I was excited to head back to Knoxville to race. I didn’t really have a great race there last year, but I really enjoyed the race course and the way the race was put on. It was a very challenging course. Once again, it was a stacked field this year, with a lot of top athletes.
Going into the race, I was really nervous the way my swim has been going. As it turned out, it was still going crap. I struggled through most of swim, but came out with the main pack anyway. Fleischmann, Reed, and Yoder had managed to put about a minute into us. Fortunately I came out with a good group of riders. Joe Gambles pushed it hard right from the start. It was certainly enjoyable to get into riding in the hills. There haven’t been many races this year that have been hilly. Gambles really kept up a high pace throughout the whole ride and managed to pull away by about 30 seconds by the time we got to T2. Going into the run, I found myself with a small group of guys to run with chasing down Joe. We really hit the first few miles hard to try and close the gap down to him. We managed to bring the time down a fair bit, but after the turn around, he saw us and picked up the pace. At that stage, I was really hurting and holding onto the back of David Thompson. With a 1 1/2 miles to go, I had a go at trying to catch Joe, but he was too far in front. I was able to pull away from everyone else though and ended up finishing 6th. I was happy with 6th. It wasn’t ideal, but it was a tough field.
It was great to have Recovery Pump there after the race so I could go and sit in the boots. It certainly helped cut down on my recovery time.