Hy-Vee ITU Elite World Cup/Team World Championships Event
This past Saturday, I competed in my third race of the year and finished in 9th position. It was a very tough race, with the heat index near 100 degrees while we were racing. I also was a bit unlucky in that I caught a stomach bug on Thursday and was in bed all day on Friday, but fortunately, I felt much better on Saturday and was able to get to the start line.
Hy-Vee did an excellent job putting on another fantastic race. This year the race took place with T1 and T2 in the same location, which made it much easier for the spectators to watch. The swim was a two-loop 1500m swim in the Racoon River (much like a lake). Water temps were around 83 degrees, which made for a warm swim. I kept the swim as comfortable as possible and exited the water in fourth position. I was with the front pack, with the exception of Sara McLarty, who had a 45 second lead from the swim.
The bike course was mostly flat and very technical with lots of tight and narrow turns. I was in a front group of eight and everyone was working together well. The bike was very tough, as I was really feeling the heat. We joined with Sara McLarty half-way through the bike and managed to keep a 45 second lead from the chase pack heading into T2.
The run was also flat and technical. I started off feeling good for about the first 2k, but then I quickly faded and by the last couple of laps was just trying to get across the finish line. The Australians are continuing to dominate, as the Emma’s finished 1,2.
The racing excitement did not conclude with the race on Saturday, but also raced in the inaugural World Championship Team Event. I have never competed in anything like this before. The relay race was 4x(250m swim/8k bike, 1.8k run) with two men and two women from each country. A woman started off, tagged a male, a woman third, and finished with a male. This made for a very fast and exciting race and hopefully, will get to showcase in the 2012 Olympics in London. I think this will add so much to our sport and will be a hit with not only the athletes, but also the spectators.
Laura Bennett went first, followed by Jarrod Shoemaker. I went in third position and tried my best to catch up to the field. I ended up closing within 18 seconds of third and handed off the Matt Reed. Our team ended up in fourth position, although we wanted to podium, we had a lot of fun competing in the event. The Swiss team won the event, followed by Australia and Canada third.
Hy-Vee is always a special race for me because I feel it is almost a "hometown" race. I had family travel from Minnesota and Missouri to cheer me on and watch the races. I had a great time hanging out with them.
My busy racing season has just begun. I am back in Colorado for a quick training block and then head next week to Minneapolis, MN for the Lifetime Fitness Triathlon on July 11th.
Have a great Fourth of July!!