This race presented some interesting dynamics with lots of rough surf on the swim, wind on the bike and sand for the run. What more would you expect from an event hosted by the U.S. Navy Seals! It was a stellar race weekend sharing the experience with my parents, two athletes I am coaching and several friends who were also racing. The weather throughout the weekend was pretty decent with warmer temps and sunshine compared to previous races I've done held north up in Oceanside. The weekend presented several "firsts" for me:
a. Friday morning I was throttled awake at 2am by an earthquake. At first I thought I was dreaming, but as my bed shook I realized it was no dream. Bed surfing is kind of fun.
b. My accommodations for the weekend included a very comfortable stay at the stylish Paradise Village, a senior retirement community owned & operated by one of my athletes who was also racing the Superfrog. Needless to say it was QUIET and conducive to race prep.
c. During the second loop of the swim I got pummeled by a wave which had me doing cartwheels underwater as I made my way to shore. By far the most effective nasal saline flush I have experienced.
d. I had the pleasure of receiving my award and shaking hands with one of the U.S. Naval Commanders. Think Maverick from Top Gun in his Navy whites and dark sunglasses.
The race itself was a treat with the challenging conditions over the spectator-friendly course (2 loops on the swim, 4 loops on the bike & 2 loops on the run). Upon finding my bearings after the encounter with The Wave, I exited T1 in fourth position and about two minutes down from the race leaders. The bike was pretty straight forward with four loops along the Strand running paralell to the beach. The winds picked up with each loop as did the gap between me and the guys up front with Lars Finanger & Jonas Colting building a huge lead. I was able to maintain a steady effort and rode the second lap with a guy who eventually rode from 6th into 3rd. Towards the end of the bike I was caught by Ryan Cain (Canada) and stayed with him into transition. Coming off the bike I found myself in 6th position and was focused on pushing my pace on the run. It took a good two miles to get a feel for how best to negotiate the sand. By the end of the first loop I had worked my way into 3rd position. My legs were feeling pretty decent and I continued to try and push myself through the tricky sand portions and the final loop.
Crossing the line third overall in 4:15 I was pleased with my effort on the day and grateful for the gift of good health! It was a hoot to see my friends and athletes racing throughout the day. Congrats to Jonas & Lars for putting on a clinic as well as women's champion Angela Naeth.
I would like to thank my sponsors for their continued support as I look ahead to Wildflower.
Keep it smooth,