Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Kansas 70.3 Race Report

We raced the Kansas 70.3 this past weekend and I have to say it was one of the best 70.3 races out there that I have done. There were a lot of races to choose from this past weekend (Kansas 70.3, Eagleman 70.3, Boise 70.3, Alcatraz, and UK 70.3) and we decided on Kansas earlier this year for the convenience of driving to the race, although I'm thinking we fly next year, and also for the challenging course.

We started the trek to Kansas Thursday afternoon and stayed in Dallas that evening with one of Brandon's college buddies. It was a short stay as we wanted to get in a swim Friday morning and then hit the road early to finish the drive. We arrived at our homestay in Kansas at about 5pm. I must say we have really lucked out on our homestays this year. Joel and Mary made us feel right at home and their house was beautiful. We went for a little jog to shake out the legs and then headed to downtown Lawrence for some Thai food. Lawrence is a pretty cool college town. It reminded me a bit of Guadalupe Street here in Austin.

Saturday was the usual pre-race registration, warm up, and pro meeting. We biked some of the course which looked to be a challenging course, and swam at a local pool nearby. The weather was cool and I even debated trying to find a Tri shop to buy arm warmers (I didn't but definitely thought about it)! I'm a bit of a wimp when it comes to cold weather.

Race morning wake up call was 3:45am...not fun and then out the door by 4:15pm. The temperature was perfect. Race started at 6:30am for the men and 6:32am for the women. It was a wetsuit swim with the water temperature at 72, last time I checked the cut off for wetsuits for the pros was 72 degrees (or even 68 for some races).

I started the swim right next to Nina. When the gun went off I was right on Nina's feet but found that two other girls were a bit ahead of her. I went around Nina and tried to make a surge to try and catch the other two girls. Too late. Didn't quite have the speed to catch up and I ended up swimming alone for the last 800meters or so.

T1 I found CW grabbing her bike as I just got to my bike. How did she swim so fast? Once on the bike I tried to be steady on the hills going outside of the park. CW was already nowhere in sight. Amazing. Actually there was no one in sight. I had a couple of pro guys fly by me and that was about it. I just plugged along hoping that I would eventually catch Pip who was first out of the water and quite a ways ahead. At about mile 40 or so I got word from Lars on a out and back that Pip was just ahead and Chrissie had flatted. That gave me a bit of energy and so I picked it up a bit and eventually passed Pip. Just as I was passing Pip, CW finished changing her flat. So, at this point I was in the lead...WHAT? I was excited, however that lead only lasted for about 1 mile until CW passed me. I looked back to see if Pip and Jo Lawn were going to go with her. They didn't, as they were right behind me. So, what do I do??? I took a risk. A risk trying to go with CW. I wanted to see how long I could stay with her if at all. To my surprise she wasn't gaining any time on me so I just kept going. She looked back a few times and I think she was shocked that I was still there (as so was I)! I eventually looked behind me and saw that we had dropped Pip and Jo. Nice.

I entered T2 about 20 seconds behind CW and it was probably the most exciting part of the race for me. No one knew that CW had flatted, so everyone thought that I rode with CW! Ofcourse... I went along with it and headed out for the run. I think my first mile was probably about 5:00 pace as I was running on pure adrenaline. There were so many spectators out cheering and excited to see someone so close to CW off the bike. We had about a 2-3 minute gap on 3rd and 4th place. Everyone kept yelling for me to just keep her in sight and that's what I tried to do. That only lasted until about mile 3 and then the only other time I saw CW was on the out and backs. I had some good patches and bad patched on the run. I was passed by Pip at about mile 5. I tried to go with her but the pace was too quick for me. There was one climb that we did 2x and both times I thought my legs were going to cramp up. I saw Jo running strong and I tried hard to hold her off but she eventually passed me at mile 10 or 11 on the run. Again, I tried to stay with her but I just had nothing left. So, I ended up 4th overall with a very solid effort all around.

This race was a blast. Amazing support on the course from all the volunteers and spectators. I think there were even 14 aid stations for the 13.1 mile that's service. The course was challenging but honest. Post-race festivities included some Kansas style BBQ which is my favorite (besides Tex-Mex ofcourse).

Converstation I had with CW after the race...
AM: Congratulations Chrissie. Great race!
CW: Thank you. How did you end up?
AM: I was 4th as Jo ran me down the last couple of miles. It was good though.
CW: That's great. You're in the money. biked with me. I kept looking back and you were still there those last 15 miles. You were legal and not up my bum, like some of the pros would be (it's better if you insert a British accent here).
AM: Um...Thanks?

That's all. Up next is some recovery this week and then Buffalo Springs.


Marc said...

Nice going Amy!

Marc Evans

Priscilla said...

Amazing report, way to rock it!