Swim start was late, at 9:00 AM, due to the other distances going first. Water temp was 77.5' so I did not wear a wetsuit (unlike many others). Swim was fine and I was 2 minutes faster than 2016 at 36:01. Quick exit and I jumped on the bike just as the wind was picking up. I do wish I'd worn my thin Hammer jersey to protect my back from the sun, as I got a nice sunburn despite the sunscreen. The 38 mile bike leg is very hilly and the wind added to the fun. Buckhill's many climbs were a definite challenge with Sugarloaf Mountain looming ahead. I began the big climb up Sugarloaf at mile 23 and it was quite hard. I did manage a smile for the photographer near the top though. Max speed off the hill was a bit slower at 39.2 as the wind was stronger by then. I did pass 2 "big wheel" aero bikes on the way down too! After hitting 42.7 mph going down Rocky Ridge, my right hamstring cramped climbing another hill getting back to town. I just pedaled easy and it subsided quickly. Got back to transition with a disappointing time of 2:23:35, six minutes slower than last year; average speed 15.3 mph.
Began the run easy and only had 1 cramp (right hamstring again) at about mile 1. Stopped and stretched and began running with surprising ease. Matt Mahoney caught me around mile 2.4 and I just let him go. We've been racing each other for years and he's a fast runner. By now it was 1:00 PM and the sun was merciless with temps nearing 90. I caught another competitor at mile 4 and passed another just before the second turnaround. I pulled away but kept glancing back to see if he recovered but my worries were groundless. I hit the finish line at 4:44:02 for a 5th place out of 7. Last year I was 5th out of 13 with a 4:27:32, so I lost more time on the run. This was the toughest race I'd done in several years but in retrospect, I did well. This was my last race in 60-64 as I "age up" to 65-69 on January 1, 2018.
|Ready to go!|
|Four races in one day!|
|Moulton SST is ready.|
|Bike Friday in transition; never met the owner.|
|Climbing Sugarloaf Mountain.|
|More people climbing Sugarloaf.|
|Bike ride profile for the full-iron distance; 3 laps.|
|Bike leg done!|
|Relaxing with Hammer Recoverite.|