First Half Ironman of the season. It wasn't quite as hot as it has been in recent years for the this race. It was about 85 degrees, where in the past it had gotten up in the low 90's. Ended up 12th overall, 2nd age group. I beat my personal best for this race (5th time racing this one), by 18 mins and last years time by 20 mins. Last year I won my AG (go figure 20 mins slower). I was fighting to catch a guy the last 2 miles. I didn't know if he was in my age group or not because he was about 100 yds ahead of me. I saw him keep looking over his shoulder so I knew that he knew I was coming, which isn't good. You want to sneak up on them and catch them off guard. I could tell he was fighting to keep the gap. I closed it to about 50 yds, but was running out of real estate as it was mile 12.5 (13.1 miles in this run). There was a hill coming up at about 12.75 and I was watching him for signs of weakness. If he struggles up the hill, I would put the hammer down the last 1/4 mile and get him. Well he powered up the hill. He was a smart runner! That sent a signal to me that if I pushed, he would just push and we'd be in the same place, only with a ton more pain and potential for injury. I was already running on the verge of hamstring strain as I could feel my right one tightening. The announcer said his name when he crossed the line, "John Stein". Could that be John from Eau Claire, whom I swam with for aver 10 years on the YMCA swim team? Well he was in my AG and it was John. I went over to him and re-introduced myself as we hadn't spoken in over 25 years. We chatted for over 30 minutes and plan on getting together during the Augusta 70.3 (Half Ironman) in September. What a small world. Was disappointed about taking 2nd, but was happy to behind John.
Overall I am happy with my race. This was a no taper race, which mean you train hard right up and through the race. My "A" race is obviously Ironman Couer d'Alene, so I couldn't taper twice so close. Fresher legs would have lead to a different result for sure.