Hawaii 70.3: Time [4:42:31], Age-Group [9th], Overall [42nd]
All things went as planned for 61.2 miles of the Hawaii 70.3 race. The water was quite choppy and I lost Bree's feet immediately. I saw Jason in the water, and I tried to pick it up but he was too damn fast, so I tucked in right behind him. Running up into T1, there we were, Jason, Teresa and myself, just like we practiced a couple of days earlier in Kailua Bay. I caught Bree at about the 15 mile mark during the climb up to Hawi, and she said I was the 8th placed boy-that gave me chicken skin. The plan was to hammer all the way up to Hawi, and hold on from Hawi back to T2. The plan from Hawi to T2 didn't go so well, as tons of guys were passing me (including one damn fast Jason), and I just couldn't match their cadence. I had no idea where Bree was but all week long, we talked about starting the run together. As I was slipping on my shoes, I looked up and saw Bree running out of T2. I got the hell out of there, and in my hurry, I left behind my gels and my salt. I worked my way up to Bree, and there we were, running side-by-side. She would pick it up and I would remind her to hold back. Then I would pick it up and she would remind me to wait until the 3-mile mark. At the two-mile mark, my legs started to turn over and I went to my other race strategy: you gotta go when you feel good and you gotta minimize damage when you feel bad. I started to go and I was pulling Bree with me. I knew I was making her run faster but she was doing such an awesome job of holding on. At the four-mile mark, I slowed in the aid station to take care of my nutrition and Bree pulled away. For the remainder of the run, I just watched her slowly and steadily pull away, and she finished two minutes ahead of me. The run course was awesome, except for the mini-energy lab section. Running on the golf course with the red flag markers reminded me of my high school cross country days, and the nostalgia gave me some mental energy. I finished four minutes slower than my goal time, but I did meet the goal of a top 10 age-group finish.
As I've said before, going long is very humbling. I'm accustomed to finishing on the podium at Olympic distance races, and it just ain't so for the long stuff. If I compare myself to others, I'm slightly disappointed in my race. But just looking at my own self, this race was a success. It's one of my fastest halfs given the course and conditions. I nailed my nutrition on this race, even foregoing salt for the entire run, something I have never done. I had no stomach or overheating issues. I felt like a seasoned pro, utilizing ice down my crotch, squeezing sponges on my head and into my mouth, and practicing positive self-talk. I used so much of what I learned at ironman OZ in this race, and my education will undoubtedly continue.The following day, both Bree and I found ourselves, standing beach side, getting body-marked yet again. We were getting ready to race the Kukio Challenge, with both of us swimming 0.5 miles, running a 5K, and Bree paddling an OC1 boat for 4 miles, and me stand-up paddling for 2 miles. Bree got me on the swim and run at Hawaii 70.3, and I returned the favor at the Kukio Challenge. I had both my swim arms and my run legs, hmmm...makes me think maybe I didn't race hard enough the day before. However, once again, the Breezy got me in T1 and beat me out. Man, you turn your back on that chick and she'll get away from you. And to answer how I did in my paddle, here what the announcer said when I came in: "Here comes Kiet Tran, he was second overall after the run, and he paddled to finish...(silence) Wow, look at that smile! What a great smile, probably the happiest finisher today." And if you haven't figured it out, I wound up finishing second to last in the stand-up paddleboard division. But this was my happiest second to last finish ever.
70.3 Liuzhou Race Story
2 weeks ago