Second trip to Alcatraz wasn’t perfect but did what I went to do and had a solid showing. Got into SFO on Friday evening and went and met up with my parents for dinner. It was really nice to have them out at the race for support and to spend some quality time with them. Saturday went through my normal day before a race routine with a little run and bike and a short swim. The water was cold but with the wetsuit not terrible. Felt good going into the race and was really excited to mix it up with the quality field that was there.
Sunday morning was perfect weather. Just like last year it was sunny and warm and not too windy. I am starting to think that is what Escape is always like so when I am there and it is finally normal San Fran weather it will be a real shocker. They kept telling us that the swim was going to be fast and that the current would help us out a lot. Not really what the swimmers wanted to hear seeing as we like a good tough swim but with Potts, Fettel, Fleischmann and the boys there figured it would be a quick splash. Yeah, not so much. The swim started well, had a good dive in and jumped on Dustin McClarty’s feet for the start and got away good from the boat. But my goggles started to fog and I lost his feet pretty quickly. I was sighting off a tower and shore and thought I was right on course when I realized I was all alone and a boat pulled up and told me I needed to cut harder into shore. I know the ocean is big, but I felt really small out there when I couldn’t see anyone and it seemed like the shore wasn’t getting closer. Needless to say I had veered off course somehow and missed the lead swimmers and by the time I righted myself I was about 50 yds back. The water was really rough and it turned out to be a really slow swim, unfortunately I just picked a bad day to have an off swim.
The run to transition out of the water is about a half mile, but barefoot on concrete it feels like forever. My feet were cold and stiff and on fire by the time I got to the bike. Never really settled into a good rhythm on the bike until the last bit and by then it was almost too late. I had given up some ground to the leaders and was coming in in 7th place. Had a good transition and felt pretty strong going out on the run. I really like the run there because it is hard and up and down, not a really fast run but a gutsy one. I held my own on the climbs and decents but lost some time to Plata and Lewis on the flat section at the beginning. About half way through I realized if I could hold off Matt Seymour I would be in ninth, which isn’t great but a solid finish for an off day. I really hammered the sand ladder and the down hill sections and held on during the flat last two miles. Didn’t get him by much but stayed ahead and finished strong. It is the longest run I do every year and yet it goes by the fastest.
Overall, it was a good race, another top ten and some spending. The season is going really well so far and now I am about to turn around and head to Montreal for an ITU on Thursday. See how a close back to back goes for me. Totally different race, should be fast but my run feels good so we’ll see. Thanks again to my parents for the support over the weekend and congrats to Jimmy and Kristen for a great race. KP scored her first top ten at a major race! Long day of travel time to crash, peace.