After relaxing for a few days on the beach and taking in some of the local sights I figured it would be a good time to post a race report.
Swim (59:17 - Kona swim PR) I placed myself towards the middle right closer to the pier and had what felt like my best start at this race. I quickly found some feet and was in the middle of a decent sized group which allowed me to limit my sighting. We were swimming right along the buoy line out to the turn around and it was feeling quite comfortable. At times I thought the pace was too comfortable, but did not want to push things and end up swimming solo as I have in the past. My swim fitness has definitely improved, but with a more aggressive start and working things early on I think I can place myself with a faster group. It was good to exit the water with fifteen or so other athelets than one or two as I had in previous years.
Bike (5:17) Immediately out of transition the effort felt really hard and looking down at my front wheel I saw my brake was off center and rubbing. Fortunately it was an easy fix as I was able to reach down and open the brake lever. Riding along the Queen K I was comfortable and focused on my race plan. About an hour into the ride my container of Endurolytes flew out of my side pocket and spilled all over the highway, leaving me with no salt until I reached my special needs bag after the turn around in Hawi. Riding up to Hawi the winds were gaining strength, but I felt stronger than I have in other years. I really began to struggle once back on the Queen K heading back to town with some cramping in my hamstrings. While my body was not responding as I had hoped, I was able to stay strong mentally and complete the ride with my focus shifting to the run. Note to self...do not use aero helmet on the big island as any gains are minimal with the added wind, heat and humidity.
Run (2:49 - IM run PR) With the cramping I felt during the bike I was very uncertain how my legs would feel once on the run. Exiting T2 and finding my way through the cheers of the crowd gathered at the hot corner my legs felt good. Running along Ali'i Drive to the first turn around I felt relaxed, smooth and fluid. My focus was on fueling, hydrating and keeping cool through each aid station while running down as many athletes as I could. It was like a giant game of Pac-Man. The temps really seemed to soar once out on the Queen K and into the Natural Energy Lab. Unlike last year though where I began to break down at this point, I found myself feeling stronger as the run progressed. Over the final four miles I was able to run down several more guys and was very happy to make the final turn on Ali'i Drive and run towards the boisterous finish chute and familiar voice of Mike Reilly.
Total time 9:12 & 48th overall
Congrats to everyone who was racing in Kona and the Colorado contingency - Uli, Glen, Jeff, Tim, Brandon, Justin, Wil & Michael...great work!
Despite a slow bike this was my best performance in Kona and I am pleased with the result. Recovery is going well and I am excited about my final race on November 8th at the Foster Grant 70.3 World Championship in Clearwater, FL.
A huge MAHALO to my support team of sponsors (Team Sport Beans/NTTC Racing, TYR, Champion Systems, Rudy Project, blueseventy, Blackwell Research and Mix 1), family & friends. A special thanks to my coach Zane Castro for getting me to the line in good form. I am very grateful for the opportunity to share this experience with all of you. The support and encouragement has been huge in allowing me to be my best.
Keep it smooth...
Random Race Notes:
Swim - need to continue to work on speed development and mechanics; train body to swim stronger towards the end of key sessions
Bike - power and strength development through more big gear work and climbing; increased awareness of cadence & gearing relationship relative to conditions
Run - focus on maintaining better form over final portion of longer runs