US Elite National Championship: Race Report

Well, it was quite the first experience in "the show". I was well prepared on all fronts, and super ready to go. Going into the race, I figured with a dive start in choppy water with no wetsuit, I'd have every advantage I need in the water to get myself in a good position for the bike. Yup, things were looking up. At the start I sprinted out to the front, the field was at by feet by 100m. At this point, I "settled" in and tried to find a rhythm. Of course, what actually settled was the lactic acid from the 100m sprint. Consequently, what followed was Brett getting passed by everyone smart enough not to sprint (just about everyone else in the race). Oops. I feel like I should have known that was going to happen... 

 This is me coming out of the water a little over a minute behind the leaders. I like how the cap is standing on the top of my head like that. :-)
The bike would have been great if I got out with the leaders. Those little dots up the road? I caught them! We did some good work together, and actually made up some time on the chase pack. When it became clear that we weren't going to catch them, I made the mistake of letting up a little and loosing touch with the other two of our dynamic trio. Fortunately, there was only a lap and a half left, so I didn't loose too much additional ground.
There was an immediate turn after the dismount line, and I think I got off the bike too fast, and maybe pulled my groin cause it's killin' me now. Good thing it didn't mess me up for the run! I felt pretty good off the bike, and hit it pretty hard on the run. I was able to run through a few guys before the end of the race, but this guy wouldn't let it stick. I passed him with about 300m to go, and he blew right back by me in the last 100m. :-(
All in all, it probably would have been a good race if I was smart enough to pace out the front end of the swim, and scrappy enough to push full pace while crowded by the rest of the field. Instead, it was a pretty humbling experience that will hopefully serve as a good jumping off point for the next ITU experience.

After the race, Emily and I had a wonderful little road trip home. We got to stop where we met (Colgate), and where we went on our first date (Outback, Syracuse, NY)! It was a nice time together and a great opportunity to share our hopes and dreams. :-)