That being said I was really prepared to finally race well when I travelled to Raleigh. I had the chance to stay with Marion who was also competing in the triathlon. It was here first half ironman, so feel as though i may have been a blessing in disguise for her. It worked out well as she helped me get around the city and made sure we where we needed to be for race events and I gave her as much info as she wanted in her final preparation for race day.
As race day came, it was a smoothly run event. We had to be bused 40 mins from town to T1 for a warm water, yet wetsuit legal start. I had my typical oatmeal with natural peanut butter 2-3 hours before the race and then my generation UCAN vanilla protein mix 45 mins before race start. My goal was to stay with a couple of guys who i new could swim in the 26-26:30 range. I basically hung with Ryan Bates, Mike Hermanson, and Paul Eicher. We exited the water in 28 minutes, a little slow but it put me in a group to bike with.. Our group of 5 became a group of 4 after Eicher dropped us at mile 30, then with 8-10 miles to go i tried to gap the other guys so i would have a little head start on the run. I came into T2 in 4th and proceed to try and chase down Eicher. I got to with in 20-30 seconds but that was it, i couldnt close the gap and it gradually opened up again. I began to over heat as the temps started to creep into the 80s and i just had to watch my HR so that i wouldn't go over my limit and blow up. Speaking of which, I did eventually pass TJ Tollakson who hit the wall somewhere on the run, to move into 3rd. It was short lived however, as Kyle Pawlaczyk dropped me at mile ten and put 80 seconds on me in the last 5k.
I was very pleased with the result and happy that Marion also had a great race. She finished 5th in her age group and was happy with her race (and all the sage advice i gave her).
Prior to the race Rudy Project sent me a Wingspan helmet and i have to say that it is the most comfortable TT helmet I have worn. We all have different shaped heads and it is important to get a helmet that fits you. For me it is the Rudy Project Wingspan. Beyond that my Rolf PRima TDF 60sl and Disc Combo worked wonders on the beautiful course that IM Raleigh offered te athletes. Again my Champ-System jersey prvided the write amount of comfort i expect from a racing jersey.. Also thanks to the people at Without Limits in NC for coming out to cheer onthe athletes competing.
I'm looking forward to working with TRi DOT some more to see how the progression goes over the summer racing season. As well as doing some local races (tritofinish.com) and appreciating the race scene that MI has to offer the trlathlon community.