Second race of the year and it went much better than the first one! Going into this race I felt more prepared than I did for Myrtle. I felt that I had dusted off the off season cobwebs and I knew I was ready to get out there and race my heart out.
copilot slept the whole way there
The Morning of I got to transition rather early, got a good spot, and asked many questions regarding how differently transition was setup this year. Even if it only changed a few seconds worth of time in the race it was a whole different way for me to plan out my transition than it was previously.
After getting together what I believed was a good setup I got my Orca Open Water wet suit on and headed down for the race start. Once I made it in the water it was almost time for the race to start, even though I had arrived extra early to setup I was still pulling it close to race start with very little warm up. As the siren went for the start of the race everything left my mind and the only goal I had was to get through this as quick as possible without hurting me for the rest of the race. The swim was long for how short the bike course was so I knew I couldn’t let the lead pack get to far ahead or else I wouldn’t have much trail distance to make up the gap on. I felt great in the water, stroke pulls were hard, glided well, and stay away from the washing machine pack. This being the second race in my new wetsuit I am really getting comfortable in it and can tell a difference in how well it was thought out to not feel restricting. Of course I ran into a few people in the water and made sure to yell out a big “SORRY” each time. I am sure they didn’t hear me, but it was worth a shot.
Coming out of the water I could tell I put on enough anti chafe stuff on because my wetsuit just slide right off. As I am tightening my shoe and helmet I see Marcus Barton cross right in front of me to go out on the bike. I was astonished that I was only that far behind. I have never seen Marcus coming out of transition on his bike before, so I knew I must have had a decent swim. That light a fire in me and off blazing down the trail I went. I had the typical leg pain on the first mile or so where the legs are starting to take over rather than the shoulders but with each pedal stroke it slowly went away like it normally does. About half way through the bike course I catch Yaro Middaugh and Kevin Jett, at this point I knew I was getting close to the lead but couldn’t seem to find Marcus yet. After another half mile I finally caught up to Marcus, passed him and he told me I now had the lead. Marcus and I rode the next 2-3 miles together and came into transition right beside each other. We both had a couple mistakes in transition, mostly laughing because we were having such a great time racing neck and neck.
Need to clean up my act in transition
I came out of transition a few feet in front of him but nothing that would make you think I actually had an advantage going out onto the run. After the first small portion of trail I came to an intersection where the course was completely marked off. I knew which way I was supposed to go but had no clue why the markings were just stopping you dead in your tracks with no direction arrows pointed. While I was debating what to do I see Marcus come right up behind me and agreed on which direction we were supposed to go. It turns out that the markings were setup for the people coming back in from the run but wasn’t marked going out on the run. After all of the course marking drama Marcus and I and right beside each other again and there is only about four miles of run. I took off and tried to keep picking up the pace with each step. After pushing for a while I got to the open field area almost halfway through the run and looked back to see where he was. I had put a decent gap on him and kept pushing to make it further. After flying around the run course I got to a point where I could no longer see him but I wanted to keep pushing harder anyways. After a speedy run I came in and took the 1st place overall spot.
This was actually a big accomplishment in my mind. I believed that Yargo was always one of the hardest races for me to do well at because the swim tends to be very long and the bike course is very short, leaving me very little time to make up distance after the swim. In the end I was super excited about my race, finish, and can’t wait for the rest of the races this season!
Somebody loves camping
What I learned: Just because you can’t see them ahead of you doesn’t mean they arn’t there. As I was gaining on Marcus during the bike I kept thinking that he was so far ahead and I wasn’t gong to catch him on the bike, until we came to more open cut areas on the bike and I could see him not far in front, but in the woods it seemed like a much further distance.