Swim: 25:17 8th fastest
Bike: 2:06:01 26.6mph 292w 2nd fastest
Run: 1:19:24 6th fastest
Overall: 3:54:01 4th place
The swim pace was really casual which was a surprise to me given that there were several guys who normally drop me. The water was barely wetsuit legal so I think people were afraid to push the pace for fear of over heating. I swam pretty comfortably in the lead pack the whole way, easiest swim I've had this year, just the fourth time I've ever swam lead pack in a pro race.
Pretty big group out of the water, I had a really good T1. Pressed the pace pretty hard right away on the bike, my biggest fear with a flat course like this is that I'd get stuck towing a big group the whole way. Thanks to a quick T1 and pushing 313w the first 5 minutes of the bike I was able to ride clear of the main group and ride my own race in 4th place until mile 40. At mile 40 I caught second and third place, sat behind them for about a minute and then made a big move up a small incline in an attempt to get away. Rode the next minute at 347w, they stayed with me. Rode the next 10 minutes at 309w, they stayed with me. On a calm day flat course there is such a strong draft, even at 10 meters separation. Finally after my 10 minute effort I decided I would 'play the game' and let off the pace to let the other two come around and tow me into T2. Neither guy would pass me. I thought maybe they were both fried so I hit them with another big effort, but again couldn't get away. So I backed off, neither guy would come by. This pattern continued all the way to T2, I hoped my efforts on the bike would cripple both these guys for the run, it didn't. Probably hurt me a lot more than them. Bike split is a new PR, finally beat my 2008 Clearwater split
Started the run in second, got passed in the first mile but stayed within about 20 seconds all the way to the turnaround. 37:30 for the first half, the most aggressive I've ever taken out a 70.3 run. Unfortunately fourth place was only about 10 seconds back at the turnaround and I gradually began to slow the second half. Slipped to fourth at about mile 8, still on pace to run 1:15. Fought through mile 9 but then knew that a comeback probably wouldn't happen. Also knew that I had a 10 minute lead on 5th place and I'm racing another one of these in 8 days. Conceded the race in favor of jogging in and saving what I could for quicker recovery.
Disappointed with the result, but reality is I raced very well. Swim couldn't have been better, bike was 8w better than I did in Kansas. Had the course had hills like Kansas I imagine I would have had no trouble dropping the two athletes I towed. I think this is just a case of a course last month that played perfectly to my strength (Kansas) and a course this day that did not. Yet I probably raced better in the second, the course just didn't allow me to utilize my strength. Looking forward to my first 70.3 double in 8 days.