Woke up this morning quite sore from wake boarding. Between that and the upcoming races i decided to go into this with the intention of having fun and really going after it on the bike (going to be ironic just you wait). Arrived at hoot lake early which was good because i knew more people there than i ever expected! said hi to lots of friends as i was getting set up in transition and caught up with Clay Danielson as we set up our transition. Luckily for him i had brought 3 helmets (one was mine and Jason Edwards needed the other. kids these days). i decided i could share for the day. Blake Steinbringarrived looking like he had been dragged behind a bus but was as ready to go as ever! That heart is the reason i love this sport. He showed a passion you don't see. Corey Nygaard arrived looking fast as heck as usual and we all talked briefly before heading to the water.
The water was NOT cold here and i debated taking the wetsuit off but decided it would hurt to have on. Everyone lined up and i looked around. The first heat was almost half of the competitors. As the gun went off pure chaos ensued. 50 people usually isn't a lot, but in an all out sprint on a tiny course it was horrible. After getting beat by clay and a few others many times i fell back as did Corey. We swam between groups in order to save our bodies a beating while staying in good position. Corey and i walked out of the swim together and off to transition.
then it went down hill....
Transition was slow. helmet was tangled, shoe straps popped out and i needed to re-loop them, tri suit was rolled up and felt horrible. nothing really went well. made it out of transition and made my way up the steep hill out to the course. made it to the top and prepared to fly! all the sudden i hear the worst sound ever. as i try and switch to the big gear up front there is the chain rubbing sound that hurts all cyclist's ears and then the WHACK of a chain dropping. i tried to fix it coasting on the bike but to no avail. I get off and get to work only to realize my chain guard did nothing and now the chain is locked inside my rings... i fought with this for another few minutes until finally i got it locked on the big ring. i mounted and took off. Riding pissed can do wonders for your MPH average and it was time to make up some ground. i passed a few people that had passed me during my 1 on 1 time with the bike. as we neared the turn around i saw the leaders go by and unfortunately they had gained a ton of ground on me. said hi to a few friends as we biked by each other and kept my head down pushing hard, Unfortunately as i neared the end of the bike i looked at my watch and knew the bike problems had cost me too much ground.
I changed quick, took off on the run and just let the legs do their thing. i caught Corey and hung out with him for a bit. him being the great friend he is told me i could catch at least one guy which lit a tiny little fire in me. With that i lengthened my stride and tried to reel the next guy in. going up the last hill i passed the next guy in line and had my sights on moving up further but did not have the time to do so. i came through in 4th overall with a lot of experiences to learn from today.
i have always worried about how i would react to a race like this. But I learned a lot from today and going forward i know what i can do differently and how i can improve. That's always the goal in anything i do is find ways to improve and today it took a bit of a hit for that to happen. Corey also was willing to switch bikes for a quick bike ride to give me an idea of what electronic shifting is like. Very few others would do this and i cant thank you enough! You have a gorgeous bike there man. There will always be another race! next is the Maah Daah Hey in Medora next weekend!
Congrats to all the first time racers out on course today! Taylor JanssenTiffany Christine Mueller Jessica Molzahn Seth Herman Just to name a few, you guys did awesome.