Metro 'DU'athlon 2012

The Metro Triathlon is a great event put on by Threshold Racing at Lake Almaden south of San Jose. The course is familiar to me and very good for an early season test of speed. The bike is fairly flat and so is the run. The night before all the racers got an e-mail though saying the swim was canceled due to unsafe water conditions which I didn't realize would make such a big difference until a ways into the race when the dynamic of the field played out.

There were three other elite men racing, all of whom I have raced before and am fairly familiar with their strengths. Brian LaVelle is a strong guy all around and has had some great Ironman performances in his life, Ken Rakestraw is a stellar runner and certainly holds his own on the bike, and Stephen Kilshaw who I didn't know all that well but is a beast apparently were the other guys in the field.

Instead of a swim we started off with a one mile run and from the gun Stephen went to the front and started pulling away from us...Ken followed suit and Brian and I fell back a bit. After that mile run Stephen had 15-20 seconds on Ken who had a further 10-15 on Brian and I who rolled out onto the bike together. My original plan was to stick with Brian on the bike because I knew he was capable of putting up a stellar time. When we caught up to Ken, Brian paused though so I went past both of them to start setting a pace I thought might bring back Stephen who was still visible 300 meters or so up the road. After a long stretch on the front pushing hard and a few rollers I looked back and saw that there was a gap to my fellow chasers so I decided to go it alone. I knew that Brian could outrun me and that I would need multiple minutes on Ken to hold him off on the run so I put my head down and my eye on the lone figure far up the road.

I had no idea that Stephen was such a strong cyclist, I mean I didn't really know much about him, but the gap was not coming back and after the hilly middle section of the bike he was well out of sight. I had a stellar bike split but he absolutely flew; he posted a faster split than all the guys that were riding in a pack of thirty for the first ten miles! Just teasing guys :) It was a great ride for me putting even a little time in on Brian and Ken is a great indicator for me. I definitely put in a couple of diggs that were a little beyond my ability and definitely felt it as I hit the run.

Starting the run I had that feeling like I had slightly overcooked myself and was grasping for that little edge of extra speed I knew was there but my body couldn't get over that hump. I was running well but not as smoothly as I am able to and that was a bit frustrating but my fitness was there and able to carry me through. Ken caught me around mile two of the run and was absolutely flying! He ran a blazing 32:17, leaving Brian and I in the dust. I was able to hold Brian off and get third which is cool but mostly I am happy with the numbers I put up, especially given how hard I worked durring the week.

All the guys on my team did well and were all over the podium. It looks like it should be a strong year for us at Wildflower in a couple of weeks. I wish I could be there but I am absolutely certain that my sisters wedding is going to be way more fun :)

Photo Credit: David Condon