Forecasts were 50% precipitation and we had finally reached the warmer temperatures of NC. Along with this and the race location also came high percentage of humidity. Leaving very early for the two hour ride to Little Washington, driving through rain most of the trip, all I could think of was; this is going to be a wet race. Thankfully, we lucked out and remain clear of rain, however, not the humidity. Arriving fairly early, it gave me time to drive the bike course which is always nice to have that visual clear before race time. Now at the race site being greeted by all the friendly folks of FSSeries is always enjoyable. Small venue, it was quick and easy to set up and head out for my warm up.
Race time and off on the swim. Starting out against the current and Dwayne Dixon tapping my toes, I chose to swim a bit to the right of the course line, this worked or I shook him with speed. Now I could see Gil Cukeirman and we met up at the first turn. Following the turn, now with the current, Gil and I swam together for a bit and I attempted the same tactic of holding the line on the right with similar results. Knowing some of the field, I knew Gil and Dwayne were some of the competition to watch out for and if I wanted a chance, I would need to gain some time in the swim and bike.
Getting through T1 fast and off on the bike, I was looking forward to the ride, all I heard before race was how fast the rides are in Washington and the roads all looked smooth in the pre-race drive. Starting out on a good note, I got into the shoes quick and smoothly. Through the first few races the shoes have been quite the learning curve for me. Not that I couldn’t get my feet into the shoes smoothly while riding, it was the small techniques that worked or didn’t work that I struggled with. I have found that riding first and then taking my time to get my feet secured works best. Trying to get one foot completely done at a time didn’t allow the opportunity to get my momentum going soon enough. So now it is peddle, foot, peddle, foot, peddle,velcro, peddle and velcro. Okay, back to the ride, the course was very nice and smooth, an out and back. The out and back was nice as the turn around was through neighborhood roads opposed to turning at a cone, allowing our speeded to continue. A small head wind out didn’t seam to bother me to much, I had an extremely fast front end of the bike. Following the turn around I was able to see the other competitors and realized I had created a good lead. The second half of the ride didn’t fail me, it was even faster, finishing with a PR for my fastest ride ever.
In and out of T2, here I have found that the grab and run works great. What I mean is, getting my shoes on, grab the rest and then run. I now get my hat, sun glasses and belt taken care of on the move, much faster. Now off on the flat run, I was hoping to have a solid run following the good times I had produced early on in the season. Mile one didn’t feel well, however for this mile my time was fair, after is when I believe the humidity began to get the best of me and I struggled with the last two miles. Following the turn around, I saw that Dwayne was gaining on me and it was going to be close. Holding on until almost the final turn, Dwayne took over and pulled away on the final stretch. Strong overall finish in second place.
Over all, I enjoyed the event in Little Washington, always FSSeries professionals/volunteers and the great competitors.