Ending the Year with a Second Place Win – Kerrville Triathlon Festival

October 1st, 2014

If you’re not first; you’re last. Well, I’m not Ricky Bobby, but in my case, second place is good enough for the Win.

Rex scouting out the race course to make sure it is safe

It’s not often that I look forward to my final triathlon of the year, but this year has been a long one!  Still 365 days, but the combination of Commanding a unit at Fort Hood, training like a professional athlete and racing for the USMES is exhausting. Don’t get me wrong, it’s rewarding too.  My last triathlon of the year was at the Kerrville Triathlon Festival in Kerrville, TX.  The Festival offered many distances, from sprint all the way up to a half distance triathlons, but I am training up to the Army 10 miler and need a quicker recovery so I competed in the quarter distance triathlon.

Swim exit

Despite having to drive a total of 8 hours during the weekend to get my race packet and pre stage my bike in transition, and drive back for the race the next day, I really enjoyed the race.  I had never been to Kerrville and the racing there was very pleasant.

The swim was another time trial start and this time I was almost in the last wave of the day. I decided to go dead last in my wave since I always prefer to be the hunter than the hunted.  The water was wetsuit legal but I decided to use my Xterra speedsuit instead.  I figured it would be easier to take off in transition.  Without a swim warm up, I decided to build my speed throughout the swim.  I exited the water and ran up a steep hill to transition.  It was a little harder to get my speed suit off, but I did not lose very much time.  A few miles into the bike, I quickly found a powerful, high cadence tempo. The run was the most important discipline of the day so I needed to save my legs during the bike. The bike course was slightly rolling and even though it felt like I was holding back, I ended up biking the second fastest of the day and was only off by a few second from first. 

Run into T1

Trying to make up for a slower T1, I executed T2 in blazing speed.  Finally on the run course, I went out fast and settled into a solid pace.  My first mile was around 5 minutes flat and the rest around a consistent 5:30 per mile.  It was a good average considering it was also a rolling run course. I passed everyone that was in a swim wave before me during the bike, except for two individuals.  One of which I passed within a few minutes into the run, while the other was much farther ahead.  I thought with 6.4 miles, I could eventually catch him.  At every turn around, I could see I was getting closer and closer to the guy in 1st on the course.  Around the last turn, heading into the finish line, I finally realized that even the fastest run of the day was not going to catch him. 

Finish Line

When I crossed the finished line second, I was a little bummed at first but I also knew that I had started last on the swim and that the chip time results would decide the winner.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to stay for the awards and the official results.  All I knew is that I had gotten second or possibly even first. Later that day, I finally looked up the results online and found that I had actually won the race even though I crossed the finish line second. All in all a great weekend of racing!

Kerrville is very scenic

I am fortunate and honored to represent the US Army and race for the US Military Elite Triathlon Team, part of US Military Endurance Sports. Racing and training is effortless and made possible by the following USMES sponsors: Boeing, Snapple, Scott, SRAM, Primal, American Classic, Osmo Nutrition,Honey Stinger, Headsweats, Rudy Projects, Xterra Wetsuits , Orange Seal Cycling, Klean Athlete and Schwalbe. I’m thankful to be serviced by and involved with my local bike shop, Jack and Adams Bikes. Team Sterghos also includes Vasa, Sable Water Optics, and Total Immersion. I’m coached and trained by Tim Crowley of TC2 coaching. I eat and promote a plant-based diet for maximum performance and recovery. Finally and most importantly, at the end of the day my heart belongs to Heather.