I ended up finishing 12th for male pros in the race- a result that is good, but I know I have to keep improving if I really want to pursue this sport. It is encouraging that I am still young, but that is not an excuse I want to use. I want to get to the point where I can win races like this, so I have a tough road ahead, but I am excited about my progress.
To the race:
Got up at 3:30 AM, did a 10 miute run shake out, had coffee, bagel with peanutbutter and a banana. Drive the 35 minutes to race course and got to transition around 5:00 AM. Did a 15 minute bike to make sure everything was in order gear wise, etc. Got on a bus to the start at 5:30 (bus driver subsequently got lost but still got to the start by 6:00 AM for a 6:30 start. Did another 5 minute run plus drills before the short swim warm up we were given. Felt ready to go. Had a Power Bar double latte caffeine gel about 90 minutes before the start.
My first thought in the swim was oh Jeez Andy Potts will fly out of the gate- not true. This was the nicest swim start I've encountered in awhile. I would contribute this to both the fact that I have been swimming in excess of 24KM/week long course and it not being an ITU race. I was very comfortable in the swim. Unfortunately, I followed the wrong person's feet and ended up to the far right in a slower swim pack. I ended up leading that pack out of the water with Australian Pellow and Nick Early. I think I could have easily swam 30 seconds faster if I had stayed in the group to the left. This was more of a sighting error. Spit was 18:18 with less of a current than last year plus leading a group comfortably.
The bike was tough as I knew I had ground to make up, and the Philly course is twisty, you can't really see how close the others are to you. I felt great on the climbs and would make up considerable ground on Nick during the climbs. The descents, I lost some ground, and pretty much was even on the flats where we would be hammering 27-29 mph to make up for the slow uphills. Actually misunderstood the stagger rule. I thought you always had to be BOTH 10 meters behind and 2 meters to the side, so there were times I would drop back while biking because I did not think I could just ride 2 meters beside them. I learned that lesson now and won't forget. There are definitely differences between ITU racing, which is akin to track intervals, and non drafting- more similar to a hard 1- hour tempo run. Overally, my 1:02 split was OK at best. I know my bike strength still has a way to come, but I was pretty happy with the result.
|Courtesy of Mark Hannagan|
I started out the run hard to make up ground. I quickly caught up to some stragglers and focused on Dan Eckel and Nick Early. I think I tried to make up too much ground the first 2 miles, because I slowed the second two miles with some leg cramping. Nothing major, but I was digging deep. Overall, all the run splits were slower than last year's because (I assume) the heat. I felt like I fought the whole way, and am happy with it, but not content.
35:07 for 10K split- only the top 4 pros out split me, but still was not as tough (cough cough pansie) in the middle 2 miles a little bit.
I have to thank my incredible sponsors as well as friends and family for supporting me. Power Bar, Kiwami, Trigger Point Therapy, Middletown Bike Line, Delaware Orthopaedics, Bifferato Gentiloatti for helping me get to races prepared.
|Courtesy of Frankie Feitzman|
|Thanks for the picture Mom|