This past weekend was Rev3 Pocono’s. I was happy to be doing another olympic distance race, as well as hit the start line again with good trainer buddy Joe Gambles. We duked it out at St George earlier in the year and with 70.3 being his specialty it was no wonder that I got my clock pretty well cleaned in the end. This was my chance at a bit of redemption with him having to drop down to the short course distance.
Race morning came with great weather, and a nice, later than usual 8am start for the pro’s. Considering my last race in NYC started at 5:45am I was pretty excited to not be up quite so early. After a standard oatmeal and EFS breakfast Joe and I headed down to the race. This was the first short course race I have done in a long time that was using two transitions, but after the craziness of St George earlier in the year I was just glad the two t’s were only 3 miles apart.
After a quick run warm up, and setting up the shoes in T2 it was on to the school bus to head down to the swim start. We were swimming in the Delaware River, so the swim was going to be some upstream, and some downstream. Usually people think that favors the weaker swimmers because of the downstream, but in my experience it is actually the opposite. The better swimmers are able to really put in some work on the upstream portion and stretch out the field and then once you head downstream, very rarely is the current so fast that you can’t continue to pull from the fatigued weaker swimmers.
At least that was my thinking when I tore off the line at the horn and headed toward the first can. About halfway to the first turn, I was psyched to see John Kenny come up along side and was more than happy to let him to the pulling as we continued to fight the current a bit. Once we made the first turn I could see things were stretched out and things were going to plan. As we made out way around downstream and around the final turn, I felt like we had put in a solid swim, but I hadn’t crushed myself and was ready to try and pounce on the 400m or so run into transition. Having a nice grassy field to run through was a great change from the long paved runs I have recently done at Alcatraz and NYC, and I was able to stretch the lead a bit before I even touched my bike.
A good transition got me out on the road in the lead and I did what I do best and started to hammer. I have found in racing that one of my biggest advantages over the other pro’s is what I can do in the first 5 miles of a 40k bike, so as per usual I tried my best to really put the boys in the box. The course in Pocono’s was a challenging, hilly adventure, and I did my best to stay smooth up and over the hills and really be as aero as possible on the downhills and flat sections. Everyone knows the Ventum is wicked fast on a flat course, but I think this year has opened some eyes as to how well the bike can get up the steepest of climbs, and handle any technical course.
This bike leg was a series of out and backs, and that gives you a good idea of where the other guys are. At the first turnaround I was stoked, and a little surprised that I was already almost 2 mins up on Joe, but knowing how much he pulled me back on the bike earlier in the year, that was just more fuel to the fire to keep mashing the pedals. I was feeling good on the bike and at the last turn around had added to my lead. Its always hard to tell what the gaps are exactly but I was confident it was close to 3 minutes, and considering both Joe and I had thought the magic number for him was 90 seconds I knew I was in a good place.
The bike course was tough, but compared to the run it was a stroll in the park. This run course started with an undulating mile on pavement and then transitions to 4 miles of out and back, hilly, dirt and gravel. I love these types of courses because they slow down the true speedsters and give some of the power runners like myself a chance. I spent the run focusing on my form and the footing and had about as much fun as you can have while destroying yourself over a 10k.
It was great to win another Rev3 race, as I think these guys really do put on fantastic events. It was also nice to even the score with my boy Joe. He’s already talking about the next time we race a 70.3 and I’m thinking we should just take it down to a sprint!
Now I have a solid 4 week block of training at home before I head off to China for my first crack at the Beijing International Triathlon. I am really excited to not only be heading to China for the first time, but toeing the line against some of the worlds best in this high profile international race.
If you are curious how I fuel for my races check it out at: First Endurance
If you want more info on the fastest triathlon bike in the world, hit up: Ventum