The three or four days leading into the race were extremely windy. I was stressing that the race was going to be one of those brutal windy hot St. Croix days. Luckily, race morning the wind died off and the heat stayed away, making for perfect race conditions. Dirk Bockel made it clear from the start that he was going for the swim prem, so everyone settled into a fast but relaxed pace. There was quite a large pack for the first couple of miles of the bike. I didn’t feel that great early on. Rhodsey worked hard for the first part of the ride until we got to the beast. I managed to get first over the top of the beast, making it the third year in a row winning the bike prem. After the beast, the pack had thinned out quite a lot and we were down to a 5 man group. The pace remained really high throughout the rest of the ride. Toward the end of the ride I started to cramp and was struggling to hold the group. Heading out on the run, Rhodsey, Dirk, and Igor had a 50 second gap on me. I felt really good the first 3 miles and chased hard, catching Rhodsey early and quickly closing on Dirk and Igor. Me and Tim ran side by side for the first 3 or 4 miles. I started to feel really good running through the golf course and Tim dropped off. Unfortunately my good legs didn’t last much longer than that. Heading back out on the second lap, for some reason I bonked really badly. I’m not sure whether it was nutrion during the race or lack of bike mileage throughout the winter, but for the next 6 miles, I really had to dig deep and hurt to hold onto third. I managed to stay on the podium for the 5th year in a row. Looks like that win will have to wait until next year.