First of all, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Rev3 for organizing an outstanding race! Everything about this race was exceptional and the volunteer support was over the top. I was blown away by the experience and wanted to give credit where credit is due! This was my second race with Rev3 and I will definitely be back! I would never had chosen Anderson, SC as a venue BUT what the heck do I know…. This was one of the best race sites I have ever been to. The city of Anderson is not big by any stretch of the imagination but it is very conveniently located on interstate 85 about 2 hours from Atlanta.
My wife was working in the general area so I picked her up at the airport on Saturday afternoon. I was listening to the Auburn football game on the radio and was not at all happy with what I was hearing! I scooped up Marietta at the airport and we headed to the race site for packet pickup. The exact venue was the Anderson Convention Center. This was to be a 2 transition area race, which was a bit nerve-racking on the front end. I had done a 2 transition area race just two weeks ago in Branson and the logistics were a nightmare. Fortunately, the lake where T1 would be located was just 2 miles from the convention center and T2. We got checked in and I was issued race number 140. We left the race site and checked into our hotel. I packed my bags for the next morning while Marietta searched for a good dinner spot. We headed out the door around 6:00 for a local restaurant called Trio. What we found was incredible! Brickoven flatbread was served..and then served and served again! I think I ate 3 whole loaves by myself! We had a great time at dinner and then headed back to the hotel for a not so sleepy night. I don’t know what it is about the night before a race BUT I NEVER SLEEP, EVER!
I couldn’t wait to pop out of the bed and the alarm finally came! We were out in 15 minutes. We drove to the convention center and I dropped off my T2 bad. We rode the bus to T1 and hopped out as I started to set up my bike and T1 area. Much to my delight, I was greeted by my very good Austrailian friend and teammate Stu Fitch. Stu gave me a big hug and yelled Yee-haw, U-haul. Stu has affectionately tagged me by Southern vernacular, Ya’ll (U-Haul!) Stu and I walked over to see Christine Anderson who was racing in the pro division. I thought how cool it was that 3 teammates were together in a small southern town representative of 3 completely geographic regions! T1 closed as the sun came up and we all headed to the water.
The gun went off as my wave charged down the beach. As soon as I hit the water my goggles filled with water. This was incredibly frustrating but fortunately all buoys were on the left and I’m a left-side dominate breather. The swim is never my best so I fought through it and managed to finish 4th in my wave, which was a huge suprise. I ran back into transition and changed for the bike. As I pulled on my bike shoes, I pulled my left shoe strap completely off, CRAP, CRAP, CRAP!!! I messed with it for longer than I should have before thinking to myself, JUST GO!
Before I knew it, I was out on the bike course and climbing! My left foot was ridiculously loose but I had no other options. The bike course was constantly changing elevation. I never really could get in a groove and spent more time out of the saddle than in the saddle. There was a few stretches where I could hammer, but the majority of the course was climbing and descending. I finished the bike with a 21.5 average speed and two very heavy legs! The bike course was nothing like I had expected from what I read in the athlete’s guide so I was thrilled with my 2:38 split time.
I was just over 3 hours into my race when I started the run. The weather was perfect, overcast and 70 degrees. I decided to go without a hat for the first time this year. I ran out of transition and out onto the course. I ran up a slight incline before heading into the nearby park. I ran down a hill, then up a hill, down a hill and back up again. It was like deja vu all over again. What the heck, were there any flat areas in Anderson, SC. I was running hard and passing people; exactly what I shooting for! I was feeling pretty beat up after the first loop and started to drink flat cola at each aid station. I was counting down the mile markers now, extremely ready to be done. I got to mile 10 and was ready to stop. I kept running and KEPT LOOKING FOR MILE 11. I was getting incredibly angry but then everything was fine when I spotted mile marker 12. “I sure do hate it when mile markers are not marked!!” I was never so happy to see that mile marker sign and from there turned up the jets a little more. I cruised across the finish line with a 1:29 1/2 marathon split.
My overall time was 4:44, not what I was hoping for but then again, the course was brutal! That time was good enough for a podium as I finished 3rd in the 30-34 age group. After the race, I waited for Stu to find that he won his 55-59 age group division after having led wire-to-wire! We checked in with Christine Anderson who had a great race and finished 4th Pro female. 3 Timex athletes in Anderson, S.C. and 3 podiums baby!!