I have never been a half guy. Even my 70.3 world championships spot was mostly luck, having a very good day on the right day. A lifetime spend aimed at going twice as long has left me with one speed and a diesel engine. Never the less there are a few halfs out there I can’t resist and with the death of the only non WTC pro race it looks like I will being a few of them. I had always planned on doing Challenge Williamsburg VA, it was meant to be a tune up for Challenge AC, but with that race cancelled for pros this got bumped up as a priority.
The story race week was the heat which had hit 99 during the weekend with all the humidity of the south. The race course however is mostly shade both on the bike and run making use of the very pretty dense forrest and woods. But the swim was wetsuitless, and while the water feels clean it’s dark and has currents. The result was that it was hard to draft and I got dropped from the group I can normally hang with. I swam ok solo but worked harder for it and hit T1 in 10th, thanks to my Xterra skin suit which is a big improvement over nothing when it’s not wetsuit legal and it kept me in the race for sure.
A fast t1 and some use of my cross skills had me pass buddy Tom Woods. Sadly for me toms TT skills had him repass and drop me shortly their after. Also Congrats to him on having another kid this season (we did some catching up on the bike). I got passed twice more on this flat fast course and passed one other person towards the end. sure enough my half split was only 6 minutes faster than my full split at AC X 2 and that course was windy. Gah! I should just get Valdora to make me a fixie.
Out o f t2 I tried to push to see if I could get back into some racing and was flying in my Brooks ST racers. Sockless and blister free in this light weight flats! I love the run course a mix of dirt roads through woods and then paved path. Sadly I was too far off the pace to make any headway however. I did manage to destroy myself and as the miles counted down I felt the “feels like 124” degrees temps that had come to define the day. As I came unglued I found myself at POLAR: pace of last resort and I was just determined to gut it out and finish bagging a top 10 among the pro men. Thanks to Boom gels for getting me through the final 5k!
I can’t wait to try it all again at St. Andrews in Canada and then back to canada for Barhttp://niagarafallstriathlon.comrelman
Photo: t1 was Jamestown wher the first European settlers ate each other before all dying. Given the conditions I think most everyone racing got a taste of how that felt.