I did my final 5150 to qualify for Des Moines on Saturday in Zurich, the day before the Ironman, with the result reflecting my upward progression of fitness!
I didn't really know what to make of the race before the start. There were some really good guys lining up. Chris McCormack, 2-time Hawii & ITU World Champ, and born again short course racer. Sven Reiderer, Olympic Bronze medal and some recent hot Dextro results. Paul Amey, Olympian and 3-time ITU Duathlon World Champ. Ruedi Wild, hot results in World Cups this year. Richie Nicholls, forwarding the trend of crazy british leg speed, and a few other guys. So this field was essentially Ironman champs, ITU champs and Duathlon champs, which puzzled me to think how I fitted into the race. Well I guess the whole thinking about everyone was stupid anyway, because I wanted to go right off the front anyway!
I got to work in the swim and led the whole way, shaking off all but the Salvisberg boys (there's three of the bastards that look the same, with the big grinning Swiss smile and all).
I made short work of these boys on the bike, they each had ITU setups which was probably a bit silly. Anyway, the ride was a three lap course, flat except for a 900m (with 88m of elevation) stinger each lap, aptly named Heartbreak Hill. This hill was a small chainring job!
With total ignorance and disrespect for the hill, I opted for the disc, and I think was one of only 2 pros riding one. Big mistake boys! I could see I was putting time into everyone each lap because of the u-turn at the other end of the course. I think it was the strongest I've ever ridden, and was the first race I've stayed off the front solo. Quickest bike split by 50 seconds over Macca. I'll take it!
The run was a weird 2 1/2 lap course, but was rather fun and there was plenty of support out there from the spectators. I knew now I was running for the win, and felt the best over 10km I have felt all year. To be honest I forgot Richie Nicholls was in the race until I hit the 6km mark, and saw this kid blazing the other way to the u-turn. When I saw this effort I knew I had a hot race on my hands, but he caught me at 7.5km. This guy ran a 31.16 10km in a non-drafting race, incdredible! I clocked in for 2rd after plenty of celebrating at 34.00, 40seconds behind Nicholls and Macca came in another 30seconds behind me.
So now I'm ranked 9th for Des Moines on September 4, and it's all eyes on the prize :)