Tuesday, May 17, 2011
The Rev3 Knoxville marked the first olympic distance race of the year. In the weeks leading up to the race I really looked forward to racing the shorter course but as the race neared and training increased I remembered the intensity of a 2+ hour effort at near red line effort. The 1500m/26.2/6.2 mile course creates the every minute matters feel, and no time for mechanical errors, long water/food breaks, or pacing that you might want in a half or full ironman race. On the other hand a shorter course means less fatigue and a shorter recovery. The Rev series race was a great experience and was probably the toughest competition field yet. We found it hard to find anyone without a european accent at the expo and the pro field was stacked with 2008 olympian Matty Reed, and 70.3 world champ Julie Dibbens.
Race day brought overcast skies and about 10 degrees cooler than average which was great other than catching a mild chill the first few minutes out of the water. The swim was upstream for 500m and down stream 1000m. I felt strong but tried not to push it over the top, its hard to remember the swim is never won or lost in the swim. Coming into T1 I focused on keeping my heart in my chest and figured I was in decent position as about 2/3 of the bikes were still in the rack. The hilly bike course meant time out of the saddle and a lot of time trying to keep some power in the legs and not ruin myself on the greater Knoxville hills. This is where I need the most improvement, it was humbling seeing how high of a pace some guys can hold for the entire 26.2 miles. I knew going into the race that the run was where I could best put a gap on the competition. I saw my buddy Dan Waddell coming out of T2, looked at my watch, put my head down and went. Dan and I had had some good training runs in the past few weeks and I was happy to have him keep the pressure on. The plan was to keep a steady pace on the way out to the turn around(5k) and then empty the tank on the way back, sub 40min was the goal. I suffered a bit through miles 1-2 and really found comfort in the short course. Between 4-5 I spotted a guy in my age group who had passed me on the bike and started kicking. I think overall I was able to reel in 3-4 age groupers on the run(40:54). Overall time of 2:24
Heres the race recap video.