Speaking of prior to race day we had time to snorkel at Buck Island, home of one of the worlds fastest growing coral reefs. I could have stayed out there all day as the water was pristine, the coral was magnificent, and the fish were eccentric and electric at the same time.
A couple of days before the race I also had the opportunity to connect with Tri Bike Transport owner Mark. He and Jason did a fantastic job getting our bikes from the mainland to the island and back safe and sound. It so much easier not having to hassle with your bike before a race and can rest assured it will be there and together when you need it. Thanks again Mark.
Another shout out goes to Jon Sherman of Carbon Concepts/Cycle Club Sports. I have known Jon for a number of years now, and i have never met a more hospitable bicycle mechanic, business owner, triathlete. For whatever you triathlon and bicylce needs check out cycleclubsports.com
The race itself was more about the weather before the race and how it left the course afterwards. Torrential downpours throughout the night altered the already difficult bike into a cycle-cross event. Fortunately we were reassured by the presence of a rainbow race morning that everyone would return to the start finish area one way or another. Standing with our (the pro male field) feet in the water waiting for the gun, many of the guys joked about not carrying a spare tube or change kit, and just dropping out if anything happens. Well, as ominous as that was we started the swim and i got crushed, although the water clear blue and despite getting dropped by the main pack i enjoyed the scenic view of the ocean floor without all the disruption of the other swimmers. The course felt long and the current swirled about, i got passed by 3 women and exited the water ready to tackle the most treacherous and difficult bike course on the IM 70.3 circuit. I can't say i really biked well as i had just ridden my bike fit by Brian at Cross Country Cycle in Holland , MI only 4x before shipping it. Anyways, I passed Tim O'Donnell and Max Kriat (flats) and Dirk Bockel (flat) in the first 8 miles. Then i passed Josh Amberger (cable mechanical) shortly after the beast. I rode conservatively and took in the views while becoming more and more dehydrated on the hot (upper 80s) and humid (upper 80% ) island. Once i hit transition it was off to "finish" the race and look for Kate and the rest of the support crew who was most likely suffering in the sweltering heat. I passed them about a half mile out of town on my way to the Buccaneer for the turn around. After many walks up the steep hills upon my return to town I was "done" but something about finishing makes you press one. My HR was in the upper 160/low 170 range and i couldn't breathe the thick hot air. it was survival mode. On the second loop i passed Ben Hoffman (i think he was in an ambulance at the time), and tried to strike up a conversation with whoever wanted to talk as i was just trying to keep my heart in my chest. At one point on the last hill in the Buccaneer Resort my HR elevated while walking. It was ridiculous, ha ha. Well, i finished (10th male pro) and feel stronger for it, but not faster. I figure every race after this one will not be as difficult and long and hot!
2 days of rest and recovery after the race on the island was a great way to spend the final time of vacation before heading back to Michigan.
Thanks to my sponsors and supporter and suppliers of products for my race. TRI 4 HIM as aways for your prayers. Nexcare Health Systems and Hamburg Fitness Center for the freedom to train and race. Generation UCAN for the protein drink that i like to consume about 45 mins before training and racing. Champ-System for the great race jersey, and Xterra for the speed suit. X-Laces for keeping my feet secure in the ALTRA "the ONE" running shoe. Rudy Project for the fantastic sunglasses. Louis Garneau for all the apparel and shoes they supply for my training and racing needs. And in this instance I'm especially thankful to Rolf Wheels for durable TDF 60sl wheels that kept me safe and secure on the bike.
thanks again to everyone who reads this and connects with me here and at the races!