My primary goals for this race were to have it be a little "tune up" for Nationals two weeks later and, not to get injured. Goals accomplished. I went a bit slower part of the time with those goals in mind. 5th out of the water in the sprint distance race (swim was long I think), I quickly hopped on my Valdora and started up the long, double stair step hill that makes up most of the first two miles. This is not a fast bike course. After that initial climb the rest is up and down the whole time. I started the bike in 4th and came in in 2nd with two guys close behind me.
The first place "kid," who is a high school swimmer / cross country runner, was about 1:15 ahead of me. Thought I might be able to catch him depending on what kind of runner he was. Well, he was a good one! He opened up the gap on me more during the run and, at about the 1 mile point, a second high school kid ran by me. Looking around it was clear I wasn't going to catch either of them and the guy behind me wasn't going to catch me, so I cruised the rest of the run and finished 3rd overall and 1st in my age group. Happy with the race but it didn't feel quite as good as the weekend before in Lincoln, NE or two weeks before that in MN. Oh well, no problem.
I'm always thankful to finish a race strong, feeling good and uninjured. It's fun racing against "kids" that could...almost, be my grandkids! They're quick though. Too quick for me on this day. Maybe next time!