01 May 2014

RR: St. Anthony's Triathlon

Race Equipment, Setup and Nutrition
Swim – 2XU Swim Skin
Bike – Pro Cycling Custom Build Shiv Pro Rotor 3D+ SRM, 53/39 Aero Q-Rings,
            Effetto Mariposa Caffelatex in tubular tires at 110psi.
Run – Colorado Running Company Inov-8 Road X-Treme 208
            RudyProject Noyz Fluo Sunglasses
            FirstEndurance Visor
                           Warm conditions had iced bottle to hold and drink at start of run.

Back on the road in more ways than one for St. Anthony’s Triathlon in St. Petersburg Florida to start a two-race trip that would then follow with the classic St. Croix Half Ironman this weekend.  St. A’s is always one of the largest and most competitive Olympic distance non-drafting tri’s in the world and the field is always stacked.
Site of the early morning prep thanks to Nils Nilsen for all the photos N2PHOTOSERVICES.COM 
Feeling fast in the new 2XU Swim Skin
The swim in this race is crucial as with the flat course on the bike a pack forms and it is a legal “non-drafting” bike then a fast flat run.  I positioned myself near Tim O’Donnell who will be in St. Croix too, and started well and stayed with him for the first bit before everyone decided they wanted to be in the same place in the water and it turned in to a big washing machine for a bit.  I fought hard for the first straight and was right at the tail end of the front pack.  The water got rougher as we headed away from shore but I managed to stay tucked right on the tail end of the pack as it spread out.  On the last straight headed to shore if felt like I was on a treadmill going nowhere and I lost a bit of contact with the group.  I exited about 10-15 seconds off of the group and had have a speedy T1.
Hammering about a mile in trying to catch the front pack.
I jumped on the bike sort of got my feet in my shoes and hammered across the cobbled road trying to regain contact with the group.  I rode the first 5 miles before settling that I was not going to be able to catch them and finally strapped my shoes down and pressed on.  I rode hard but knew I was losing time to the pack of 17 ahead that even though they were riding in a legal non-drafting position you were still getting draft.  With the heat and humidity I had to stay hydrated and focused on getting down my bottle of First Endurance EFS drink and EFS Liquid Shot.
Headed to the golf course loop.
In a loop around a golf course a small group that was about 15sec back out of the swim caught up and I mixed in with them trying to ride in a non-drafting position.  It is crazy how much easier it is when I was a few people back from the front of the group to maintain the same speed.  We cruised back to T2 having lost about 90 seconds to the lead group and sped off on the run.
N2Photo capturing me in full flight headed back to T2
2014 St. Anthony's SRM Powerfile
The group I was with were all very quick runners and I was off the back shortly, I felt like I was running well and maintaining a good fast pace but didn’t have the same speed they did.  I maintained a good consistent pace through the run and got some nice confidence in seeing how late it took before I started seeing people come the other direction.  After the turnaround I got to see the massive gap to the next athlete and could have shut it down but you never know what might happen ahead and I could still use this race as a good workout to help build, strength and speed and adapt to the head and humidity and racing hard.  I came across the line in 25th, a couple places better, a few minutes faster and closer to the winner than last year.  It was a nice confidence boost for racing in St. Croix this weekend and I look forward to mixing it up on a very challenging course.

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