Swim 27:22 (5th)
Bike 2:21:39 (1st)
Run 1:20:48 (1st)
Sunday morning I got a good warm up in the clear waters of Lake Winnipesaukee prior to race start. As the horn sounded I took off fast, quickly jumping on someone's feet. I didn't need to sight at first as the water was so was clear I could see the kicking feet in front of me. The girl I was sitting on soon slowed so I went around her to discover I'd been dropped from the pack. I surged ahead solo till I caught the group of 3 girls at the first turn bouy (~600m). I would spend the rest of the swim with this group (trailing the amazing super swimmer Amanda Stevens). As I practiced sitting on feet (something I unfortunately very rarely get to do) I realized just how much easier it is. I started to think maybe I can go around the girls and try to minimize my gap to Amanda. But once I moved wide I realized I'm not going any faster than them so I tucked back in and conserved energy.
Onto the run I had only around 45seconds lead. This was only my third IM 70.3 distance for the year, my first being Geelong early in the year after I crashed out in my previous race and was still sore, and my second was two weeks ago in Boulder at altitude. The rest of my races this year have been all odd distances. So, what pace could I run? What pace was I capable of? This was the main reason for racing Timberman 70.3. I wanted a good hit out before Vegas, to see what pace felt comfortable. 3:45/km was the benchmark I was after and it felt good. I ticked off the km's - super even and in control. A few friendly spectators offered some advice along the way "you've got it, relax, enjoy it, take it easy". I guess mentally I could relax but I still wanted to keep a solid pace to the finish to make a good session out of it. To make sure the pace would be fine all the way to the end and to see how I pulled up after. The run course was nice, two out and back laps with rolling hills throughout, tall trees on either side, lots of spectators and I think one of the loudest, happiest bunch of volunteers at the aid stations. My Garmin beeped '20km' just as I hit the '12mile' marker. That's not right. 1600m to go? You tricked me... My Garmin measured the course to be an extra 610m long. At least we know we covered the distance on this one! Definitely putting this on my list again for next year. Loved the course, the atmosphere and especially the location!