I was placed with an awesome homestay at the last minute (thank you Sara Fauquher and family) and I left my house at 8a on Friday morning; leaving my self enough time to make it to Muncie to watch the final moments of the Tour de France stage and then on to the pro meeting. After the pro meeting I made sure that my biked worked and prepared everything for the next morning.
Race morning was interesting as the back up getting to Prairie Creek Reservoir was quite substantial. I was still in my car 60 mins prior to the race start. Fortunately my parking spot was a 5 min walk to my transition spot. I did not take long to put everything together and I was out of the port o john with time to zip up my wetsuit and warm up for 5 mins.
The swim start was chaotic, as usual, and I lost ‘the group” in the first 5 strokes and essentially lead a couple guys around the course for the next 28 mins. I always wonder what these guys think, when they realize they were drafting off of me, ha ha.
Up the hill to transition I ran with Mike Caiazzo and Robert Wade. Knowing I could bike with Mike (we essentially had the same bike split at Syracuse) as well as Robert (we rode together at Muncie last year) I figured we might be able to catch a few guys to put ourselves into a place were we might have a chance to run into the money. The group dynamics worked well with the 3 of us and we eventually passed a couple of guys who had dropped off the lead pack and we added Ryan Bates to our group for the last 25 miles. The four of us rode into transition together, where I proceeded to fall off my bike dismounting. My shoe, which I was standing on, which “was” clipped into my pedal came loose and dropped to the ground and I soon followed. Robert with his cat like reflexes some how managed to avoid my head laying there on the pavement and as it I turned out I lost about 30 seconds leaving T2.
Onto the run, I knew the first half would be fast and the second half a bit slower based the out and back course with a gradual descent to the turnaround. I ran within my limits, knowing the top 4 were out of reach and focused on each person ahead of me one at a time. I passed Ryan a few miles in, then Devon Palmer a few more miles in, and surprisingly I passed Robert before the turnaround (He is one of the fastest runners on the IM Circuit and just had an off day). At that point Mike and I were stride for stride (his a little faster than mine) as we dialed in on Blake Becker who was in 5th ($). Mike caught Blake sometime before mile 8 and I didn’t make the pass until sometime between miles 8 and 9. I was “content” with 6th place considering Mike put 2 mins on me in the last 10k.
I quickly packed up and got into my car for the 7 hour drive to Glen Arbor, MI for a couple of days of light training in lake MI and the rolling hills of upper Michigan. All in all I was in Muncie for less than 24 hrs and was quite happy with results.