The day started just before 5AM. Bi333y and I drove over to the race start. It took us about 40 minutes. I walked over and set up the LYNSKEY. I noticed my arm pad fell off. I did not have any tape. I saw someone with a big roll and asked for a piece. I was very thankful. I looked down at my watch and saw 6:13AM. It was 17 minutes until the start of the Pros and another 24 for my wave. I stood in line for the port a potty one last time. I started to put on my XTERRA wet suit and would have succeeded putting it on over my shorts (not my OOMPH race suit) until Bi333y spoke up. I have never seen so many people start their swim wave late. I must've counted 4 guys in the wave before me running down to the water as they were under 10 seconds. One of the guys didn't have his wetsuit on and the other wasn't fully zipped.
SWIM - 28:42 (1:30 per 100m)
It was a little foggy at the start. I started in the middle. The gun fired and we were off. I tried to catch a draft off several people. It doesn't help when they are slowing down drastically. There were several sections of shallow water. I had to adjust my stroke to stop pushing dirt off the ground. If you ever had any doubts about the swim portion for a half ironman, I highly recommend you sign up for this race. As I approached the turn around, I saw people walking. At first I thought I was delusional. I lifted my head up again, and there was a convoy of people walking. I wasn't sure if I should join them. I was swimming faster than they were walking.
T-1 - 1:45
I quickly ran up to my bike and strip off my XTERRA. We had to place all of the contents in a bag before we left. The bag would be transported to the finish. I grabbed the LYNSKEY.
Bike - 2:29.22 (22.49mph)
I tried to mount the bike on a hill. I failed on the first attempt as I tried to bike on top of my pedals as my shoes rubbed on the ground. I failed on the second attempt, see previous. On got somewhat lucky on the third attempt and made it up. If I were to do that different I would either run up the little hill or no put shoes on the bike. The course was nice and rolling the whole time. I started taking a salt tab at the beginning. At mile 30, I went to grab the vial and felt all the pills drop into my pocket. I had to slow down to get them back into the vial before my sweat dissolved them. I don't race well without my salt. The only person that passed me was the tandem racer, who was visually impaired. I passed them right back once I figured out how to keep salt in the vial. There was a guy in front of me for miles 40-50. He kept looking over his shoulder every 2-3 minutes. That usually means you are struggling and the yellow taxi is on its way.
T-2 - 1:57
I hit transition, ran down the rows of bikes till I found rack 23. I could not find my shoes. I stood there scratching my head. I overshot the landing. Now I know why I am not a pilot. I ran back and racked the LYNSKEY. I put on my NEWTON shoes/visor and grabbed my water bottle. I stopped at the water station to fill my water bottle before I left transition.
RUN - 1:29.48 (6:51 per mile)
I was a little surprised at hilly the course was. I noticed Chris McCormack was riding around on a road bike. He said to me, "Keep it up mate." It was the coolest thing ever! I won't lie, I picked up the pace at that moment. I met Mark from Portland, Oregon. He was running right behind me. At mile 4 he said, "You gotta to be f.... kidding me." The funny thing, I was thinking the same thing. In the distance was three hills that seemed to touch the moon. We were either going up or down. It is the hardest half marathon run I have done yet. I smiled when I saw a guy running in a pink fairy outfit. I struggled through miles 10-12. I had to walk through each aid station. I saw Bi333y cheering at mile 12. She also threw down a challenge. Something about how she was going to outrun me in this last section. She was running on the sidewalk stride for stride. I definitely needed the mental boost.
I finished 6th in my age group and 43rd overall 4:31.34. I qualified for the 70.3 World Championships. I declined my spot because my focus will be for Kona.
After the race, we went over to a local winery. We lucked out there were 4 at one location. I did not like any of the wine at the first place. We walked over to Kokomo. We both enjoyed every single wine we tasted. We had to eat a lot of breadsticks to make sure something was soaking up the wine. After 9-10 sips of wine, we decided no more wineries if we wanted to get back to Monterey.