3rd Time’s The… Well, It’s Something…

Nutmeg State Half-Ironman
9.23.2007 – Washington, CT

So after the long break following IMC, I finally returned to racing at the Nutmeg Half-Ironman. The race was two weeks ago, but they were two hectic weeks with a trip to Interbike, another race, and some more travel. Did I mention travel? And some more travelling… So I’m finally getting around to writing up the race reports.

First, let’s talk about the swim. In fact, I’d like to spend most of the time talking about the swim, since I had the fastest swim split. It was pretty cool to have a lead out of the water. You never know how exact the courses are, but I felt really strong the whole way and came out of the water about 30 seconds up on Tony Delogne, who was one of the pre-race favorites, and a few minutes up on Janda Ricci-Munn, one of the other pre-race favorites. I’d like to relive every moment of that swim, since it was definitely the best part of the race. I had a good start and then settled into a comfortable rhythm with a focus on long and powerful strokes. After a season of tweaking, I’ve finally figured out how to really get my T1 on just right, and I felt awesome. Sadly, the swim did come to an end, and then it was onto the bike course.

This bike course is just not right. I think that whomever designed it (cough*johnhirsch*cough…) is a bad, bad person. It has about 5,100 vertical feet of climbing. To give a reference, that is about double Timberman or roughly the same as Ironman Lake Placid, but in half the distance. So it’s hilly. A LOT hilly. About 30 miles in, I had a ten minute lead over Janda, as Tony had to retire after missing a turn and going off course. In a cruel twist of fate, he was not the only one, as suddenly itoowentoffcourseandwentfrombeingtenminutesuptotenminutesdown. Okay, I said it quickly to get it over with. I think I need glasses, so we’ll blame it on that. Anyway, I was then the chaser instead of the chasee and managed to get back into second place by T2.

Out on the run, I had some Ironman still in the legs, but I managed to hold on with a steady, if not spectacular, run. Overall, it was a pretty good day, except for that one bad decision.

The course was beautiful, especially the swim, which I’m now very fond of. The bike course was murderously hard, but incredible. The run was supposedly flat, but I think I’m going to get a topo map out. I guess it was flat compared to the bike. But that isn’t the same as actually flat. It’s a great course. Mandy Braverman and John Hirsch did a great job of putting on a first year race, albeit it one that might have forced some people to walk their bike at times, and I’m excited to go back. With glasses…

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