As has become the Monday tradition of the past three weeks it is the weekly race update, this time for the LTF finale at the US Open in Dallas.
Real quick before the update a sappy comment. Just want to say a special thanks to my girlfriend Natalie for her amazing support throughout the season! She was there when it was great, helped me through my injury and has been at the last three races with me. A wise man once told me a great girl makes racing well that much easier, he was definitely on to something!
Back to the race. We got into Dallas on Friday afternoon for the race meeting and had a great dinner and VIP party at the Hilton in Rockwall where the race was being held. Amazing hotel right on the lake, and had I entered soon enough would have been a great place to stay. But entered late so we were staying just up the road. Anyway, Saturday had a good pre ride of the course with some locals and some pro’s and then had my standard hawaiian pizza dinner with Natalie and Kyle on Saturday night.
It was another early start, which I have often said I like better, and I was putting the bike into transition about 6:30 am. Got in a good pre ride, some good run drills and then headed down to the water. Air was a bit chilly, but the water wasn’t too bad, just glad it was a non-wetsuit swim. Got to wear my Blue Seventy PZ3 for the second week in a row and definitely think its the fastest swim skin out there.
The start was a lil hectic as they didn’t use the starting boxes as they had said but towed the line and had a good dive off the dock. LOVE dive starts! Apparently Hunter had a bit of a false start over to my left but they let us go and I quickly got over onto his feet. The swim was just a simple triangle and fairly uneventful. Stayed on Hunter’s feet when I could but he kept swimming off course so I was on my own for most of it. Pulled along a pretty good train of the guys, but with so many ITU guys there it was certainly expected to be a good swim group.
Bit of a concrete run to T1, got there just on Hunter’s feet and we headed out of T1 and straight up the first of quite a few small steep hills. The course was great in that is had some good corners, lots of up and down, and plenty of flat and fast the only downside was it was never more than 1 lane which in a non-draft race causes stager and drafting issues. No commentary but it would be great if they could widen the course next year!
I had a good ride, starting near the front, taking the lead about mile 5 and then never looking back. Finished with the fastest split on the day and a 40 sec or so lead on the chase group of the big guns.
The run too was fairly hilly, nothing long just short and up and down. I ran well, or at least better than I have been and lead through mile 2.5 when Stuart and Filip caught me heading up the hill toward the turn around. I stayed with them as long as I could and at the turn knew Matty and GB would be hot on my tail. Did what I could on the way back trying to stay with Matty when he got me at mile 5 and then GB when he caught me on the last downhill but again learned that my biggest weakness as a running is downhills. I finished strong and in 5th with the 2nd best swim, best bike, and 10th best run.
Good finish to the LTF series although having gone well here really made me more bummed that I couldn’t have held it together better in Chicago. One more race in the set here in Puerto Vallarta this coming Sunday and then a much needed week off. Really liking the race/rest weeks but 4 is a lot.
Side note, hope Hunter is feeling better as he had a tough crash on the the ride as well as Kristen Peterson who had some mishap with a car on the bike as well. Both seem to be ok for the most part, hope for a quick recovery.
3 down, 1 to go…
Bummed I will miss the Hawkeyes game at the Big house this weekend, maybe Mexican TV will be nice and carry the game!!