After having the swim cancelled at Mooseman I decided I wanted to throw a sprint onto the schedule prior to Providence 70.3 in order to test out my new Blue Seventy Helix wetsuit. I used to have a sleeveless, so with the addition of this new full body wetsuit I wanted to get a race under my belt that way I would be comfortable with T1.
I headed down to Lake Waramaug on a Friday afternoon for this sprint that I have done twice. The last time I did it I had the lead until about a mile and a half to go on the run. It was at this point that I was passed by one pro and one former pro. I was able to make a final push to finish within a minute of both of them, however I was still disappointed with giving up the lead. This year would be different.
I had an unusual confidence going into the race as I had put in some significant base mileage compared to years past. I went through my pre-race routine (check in, set up bike, transition, scope out competition, etc) and was getting very excited. Two buddies of mine from college were there to watch their mom do her first race which got me excited to see her as well. After a few motivating words for Maureen I headed down to the swim start. It was going to be women and relays followed by the men 4 minutes later. Gun went off and so did I. My plan was to hammer, hammer hammer.
I made my way through most of the wave ahead of me as well as my wave. I came out of the water first in my wave with only 10-15 women or teams ahead. I made it through T1 safely and hit the road pedaling. There is a 2 mile downhill followed by a right turn and a very flat and fast loop around the lake before making a sharp left turn and hitting the 2 mile uphill back to transition.
I was making my way through the women and teams looking for the lead biker. Nobody had caught up to me until just before the climb back up. I noticed someone behind me that initiated the pass, almost came up next to me, then dropped back behind me. I was sure if he was drafting so when we hit the hill I decided to crank it up a bit. As I got to the top I took a quick look back and saw that I had gapped him fairly well. I continued hammering up the climb to T2.
I went out for the run feeling good and knew I would have 3 opportunities to see who was in front and in back of me. I saw 2 people ahead of me (both teams) and the same guy from the bike behind me but couldn't tell if I was gaining or loosing. When we made the final turn with a mile to go I saw that I had a pretty substantial gap to second place and tried to put in a hard kick to go for the course record. I crossed the line in first with a new course record by about 3 minutes. WOOHOOO!! This was the first record I have ever set and was thrilled!!
Overall the race was a huge success and it got me even more excited for Providence 70.3 which was now about 3 weeks away. For now though, its back to the training