This past Sunday I competed at the inaugural Rev3 full distance race at Cedar Point USA. Cedar Point is the home one of the oldest theme parks in the USA, one of the roller coasters is even still constructed in timber. Unfortunately I missed out on any rides! I was really quite nervous going into the race as since my crash in Challenge Copenhagen my knee has been sore, so the run training was limited to a couple of 20min jogs and some aqua jogging. I knew it was going to be a long and testing day…
Race day arrived and we had a little delay of 10min to let the sun come up. It was a beach start with about 100-200m of really shallow water that you could run and dolphin dive through and two rectangular laps. I ended up getting dropped not long after the start, then got a little lost and was quite shocked to hear the gap at the half way mark – 5min down! The next lap went a lot better and I only lost another 2min on Bjorn Anderson and some other guys coming out of the water with Zach Ruble and Jason Shortis.
Through the edge of the theme park and into transition and out for the ride. This was my first time racing in the USA and under their stagger rules for drafting. The rules are basically like this, you have your normal draft box of 10mx2m, but with the additional rule of not been able to sit in a straight line behind the rider in front. So if you have 4 guys in a group, the closest you can sit directly behind a competitor is 20m. This makes for some interesting dynamics, as you always need to be alert and focused as if the person in front moves to the right, you have to move to the left and so on. It definitely makes the ride a lot fairer.
The ride basically went like this, Bjorn Anderson was doing his normal demolition job of the field, and Zach, Jason and Me picked our way through all the guys in front apart from David Thompson. My knee didn’t get too sore so I was excited to get off the bike and get on the run. James picked up a unlucky penalty not being familiar with the stagger rules, so got a dagger from the stagger, but it didn’t end up slowing him down.
The run was a two lapper, from the theme park into Sandusky township, and back. I started the run in 3rd place, 22min down on Bjorn! and about 4min to David. With Jason on my heels and James and Zach a little further back. The legs didn’t feel too bad to start with, but Jason soon came past me and James also, both running really well. My legs started to get sore/damaged after about 5k and the knee pretty stiff. Normally the legs don’t start getting that soreness until about 5k from the finish! So I knew I had a long battle ahead.
After the end of the first lap, there were a lot of calls that Bjorn had slowed to a walk, and I passed him at about the 27k mark and all of a sudden David had also slowed and with about 12k to go I could see him just up the road. I was already completely in the hurt box, but that perked me up mentally as I wasn’t expecting it. I ran past David at about 10k to go.
The last 5k where very tough, my hamstrings where cramping, the thighs had been sledge hammered, Zach was putting the pressure on, I couldn’t look behind as I was so scared of a full on body cramp/shut down. About a mile to go I thought I had third, and then David comes storming past me, with the finish line basically in sight, I had no idea he was coming, but I was maxed already and couldn’t respond at all. He must have had a big big cup of coke and got his legs back, as he was really moving.
The finish line couldn’t arrive quick enough, legs definitely maxed out there effort on the day. James ended up with a great win and also the TBB girls got a win with Amy. Overall I was really pleased with the day, as I didn’t give in and gave it my best. Big thanks for the Ruble family for having us stay prior to the race and the support on the day
And the Bike Boutique, Avia, Cervelo, 3T, Adamo, Blue Seventy, Token, Louis Garneau for providing super fast gear to use.