Spent the weekend in the Windy City, that is a great place. If I were going to move to a major city other than San Fran that would be it. Great to see some of my college buddies and met a former Hawkeye swimmer which is always cool. Also HUGE thanks to David Carlins, the head of Magellan Development, and the owner of the amazing condo that I stayed in for the weekend.
Anyway, back to the reason for the trip which was the Chicago Triathlon, in its 27th year one of the oldest and greatest races in the sport. Of course being old and great means really good money and subsequently really good fields and this year was no different as ever major player in the drafting and non drafting world came to town for a bit of throwdown…wow rhyme time, anyway focus.
The weekend was definitely not Chi town weather in August. I did the dumb thing and didn’t really check the weather and simply expected hot and humid like always, WRONG. The whole time we were there I don’t think it broke 70, and it was cloudy and windy for most of the trip. I wish I had taken more clothes but came out alright, at least I took my wetsuit.
Race day was sunny but only about 60 and a 20 mi/hr wind didn’t help anything. I have never seen waves like that in the harbor and the swim was choppy. Pre-race was ok, wished for more clothes during warm up but got through and walked the mile from transition to the swim start inthe wet suit. Swim start was a bit rough because of the chop, but kicked and punched my way up and got on Andy Pott’s feet. Rode them for the out portion, but when we hit the one turn bouy he jumped and I couldn’t keep pace, so I ended up a ways back of him but ahead of everyone else in a solid second. Then did the long run to T1, better this year than in the past as I held my place, and got right out on the bike and into the bars.
Did I mention the 20mph wind? Yeah Chicago is two loops of an out and back, headwind one way, tail the other. Of course you start with the headwind so first 5k was a bit rough on the legs but I got going and felt good. Ended up being in a non-drafting group with Reed, Potts, Charbot, and myself and we clipped along until about halfway back the first loop. Then things took a short but terrible turn.
This year there were a lot more age groupers out on the course with us than in past years and it was causing us to have to bob and weave while we raced, and in the aerobars that is not easy or really very safe. As we were clipping along with the tail wind the worst possible thing happened right in front of me. I am not sure how but somehow Andy and an age grouper just ran straight into each other’s sides, bounced off and hit the deck. I jumped on my brakes and narrowly avoided a sliding Potts as his day came to a terrible end. Hope you are doing ok Andy! I was able to get around but needless to say it was way to close and not what I needed to see. The rest of the ride was luckily uneventful and I came off in 3rd.
Starting the run I felt good, and with a tail wind took off relaxed. I made it to the turn around in 4th, but when I did the 180 into the wind, my form fell off, back tightened and I toughed it out back to the finish. Never totally collapsed but really tightened up and finiished in 7th. Held off some good guys, and finished strong, but obviously still gotta change my MO of fading on the run.
Overall, a very solid race in an extremely good field. Another big top ten, and a trip that got covered in winnings. Got to see some hawkeyes, had a few beers in Wrigleville and very much enjoyed the city. Just wish I had had a hoodie.
Now three days in BOCO and then off to Australia…wow that sounds so crazy, but I am so psyched to be a part of a legit Worlds team and hopefully have the opportunity to help one of our boys to the podium. Off to train…be safe…best wishes to Andy and a speedy recovery!!