The love/hate relationship when racing was in full mode within my head Saturday morning at the Crystal River Triathlon. This was my second race there this year with the first competing in a duathlon relay with legend, Bob Brown. On this day I competed solo in the the Sprint Distance Duathlon. Here I’ll share my race day experience with Team Total Fitness.
This is a great race put on by an equally great person, Chris Moling, so I love supporting him and the race. Crystal River is a 90 minute drive from my home so I was out the door early and to the race site by 5:45 AM for packet pick up and quickly into transition to secure my rack position…I love being there to open transition! We had several teammates competing in the triathlon, aqua bike, and duathlon. The duathlon consisted of a 2 mile run, 15 mile bike, and a final 3 mile run. My current training load had me feeling ready for the run and not at optimal level for the bike but for a sprint I was ready to lay it all out.
Much of my focus this year has been to improve my second run and that was my number one goal again heading into the race. I found out in the morning that I was racing with fellow teammate and high school cross country and track star, Tyler Galey. Tyler has matured into a great young man who is fast as heck. I also had great friend and fellow Team USA Duathlete, Ed Vasquez, racing with us. It was set to be a great race.
With Tyler racing I knew if I had any chance competing with him it was to stay as close as I could on the first run, crush the bike, and see what I could do on the final run if I had a significant lead. I had a pretty good feel about my targeted run paces but I was a bit more unsure for the bike as my training had all but stopped on the bike recently. For a sprint, I was just going to hammer it as hard as my legs could on the bike and not target any metric (speed or power).
As the gun went off, Tyler and I ran together for maybe 50 yards before he pulled away… It was like I was running behind a deer who looked effortless in stride as he continued to get smaller and smaller pulling away. At the one mile turnaround he still looked effortless as I felt I was busting every bit of effort to keep the target pace I had set for my first run. As I left transition, Tyler was long gone. I had a better than expected bike leg and when I came into and out of transition for the final three mile run, I now had the sizable lead but knew it wouldn’t last long with his run prowess. I had one of my better final runs and hung on through this finish line.
My entire effort was knowing Tyler was going to be there. There is nothing like someone around you pushing you to the limit. I was incredibly thankful for Tyler to push me that hard. On another day it could have easily been flipped. I don’t think I want to race him again…when he is fully healthy and still getting faster…such a promising future ahead. Ed finished behind us, 2:37 faster than his last race there so we all pushed each other. We also got to celebrate his series win on stage! He competed in all three events in Crystal River this year and had the fastest overall times/finishes. Great stuff!
From the finish line it was out celebrating everyone’s efforts. We had fun hanging on the beach, taking photos and grabbing breakfast on the way home. It doesn’t get better than that! If you want to join in this incredible madness of health, fitness, and fun send me a note…
– Add Health to Your Life
Photos and Captions below from the day