What a great weekend. Got to hang out with my friends and race in the Big Apple. Going into the race I was a little worried that my Achilles would not be able to handle the effort needed to achieve my goal of Top 3 Elite and qualify for the Toyota Cup in Dallas.
Fast forward to race morning, my taper and patience's paid off. (Thanks Dirk !) Walking over to the start just before 4am, I felt really good. I was rocking out to U2 in the streets of New York watching the drunks leave the bars. After I set up my transition, I headed to my swim start for my wave time of 5:54am. It was my first time ever doing a dive start, the pontoon was rocking as we stood still and it was a decent drop down into the water. I actually got a good start then within a second the fun began, as the guy next to or behind me landed right on me and there were legs and arms flying everywhere. But I was in the mix and fighting a good fight. I jumped out of the water in 15:44. I could hear Heather shouting "3mins down". My Achilles hurt on the long run to Transition but I just stayed relaxed and focused on my task ahead. The Aria was sitting pretty and looking ready to go hunting. Straight out of Transition the path was narrow and I got struck behind some guys on the first turn leading into the hill. But really got going when I hit the highway. At the first turn around (12miles) I could see a big group ahead of me about 30 seconds up. It was honestly like they were riding in the Tour. I caught them within the next mile and shared my disapproval of their drafting. But looking at the results afterward the refs did give out penalties. So I hope it was to these dudes. I feel bad for James Burns he was at the front of the group and it was clear they were sitting on him when I passed. But he got 6:00mins. Crazy. I caught Justin Harris around 17 miles and he was moving good like Columbia. We had a little bit of a battle for a few miles, then I picked up the pace around 22 miles. At the 2nd turn around I saw Duffy (last yr winning and Toyota Cup Champ). He was less than a min up the road, I pushed the last hill really hard and I was rolling so fast I missed the sharp turn that lead us back down to the path to Transition. I was basically heading put the course again ! Damn Robbie turn around 'what are you doin ?' was my thoughts. I had to cut across people coming out of T1 and it cost me about 30secs. Funny now looking back and my buddy Zac got some good photos of it. I will post them as soon as I get them. I reached T2 and got in and out as fast as I could, 45secs in fact. I knew he was up the road and I had to chase on 75-80% legs. The Achilles didn't feel too bad and thanks to Robert Gillanders my PT, I was not compensating with my running form. At mi 3 I caught Duffy and picked my pace for about 1/2mile and looks after I knew he was out of the race and shut it down to save my Achilles. It was a great feeling to cross the line and hear Heather and Zac shout your the winner.
I had a good time catching up with Justin Harris and some of the other guys after the race. Always good to hear how the other got on after the race.
Now its time to work harder and be ready to race for the cup down in the Big D.
Thanks to all my friends for their support and guidance the past 2 weeks.
See you all on the road, in the pool, on the track or the trials.