Monday, September 28, 2009

Friends a wedding and a race

This last weekend was pretty Jam Packed. Maggs arrived on Friday at 4:30am and once home threw herself full force into a series of naps. After some pool time, run time, and dinner time, it was bed time and Saturday was set to be a hectic one. Maggs was mainlanded to race in the Best of the US race, which this year was the OC International Tri, that Charisa, Tawnee, the Brothers Pearson, and myself were all set to race as well, just in the normal (not the "Best") race.

Saturday I was also heading to spectate another significant event, the wedding of my friend and fellow triathlete Brandon to his beautiful (now) wife, Sarah. Timing however was an issue. Maggs had to be at a race meeting at the race start at 3pm. I had to go to race check in, a nearby hotel, and get to T2 to drop off my run stuff and then get to Coronado Island by 4. It was not looking good. So being the gentleman that I am, I swung by the lake and booted Maggs out of the car and into the heat at the lake a full HOUR before her meeting was to start, jetted to T2, dropped my run gear, and parking-lot-changed into a suit for the speed race to Coronado. The wedding was at 4. My arrival time, 4:22. I was dreading being "that guy". I got my pre-race sprint work in from the car to the venue and made it just before the procession began. A beautiful ocean front wedding ensued followed by some good grub, and then I was out. Back on the road and up to the Wernick Casa de Rock. Charisa and Steven (who should be entirely fed up with my repeat impositions) were kind enough to pick Maggs up from the lake, and let us crash at their house on Saturday night.

Sunday was race day and it went like this.

Swim: I had the good fortune of starting in the 5th of 6 waves, so I knew there was going to be some weaving and bulldozing on the way, but I was actually pleasantly surprised with it. I caught a great draft for half the swim (PLEASE GOD let that happen in KONA!!) and exited with what I think was a good time. My Zoot SpeedZoot was awesome!! It was my first race swimming in it and I was frankly really surprised how nice it felt. I think I swam about a minute faster this year and last year I was in a wetsuit!

T1: I made the rookie mistake of running up the wrong aisle and spent some time frantically dancing around looking for my bike... idiot

Bike: After about 15mins I settled into a really good rhythm and was able to start picking riders off. I didn't see many (any?) in my age group so i just tried to get as many guys as I could. I battled with a few 30 & 40 yr olds for a while but by the turn around, I was able to put them behind me for good. Everything felt great on the bike until about 45mins in, when my heart rate started coming down rapidly and I realized that the one Powergel I had at the beginning of the bike might not be enough to get me through the entire race. Oopps! But I kept pushing just following Charisa's instructions to make the entire race HURT!! Climbing the last hill I saw fellow T3er and spectathlete extraordinaire, Bill, who informed me that only one 25-29er was ahead of me. I came into T2 right about an hour (I think?) and was happy with that for how hilly this course is.
Run: My goal for the run was to try and concentrate on my breathing, a fast turnover, and keeping my arms low. This is a challenging run with some pretty big hills (I remember them now M!). I caught the 25-29er, Chris Berg, just past the first mile marker. I have raced with Chris many times and know he is fast. I watched him race Malibu the week before and I knew his 10K was primed to go, so I was a little worried my Ironman legs wouldn't hold the pass.
So again, I just concentrated on the turnover and breathing. Sure enough, on the BIG hill, he caught and passed me while my quads screamed for mercy. I did not want to get in a sprint to the finish with Chris, and wanted to put as big of a gap as I could (if any) on him before the last half mile. I didn't know if that was possible, but once that last big climb was crested, I decided to find out. I went for it and when we hit the road again, I just tried to hold pace the rest of the way.
Once we hit the final turn around, about 3/4 of a mile out, I saw that I had put in a little gap, and I knew I had the legs to take it in from there.
Post finish Maggs, Charisa and I enjoyed some of the best finish line fare I have ever had, OTTER POPPS!!
When all was said and done, I missed breaking the "elusive" 2 hour Olympic distance mark by 30 seconds, but on that course I was content with a new PR for the distance. I ended up winning the 25-29 group and (factoring out all the real fast guys... read BOUS racers) I was the first overall male. Charisa had the same results on the female 30-34 side and overall, which meant I had the honor of sharing the top podium spot with an amazing athlete and even better friend. Icing on the cake in my book.
The crew we assembled did pretty well, with Tawnee taking 2nd in her AG, her mom winning the 50-54, and the elder Pearson taking 3rd in 30-34. After a little jogging, a little riding, and a TON of RD speeching. It was off for some BOMB mexican food with Maggs and the Wernicks. All in all, an awesome weekend with some great people, and good racing.

A great way to head into the big dance... 11 DAYS!!!!!


  1. Looks like you're in awesome shape for Kona! Congrats!!!

  2. Great race. What a weekend, eh! Can't wait to enjoy the Californian racing scene at 70.3 in March :)

  3. T1 = hahahaha AWESOME!!! :)

    Nice job out there, you rocked! I owe you lunch!!

  4. I'm so disappointed you didn't break 2 hours. Wtf. C'mon.

    See you in Hawaii!

  5. Hey Ian, it's Chris Berg. Nice report, and excellent race! Glad I don't have to race you in Kona, go get'em out there.