Sunday marked my 10th anniversary of first heading to Huntsville to race. My first adventure I did the run->bike->run. My second year I jumped right into the water and since 2000 have made the annual adventure to Huntsville all but one season. Janet and Mitch and the Trisport team put an amazing event on every year and this year pulled some special tricks out of the bag to make sure the race happened. Moving the swim exit, the transition area, the swim course itself, the bike course…actually the only thing that stayed consistent was the hard, hard run! This was all courtesy of the G8 2010 summit occurring in Huntsville that has a bunch of construction at the race site.
Obviously the G8 takes precedent over the overly self-absorbed Tri-Geek club-J
Proudly emblazed in the www.race4kids.ca race top I barely made it to the swim start in time! Just getting there was an adventure with all the changes and not doing my usual swim up the canal to the start. Swim was bizarre, felt good but got dropped and came out with some friends I know well. I then made a meal of the first transition spending close to 2 minutes there and losing a minute to the same guys I finished the swim with! Off on my new Cervelo P3 I put my head down and within 5 minutes knew that feeling…heavy legs…no turnover…tired core…time for some positive self talk; “stay focused and force the pedals over, it will come around”. That turned to, “don’t worry, stay focused and aero. You will pull out some magic on the run” which then on the run turned into; “run your marathon pace for first 5K and then pick it up!”
I had a hard day but incredibly rewarding day!! I smiled and cheered and shared hugs with friends new and old. I made some surges later in the run and raced a fellow that did break me in the end. He passed me, I passed him, he caught me and took it by 5 to 10 seconds at the finish. My final 5K split was the fastest split so I take that nugget home knowing I forced him to dig deep to beat me-J I learned again that racing for fun is the best way to race. And I learned that triathlon truly is an amazing sport with a great community and amazing race organizers!