I felt like I had a good training load going into this race but my pre-race day was pretty hectic. A coworker scheduled his retirement ceremony for 4 PM on Friday and one week prior, my oldest son's school announced that his band concert would also be on that Friday at 7 PM. After all the running around was done, it was midnight when I rolled into my hotel a few miles from the race start. Luckily, my wife had gone up earlier in the day with some of her triathlete friends and our youngest son and was able to pick up my packet and parking pass.
On race morning, the alarm went off early - 5:15 AM. Getting up and going was rough and I laid in bed until my wife was ready. After that, it was a quick donning of my kit and waking the boys so we could get downstairs for a quick breakfast before driving to Sand Hollow SP.
Once I got to the park, I unloaded my bike, grabbed my gear bag and headed to the transition area. When I got to my rack, it was already pretty full and I had to scramble for space to set-up my gear. Once I was set-up, I ran my pump back to the car and went to find my wife who was racing the Olympic distance triathlon.
Once her race began, I had about 40 minutes until my start so I went back to my transition area to double check my bike gears and don my racing flats. Once that was done, I pooped two Advils and went to my start line to wait for the race director.
A few minutes before the 8 AM start, the race director gave instructions to the duathletes as well as the 5K and 10K runners. Once that was done, we were off and running. The race course for both of my runs was and out-and-back 5K with decent hills I felt pretty good on it and felt like I pushed pretty hard on the second half.
|run course elevation chart|
After exiting T1, I hopped on the bike at the mount line, clipped in and came out of the seat to build some quick speed going into the short downhill section that started the 20K (12.4 mile) out-and-back course. Shortly before the hill bottomed out, there was a 90 degree turn that required a lot of breaking and then we began a climb. As noted on the elevation chart, there was a pretty significant elevation change after Mile 3 with a 6% grade over the steepest section. That climb was pretty tough but once I reached the top, I was back out of the saddle and pumping my legs furiously to build some speed back up on the chip/seal road. On the way back, the steep downhill was very fast but required a lot of braking in one section that had a cattle guard with a piece of plywood over it. After that, it was work hard back to the transition.
|bike course elevation chart|
As I worked the final hill to T2, I once again mentally rehearsed my rack produres - rack bike, remove helmet, don visor, remove bike shoes, don running shoes, go run. That part went off without a hitch. Where there was an issue was when I came to a stop at the dismount line. I hopped off the bike so quick and braked so hard that my bike started to do an endo and when the back tire came down, it hit hard enough that my gear container popped out of the seat holder which required me to scramble after it.
Coming off the bike and heading into the run, my legs felt really good and I felt like I was running well. I slowed down briefly to grab a water as I passed an aid station around the one mile mark and felt like I pushed pretty hard after the turn around and really worked the final hill.
Unfortunately, as good as I felt on all three sections, it was not reflected in the times for either of the runs or the bike. All three sections were 50-60 seconds slower per section than when I raced a very similar course (slightly different run, same bike) in September when I raced the duathlon at Kokopelli. As I mentioned, my training going into this was solid so was it the poor sleep the night before? The onset of 100+ temps in Vegas over the previous few days and some possible dehydration? I don't know but I need to have better times when I get back up there for Kokopelli in September.