up the effort steadily the entire way, produced very consistent splits holding 6:10 every time I checked. Passed a few and got passed by a few. At the end we managed to have a showdown of Indiana pros, the three of us all finished within a minute. I held off Nick but couldn't run down Zach.
Overall: 4:00:38 8th place
Felt like I executed a very good race and fixed the nutrition and pacing errors I made in Racine. This was a BIG step forward from what I did two weeks ago. I think I got the most out of myself on this day, I'm just not as fit as I've been in the past or should be right now. Not sure what is up next for me, it could be my Iron distance debut at Rev 3 Cedar Point on the September 12. I should have a definite decision made in about a week, check back.