In all of my years of racing not once have I ended a triathlon season and began one on the same race course, until now. On Nov. 5th I did the ITU Long Distance Worlds race in Las Vegas and after about 5 months, I find myself right back on the same roads racing again. Certainly a good feeling as I have put in a lot of training time over the winter.
I was very excited to race the LeadmanTri Epic 125 as it has a reputation for being just plain hard. I felt very prepared since I knew most of the course well and used this as a fitness test for Strongman Japan held in just 2 weeks on April 15. Perhaps for most of the athletes it was the out & back 70 mile bike course that served up plenty of scenery, heat, hills, and, of course, wind (more on that in a bit).
I was excited to race with my teammates Jackie & Christine and knew they would do well. After we all got prepped, we headed down to the water and got warmed up. The day started with a balmy 61 degree 2500m swim loop in choppyLake Mead for the 250 athletes.
This was a very tough swim since the wind was just giving us a taste of what was to come. For about 1/2 the swim, it was fighting some white caps and decent sized swells. Honestly, I thought it was fun, but certainly was not the fastest swim conditions. I exited the water in 36 minutes.
The bike felt great for the most part but was unlike any other bike ride I’ve done in a race due to the wind and hills. I can’t explain what it really was, but only what it felt like. The course is very picturesque, but the wind just never stopped. It came from all directions, but I just did my best and biked has efficiently as I could. I had my Timex Cycle Trainer rigged up as well as my Run Trainer plugging away so I had plenty of information coming in. I caught the pro women on the way out and saw fellow Timex Multisport Team alum’s Hillary Biscay, and Heather Gollnick from back in the day – it’s always good to see them racing! I also saw fellow Timex alum Jordan Rapp unfortunately get a couple of flats at mile 25ish. I hit the turnaround and headed back and finished in 3:16. Yes, one of the toughest 70 miles of riding in race I have experienced. The head wind was blowing so hard at a few points that I just could not believe it, certainly stronger winds than in Kona at times.
The run came and the course served up more hills and wind. The 8.15 mile run course was all up hill to the finish in downtownBoulderCity. My legs felt actually pretty good out of T2. I soon caught up to Jordan Rapp and we ran for about 45 minutes together. By the time I hit the last mile I felt like an onion who’s layers were just about all peeled off! In this race, I felt all the feelings during an Ironman, but crammed into a shorter distance. Crazy!
I finished in 5:02 as 1st amateur and 5th overall with Pros. I stayed and cheered in Jackie and Christine and I know this will be a race for the books that we’ll never forget! Thanks to all of our sponsors including, Timex, Challenge Tires, Quintana Roo, PowerBar, Native, and Tri Swim.
Next up is Strongman Japan on April 15!!
On a side note, I hope all of you are USAT members and get the USA Triathlon magazine. Check out the next issue for a great read!