Thursday, May 10, 2012

Wildflower: The Long, Medium and Short of it

Last Saturday I raced the legendary Wildflower long course triathlon in Paso Robles, CA. In its 30th year, this is one of the longest running and most storied races in the sport. It was the site of my first exposure to triathlon as a volunteer in my college years at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and that of my first half Ironman distance race in 2008. The weekend, the location and the course never fail to live up to their reputation, and this year was no different.

I need to send a special thank you to the entire TriCalifornia Events team as they put on a top shelf race and take care of all athletes, including the pros, as if they were family members. This is truly a top notch organization that should serve as the model for any aspiring race directors.

Onto the race. I will keep it brief as my race deserves little attention. So to take the title of this post in reverse, I will start with the "Short":

I slotted myself off to the left, got caught up in a bit of scrapping but made it fairly unscathed, but quite winded, to the first turn buoy. I had to try and relax for a few hundred meters and stayed just off the feet of the a group ahead. Later I found a rhythm and was able to bridge up and swim my way up to the near the front of the group. Fettel and McClarty were way off the front with a few others between us, and then our group of 6 or so. Though I felt the swim was not a good one for me, I came out securely within the top 10 and with some of the big contenders.

Onto the "Long" of it:

I did indeed come out of the water with some of the big engines and ahead of a few others. Unfortunately, as has been par for the course since last year, I watched them all ride away throughout the day on the bike. There is not much to be said about my ride other than it was quite pathetic. I had great equipment, finely tuned, and ready to roll. Again however, it was the engine that failed. Since leaving the squad I have been focusing my attention on my riding and it indeed has paid off as this ride was much better than Leadman. But competitiveness on the bike at this level does not come overnight. The hole that my early season training (or lack thereof) has left me in is quite deep with respect to the bike. Climbing out will not be a quick leap, and will require some effort and time. I am game for the challenge however and things are now on the right track.

And finally the "Medium":
I came into T2 with no idea where I was in the race, but certain it was FAR out of money contention. So I set my sights on just trying to run a solid steady 13.1. I got my feet under me, and just tried to concentrate on a solid cadence and relaxing my back and shoulders. I ran with my new Timex GPS run trainer and it was great. It felt much lighter than my Garmin did as I didn't get any of the arm fatigue/burn that I do sometimes with the Garmin. My goal was to run under 1:20 and at the halfway mark I thought it might be in the cards. However going through the camp grounds I didn't feel the normal "pop" I do in that section and my energy began to fade. I took a PowerGel at each of the next two aid stations before the long climb back up to the mile 10 marker. On the downhill I got to see a large group of runners ahead of me, but it was too late. I ran the last miles before the downhill hard, but they never came back into view. I ended up with a 1:22 which is a PR for me on that course, but not where I wanted it to be. Again, medium.
Thanks to TriLounge's Kevin Koresky for the photos and the support!
I finished 20th, in 4:22, and WAY off the pace of the race. 

I want to send out a HUGE congrats to fellow Zooter and friend Heather Jackson for her incredible race and course record on way to winning her first major race. You are in fine company Heather. Can't wait to see you name on those stairs.

As always I need to send a big thanks to my incredible sponsors for supporting me and sticking with me through as I attempt to right the ship.

ZOOT - From the water to the run, you've got me covered and go above and beyond. It is an incredible opportunity to work with a company on the leading edge of our sport and I value it greatly. I wore the Prophet wetsuit which is by far the most flexible suit I've ever worn, and raced in the TT5.0s which were light and comfy but held up well to the rocky and slippery trails of Wildflower.

BH Bikes - The GC will go much faster soon.. I promise! I've spent some quality time bonding with it for the past month and there is only more in the future. Thanks for believing in me.

REYNOLDS - I opted for the RZR 92s out at Wildflower due to the rather punishing road conditions and the hills. I was happy with my choice. A few more modifications to the engine, and these bad boys will be delivered the horsepower they deserve!

SPY+ - I can't recall exactly how many compliments I have been given on my Spy shades in the past few months. In a casual setting, on the bike, or on the run, they look great and perform. I wore the matte white "Screw" on Saturday and was happy I did.

TRIBE MULTISPORT - The camp last month was great fun and also an opportunity to get some new accoutrements for my GC. They are helping and the bike is running flawlessly. Having a fully stocked shop with knowledgeable staff is awesome.

POWERBAR - Aside from a few swigs of on course drink, I fueled my entire day on PowerBar products. Cookies n Cream bar and 1 pack gel blasts for breakfast, a Double Latte gel before the swim,  Strawberry Banana gels on the bike, 4 Powergels on the run. Not a stomach issue all day.

MIKELSON & MIKELSON, LLP - Having a "Firm" that firmly backs my pursuits is truly invaluable. It sounds cliche, but it is simply fact, I would not be here, chasing my dreams, without your support. Great lawyers & Great people.


  1. Pretty freakin' awesome if you ask me!!

  2. Your medium is pretty amazing, and how great to have the entire family cheering you on....

  3. Congratulations, Ian. A solid race, even if not quite what you're looking for just yet. Now riddle me this: how the hell do I set the time and turn off the hourly chime on that new GPS run trainer from Timex? Is it the marathon one? They just sent it. It currently sleeps in my car because of the beeping. Other than that though - I love it.

  4. Take the punch, get right back up and think of what's still to come in 2012! I hope to be enjoying a BBQ w/ you by mid October after we both raced Kona.

  5. At least you looked good, that new kit and gear are looking damn sharp.