Well for the first time since Thanksgiving I dusted off the racing belt and flats and hauled ass.
I met up with Josie (who had signed up to volunteer as her little bundle but he kibosh on racing.) and we made our way down to West Haven for the Shoreline Sharks invitational Half Marathon.
The crowd wasn't bad 50 entrants all members of Connecticut's three biggest tri clubs ( Shoreline Sharks out of Old Saybrook, HEAT out of Hartford and Team Mossman out of Norwalk.) The race was low key, our waiver of liability was the race director saying you do not have police support, please use common sense, don't cause any fights with motorists ( as you do not have police support.) and please don't sue me literally 5 seconds before the start.
The race got underway at 8:05 and I decided to take it from the gun. I lead the field from the start line around the parking lot and down the beach bike path. I felt pretty baller as I didn't hear anyone gaining on me for almost 3/4 of a mile then Roy Krouse ( a fellow HEAT runner )went around me then Kevin from shore line and Chouckri ( yet another HEAT guy.) at the 1 mile mark. Things had been pretty good for the brief time I was at the front but it was odd feeling for me to have the lead bike infront of me. I think my biggest mistake was trying to pace off it Never a good idea. About mile 2 my side developed a stitch and began to settle into a reasonable rhythm letting the top 3 fade away. Miro from HEAT and another shoreliner came along side about mile 3. I held with them until the hill at mile 4 and then they too disappeared into the distance. At mile 5 I got into the group that I would duke it out with for the rest of the race trying to hold on to a top 10 placing. 2 guys from shoreline and a dude from Mossman. Two shoreliners got around me and I surged to reel them in then repassed until another climb at mile 8 the dude from mossman and two shoreliners again went around I caught one of the shoreliners a young guy about my age.) and was reeling in the other as he walked the last quarter of a massive hill at mile 9 but as he hit the summit he regrouped and pulled away. At mile 10 an older shoreline guy got around me and was gone before I could figure out who it was. By mile 11 I was in no man's land. I hit mile 12 and the young guy from shoreline was a little ways back. I figured ok I can coast a little right...wrong. As I approached the finish line could hear the clapping of feet against asphalt and the distinct sound of someone in full sprint. I didn't look back I found my racing gear and managed just to nip him out for a hard earned top 10 in 1:37:31 the guy behind me was clocked officially at 1:37:32 but like the Pauli Kiuru/ Ken Glah Ironman Sprint the gap was definitely closer than the official timing.
All in all it was a great race and it was a good way to start the season.