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Wildflower Triathlon race report

May 18th, 2009

Leading my preparation for Ironman Coeur D’Alene, I opted to race the Wildflower triathlon as a springboard for developing early season fitness.  I think my strategy worked well – seeing that this race clearly was a prime motivator of getting me out the door to train during our unusually long and snowy winter.  With a foot deep of snow, and unpaved roads up to a week before the race – lead me to some creative measures in getting my workouts accomplished.

In contrast to my usual pre-race gitters particularly for a season opener, I was quite calm and relaxed before the race.  I felt little pressure, and only the desire to test the limits of my fitness.

The swim started without a hitch, though it wasn’t perfect as I felt like the group I was swimming in slowed down considerably after the turnaround.  I really can’t complain however, particularly given that I was enjoying a draft and unwilling to drive the pace at the front.

I exited the water just behind Chris Lieto, Jordan Rapp, and the likes of a number of other athletes that I was content exiting with.

The run up to the bike transition was notably steep and long – I took a relaxed approach to running up it so as to conserve a few mg of glycogen, and keep the blood pH in check.  As others were sprinting up the ramp, I noticed that veteran/superstar Chris Lieto was casually and smoothly running just ahead of me, I decided to take the same approach.

The bike was technical to start, with a few quick twists and turns.  I picked off olympian Victor Plata on the first hill, and felt good early about my effort in relation to how I was keeping in the race.  I around 20miles, I passed a couple of friends, Jonathan Caron and 1999 olympic distance world’s silver medalist Paul Amey.

Just before the final, big climb of the course I was passed by Lars Finanger, Ain-Alar Juhanson, and Rutger Beke.  On the other side of the climb I was able to take back positions from Ain-Alar and Rutger before the transition.  With about 5mile to go, I passed an ailing Thunderbear – Torbjorn Sindballe,…evidently his day was over and was just riding his bike to the end.

Starting the run, systemically and energy-wise I felt darn good.   I conserved a lot of energy on the bike by choosing not to blast the hills.  My only complaint was cramping in my quads – they were seizing and almost in a state of spasm.  As I extended my hips, my quads felt like they were being ripped to shreds.  The final 1mile is entirely downhill – I looked behind me a couple times in order to keep myself safe and clear from cyclists just finishing the bike leg.  On one of my glances, I noticed that 2006 Memphis in May champion Greg Remaly was right behind me and closing in on me fast with about 1km to go,…I kicked it in overdrive and gave everything I had to sprint to the end.  I had a good race overall, finishing with a 4hr17min, in 14th place.

See you next time in Coeur D’Alene!