After getting home late Sunday night, I was looking forward to a couple easy days. However, my slave-driving wife made me finishing digging the entrance to my basement. So I spent 3 days digging holes and moving bricks. I think this smashed me more than the race did.
But anyways, the race. I was excited to get back to Portland this year. I knew Rev3 had changed the bike course – they added 2,500 ft of climbing and I love hilly courses.
I flew in Thursday night with my wife. Lucky for us we have some house guests who were willing to take care of the dog and chickens while we were both gone. Thanks Terra, Pat and Megan! Friday morning I drove the course with Barny. At first it didn’t seem so bad, but half way through we got into the serious hills. I knew this race was going to hurt, but was excited for the hills. They are a lot like the hills I train in in Boulder. It was definitely going to be one of the hardest bike courses I’ve raced on.
Race morning was a little chilly but not enough for a wetsuit swim. I felt pretty crappy the first half of the swim. I was fighting off the breathing problems I’ve been having, but managed to avoid a full blown attack. I felt better the second half of the swim but came out of the water 40 seconds down on the front pack. Coming out of the water, I tripped on the step and banged my knee. What a gumby move. However this made me super angry and I plowed through transition and started hammering the bike. Tripping probably ended up helping me catch back up to the pack.
Barny, who came out in the front of the swim took off on the bike. He had a good 45 seconds on the group in front of me, which included: Brian Fleischmann, Terenzo, Kyle Leto, Andrew Russell, and O’Grady. I managed to catch the group at the start of the hills. Instead of settling in with the group, I decided to bridge up to Barny. I knew if he was able to open up a big lead he’d be extremely hard to catch. We then held our lead of about 45 seconds through the hills. At the turnaround, with about 6 miles to go, I saw that Jesse and Jordan – two of the big threats in the race were gaining on us. I hadn’t put nearly as much time into them as I thought. That made me angry again. I really didn’t want to start the run with Jesse as he’s one of the best runners in the sport, so I put my head down and smashed the last 6 miles of the bike. It paid off as I managed to get about a minute into them. I have to thank Kestrel that I was able to pull that off.
Going on to the run, I heard that I had about 1:50 on Jesse and about 1:30 on the rest of the guys. After about 4 miles, my wife told me she thought Jesse was at about 1:30, so I knew he was gaining on me. People kept telling me he was there after that but I never got any splits, so I didn’t know how close. At the turnaround at about 8 miles, Jesse had pulled back a big chunk of time. With about 4 miles to go, I realized he was getting really close, so I put in a hard mile around mile 10. Then I went back to maintaining my pace. Jesse put up a hell of a fight. It was one of the hardest battles I’ve fought in a while, but I managed to hold on for the win. Congrats to Jesse for a great race. It seems to be every time I race him this year it hurts a little bit more.
I’m super excited to get another win in a Rev3 race. The field of athletes is always amazing and I had to fight hard. I couldn’t have done it without my sponsors – Rev3 of course. RecoveryPump is always a huge factor in my training. Also thanks to Kestrel, TYR, PowerBar, Rudy Project, Pearl iZumi and Shimano Pro DI2 for the support and awesome products. And finally, thanks to the Boulder Track club for all the run sessions.