Race Day Pucon
January 20th, 2008
My journey to Pucon.Todd and I were very excited to journey to Pucon once again this year. I cannot say enough about this town and the support for this great race. Pucon hit a new milestone this year officially joining the 70.3 circuit, which is something that is well deserved, as this is one of the best organized races I have ever been to. I am always so impressed with how we are treated in this town. The local population welcomes the Triathlon Community with open arms. Even speaking the small amount of Spanish that I do we never find it a problem as people bend over backwards to be helpful.
I was really looking forward to racing this year. Last year I was in a dual to the end with Lisa Bentley who outran me by a mere 11 seconds. I wasn’t going to let that happen again this year. To prepare for this race I have been focusing on my run, however as we all know Florida isn’t known for its hills. I’ve been doing bridge repeats (only hills in Florida) to prepare. Let me tell ya, it’s not the same but I knew I would have a hard run ahead of me come race day.
Race morning brought us some very cool temperatures. I did my typical warmup, got a hug fromTodd and got in the water to warmup. The pro’s typically have a 20 meter lead over the amateurs. Todd recounted for me the beginning moments of the race as the countdown began and the age-groupers decided to move in mass. By the time the countdown hit GO – everyone was entering the water together. The swim could only be described as a “Hammer Fest” – not sure I have been in such a scrum in a long time.
I exited the water in third place behind both Tereza Macel and Sandra Soldan. There was a cool breeze and a light mist in the air as we took off on our bikes. The roads here are very rough and I found myself dealing with some mechanical issues right off the bat. It’s something I had to work through the entire ride and therefore just never found myself getting into a groove. Can’t wait for those new Zipp wheels to compliment my new sweet ride, that should do the trick. It’s safe to say that I was happy to see T2 but found myself six and a half minutes behind leader Tereza Macel and three and a half minutes behind Lindsey Corbin who had climbed into second place.
I knew the task at hand was going to be a challenging one but I also knew that I was up for it. I had been looking forward to this run for weeks. I absolutely love this portion of the Pucon race course. It is a three loop course with some very challenging hills, especially the second and third time around. This plays to my strength however.
I went out hard from the very beginning. I knew that I had a lot of time to make up but I also had a lot of confidence in my run. This course is great because you can see the competition so many times. With each turnaround I could see that I was eating away into the leaders so with each lap I pushed harder. My mindset was WIN or Crash and Burn.I passed Tereza Macel at the end of the second lap. It was now down to me and Lindsey. We took off up the hill to begin lap number three. I was thirty seconds down and felt confident, as I was still running very strong. I passed Lindsey just before the turnaround point of our third and final lap. I pushed even harder hoping she would not try to stay with me. For the remainder of the third lap I had a chance to enjoy the moment. The crowds here are absolutely great and my finish through town was truly memorable.
I have many people to thank. I am very blessed to have the support of not only my family but of some terrific sponsors. To QR thank you for my sweet new ride, I can’t wait to develop even more cutting edge products as the year progresses.
First Endurance, thank you for the array of Nutritional Products that you offer. I can go into race day confident that I have the nutrition necessary to fuel me all day long.
Ironman Helmets, you make some of the best headwear available anywhere. I cannot wait to break out a new Aero-Helmet in the near future. To Jaggad I so very much appreciate the wide array of quality clothes that I have to choose from. Whether it’s a training day or race day I know I will have the comfort and support I need. The comments I received from my first outing in your clothes were nothing but positive. The colors aregreat, you guys Rock!!To Ed Levins and my extended family at Village Bikes, you know I couldn’t do this without you. As I have publicly stated many times before your friendship and support mean the world to me. Thanks for everything.
Speaking of the Midas touch a very special thank you to my massage therapist William Muhlstadt. You continue to keep me at the level necessary to race with the best in the World.To my friends at Zipp your aero-bars, components and wheels give me the confidence necessary to bike at a high level.
To Chris at Wigwam, Ryan at TYR and Holly at GU thanks for all the great product and for your friendship.
It’s great to start out the season with a big win. I am looking forward to training hard the next few months while preparing to defend my title in Arizona as well as giving back to other athletes as we prepare for our upcoming Tri Camps in Florida this February. Beginner through Half-Ironman Athletes will be joining us Feb. 14-17th and Ironman Athletes February 21-24th. We always have such a great time!! If you need some warm weather and a great kickoff event to your 2008 Season come join us.Log on to: www.ironedgecoaching for more information. See you at the Races!!