For the last race in the first half of my season, my mom, girlfriend, and I drove up the east coast on July 4th weekend for another 70.3 distance. I still feel like I am trying to figure out how to race this distance as every race has gone similarly so far: great swim, decent ride but my body is not happy during the run. Part of that might be a need for better bike fitness to TT 90 km and back it up with a good run, and part might be nutrition. Either way, Challenge St. A's felt like another step in the right direction.
The swim was wetsuit legal and I immediately hopped on John Kenny's feet and sat there with Alessandroni from Italy. After about 500 meters, I was swimming just a bit too hard to keep their feet so they dropped me. I led Taylor Reid for the rest of the swim (eventual winner- great race, Taylor). I got out in 24:12, and began the 400 meter uphill run to T1.
I enjoyed the bike course here. 16 km to the major highway, 2 laps of about 28 km, and 16 km back all with rolling hills. Perhaps it was the cold water, or just being a wimp, I had a really tough time getting my legs going for the first 16 km. I got misdirected around a turn and went about a minute off course. Once I got on the highway, I started feeling much better and the sun came out. I rode about 2 minutes behind John Kenny and about a minute up on the next pack of two riders: Iain Alexandrines and Alistair Eeckman. I rode 2:22 with the 1 minute or so that I was off course.
Iain and Alaistair caught me with about 6 km to go and I entered T2 in 7th. I started the run strongly and caught Iain by the first turn around (about 5.2 km), but then started to drift back. The rest of the run was just focusing on not slowing down too much as Iain pulled away to a great 3rd of his own. I finished 6th with a 1:22 run. It is a frustrating to have closed down the gap after what felt like an easy first 5k, but not be able to keep running that pace.
Overall, this felt like another step in the right direction, but still not satisfied. I will have a bit of a break between races now as I am moving to Boulder in the beginning of August. After getting settled, I will choose another race or two to finish out.
On the way home, we stopped at Acadia national park and got to take in some awesome adventures
As always, I have to be thankful the people in my life are willing to travel to these races and support me, so a big thank you to my mom and Melissa. Of course, thanks to Square One Investments, Team Philly Pro Tri, and Power Bar as well!