This was the first race in the Toyota Triple Crown. At the pro race meeting it was announced that the equalizer would be 11:20. Race day was set to be hot, but it turned to be even hotter than we expected. It was nice to be out of the humidity of Florida, but 97 degrees is 97 degrees, no matter how you slice it, that’s hot. It was supposed to be mid 80’s but the temp just kept climbing. Thankfully the lake was a beautiful 71 degrees, which meant that we didn’t have to worry about over heating in the water. I had a good start and got on the feet of Helle Frederiksen and we had a nice group that swam very efficiently together. No fighting, just focusing on swimming fast.
We exited the water about 1 minute back of Sara McLarty and Lauren Brandon. I got onto the bike with Helle and pushed the pace right from the mount line. Having the boys chasing really got me fired up to ride hard. Around mile 5 I moved into the lead on the bike. Since the bike course was two loops I could see that I was making time on the rest of my female competitors. I looked once at the men and I never looked at them again. It didn’t matter to me how much time they were closing. It didn’t change the way I was going to race so I focused on myself and didn’t worry about what was going on behind me.
As I dismounted my bike and ran into T2, a few people said they thought I had about 90 seconds on 2nd place. No time splits to the men. I took off onto the run and my first thought was, “It’s hot, this is not 85 degrees.”. I knew that I was going to have to run strategically and I couldn’t maintain the kind of effort I was just putting out on the bike. There were periods of the run that I felt quite good and there were periods I thought I was going to vomit everywhere. When I turned around at the 3-mile mark, I thought there was a chance I could hold on for the equalizer win.
I kept my focus and did everything in my power to hold Hunter off. I still had no idea what the time gap was. It wasn’t until the final straight away that I finally heard someone yell Hunter’s name. I did my best to pick up the pace and try to get to the tape first, but Hunter came by me like I was standing still with just meters to go. I finished 4 seconds behind Hunter. I think we are going to have a great battle in Oceanside!
I owe a very special thank you to the gang at Triflare for coming out to support me in Chicago. It was amazing to have your support out there!
I am now in Des Moines, IA preparing for the Hy Vee 51.50 Championship. An impressive start list has been assembled that includes some phenominal ITU, 70.3 and Olympic distance non draft specialists. I'm excited to have the opportunity to race at this event!