Once again, Muskoka attracted a great field of pros. With a lot of olympic distance athletes racing, the first 400 meters turned out to be a lot harder than I expected. After that, the pace settled back to a normal tempo. Coming out of the water, I was still with Crowie and in the lead group. Barney had opened up a gap in the last couple hundred meters of the swim and was riding off the front really hard. Crowie set out to close the gap as quick as possible. From that point on, I knew I was in for a hard day. For the next 20k, my main focus was to hold onto Crowie. 3/4 of the way through the bike, Barney lifted the pace, which broke the group up and left just me, Crowie and Barney. Coming out of transition, Crowie set off at a crazy pace. I went through the first kilometer in a little under 3:20 (5:20 mile) and Crowie had already opened up a big lead. My legs were still hurting from the ride, which ended up being 10 minutes faster than the year before. Barney was also running extremely well and opened up a small gap on me. I just settled in and tried to hold 3:20’s for the kilometers. After about 10k, I managed to close the gap to Barney. We ran together for a few kilometers and then I slowly pulled away. By this time, Crowie was already out of sight. The last 4k I found really dificult and the hilly run course was starting to really hurt my legs. I managed to hold onto second. I was happy with the way the race went as I am just starting to build for my Clearwater and Arizona races later in the year.
It was a lot of fun to race in my new home town. Sleeping in your own bed before a race is how it should be for every race. Getting on my bike and riding a mile to the swim start makes life a lot easier. Suprisingly, I actually led the swim out. I think that was the first time in my career. It gave me a chance to start the bike in the lead. With Andrew Yoder chasing hard from behind, I knew I had to ride hard from the start. I managed to build a great lead on the bike, which enabled me to have a relaxed run and save my energy for the Muskoka 70.3 six days later.