Ryan and I headed down to Clearwater again this year to race in the IM 70.3 world champs! Love this venue. A gorgeous and very welcoming community!
This year was a tough one logistically for myself and Ryan as we both had time and life constraints making training and racing difficult. This was literally my second race of the year! Babies are time suckers!
We headed down on the Wednesday to give ourselves some time to . . .ahem . . . uh acclimatize. Or get a good base tan!
Did the typical pre race stuff except with a tandem. Oh yeah, and hanging around with Van Praet means posing for lots of pictures and doing TV interviews!
There was a notable moment before the race. We were training with fellow Won with One (www.wonwithone.com) team mate Brian Cowie and his guide when a car decided to turn in front of us after making a quick move to pass us. We were travelling at close to 45kph and stopping wasn’t an option. Luckily I was able to veer right infront of the car. The bumper grazed Ryan’s leg and hit our rear disc cover throwing us about 6 inches sideways. Somehow I managed to keep it upright. That was real close to being a big mess!! No damage done, but the driver drove off without stopping. Gotta love florida!!
Typical 4:30 am start. Shoving food in our faces.
Headed down the beach to the swim start. Checked the bike over, filled the tires, put the wetsuits on and headed toward the surf.
We were starting in the pro womens wave again (which was second wave this year). This gives us a lot of room off the start which is nice.
The gun went off and we tried to stay on the feet of the women. This didn’t happen. The surf was a little choppy, and the low sun made sighting the yellow buoys difficult. We had one major detour on our way out to the turn around. Otherwise it wasn’t too bad. I am really comfortable in the surf (years of surfing!) but Ryan hasn’t had the experience. With the swells he got pulled around alot which makes my job harder. Swim 36 min. Slow, but everybody was around 4 min slower than last year, so that was ok.
Out of the swim and to the strippers who were very aggressive this year. I think they litterally threw Ryan to the ground!
Good transition and onto the bike. This year we were being chased by teamates Brian Cowie who is a national level paracyclist. Our goal was to hold them off on the bike as long as possible, so we could get them early on the run (hopefully) The fast blind dude (Aaron Scheides) was on a record setting day (4:09) and long out of our range. We held a good solid pace the whole way. It was another lonely ride for us. Not many people around. Just one guy who drafted off of us for about 20km. Happily he got nailed for it. We saw Brian at the turnaround and he was about 1.5km behind. We thought they would get us by 60 km. Somehow we managed to hold them off until 80km! We were stoked as they are unreal cyclists! 2:16 over the 90km is good for us, so we were happy.
Once they blew by us, we managed to hold them at about 500m into T2. Our fastest transition ever took us out infront of them.
Our goal on the run was to stay infront of Brian. We knew we were stronger runners so if we managed to not blow up we were assured the second place in the PC category. So it was a steady run. We pretty much kept the same splits the whole way through. It is an interesting run course, and good for the visually impaired athletes. It was cool to watch the leaders blow by us on our first lap. Raelert is an unreal runner. Amazing to watch! We crusied through the run in 1:53. A little slow, but we still put a bunch of distance on Brian. We both had a fair amount in the tank, but with our position secure, some nagging injuries that Ryan didn’t want risk making worse, we gladly took it easy on the run.
We finished in 4:53. A lot slower than last year, but a harder swim and bike course do to the chop and winds. We were happy with that. The major goal was to defend his 2nd place, and enjoy ourselves. This was achieved as I really had fun on this one.
This ends my second season racing with Ryan, and I have signed up for some more punishment next year! No IM though!