Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Wassner Twins / McLarty St.Anthony's Race Report

Here's a couple of race reports from ISM Pro women at St. Anthony's. Rebeccah won the event and Sara McLarty finished 3rd (ISM took top honors in the men's event a 1,2,3 in the female). Enjoy and keep the reports coming gang!

St. Anthony’s Triathlon – April 26th, 2009

After a great race, I seem to be more excited about writing a race report…which explains why this email is hitting your inbox today. St. Anthony’s was actually my third event of the 2009 season, but I finally posted results that I feel like sharing. It was finally a race where I felt confident to say “I’m Back!”
Living in Central Florida had its perks for this race…I drove over to St. Petersburg on Saturday morning after doing a morning training ride at home. I arrived with enough time to pick up a set of borrowed Zipp wheels, attend the pro meeting, and rack my bike in transition. Because I forgot about hotel arrangements until the last second, my reservation was down the road a few minutes…but it was nice to be away from the crowds.
Sunday morning started with a 4:15am alarm, breakfast in the hotel room, and a quick drive down to the event. I decided to try a bike warm-up on my trainer (since we can’t take our bikes out of the transition area) and really enjoyed being able to work up a sweat at 5:30am! While I was spinning next to the bike racks, the race announcers were continually updating the racers about the water conditions. The wind was whipping the bay into a frothy frenzy…before 6:00am they decided to cancel the swim for everyone except the professional men and women!
Of course, I had no complaints. I glanced out at the water and it looked like fun! As a result, the start beach was much less crowded than normal…just the timing crew, the announcers, and about 55 pro athletes. Among those was my brother Dustin…lining up for his debut race as a pro! No surprise to anyone, Dustin was the first male out of the water. A couple of minutes later, I made it a McLarty sweep by exiting :55 seconds in front of the next female.
As soon as I was on the bike, I knew it was going to be a good race. I felt amazing! My training over the past six weeks has been really strong and my coach has been pushing me hard. I had swum past a few of the male pros and I was surprised to be passing a few of them on the bike as well! The course has a few out-and-back sections so I could get a look at the next women…and check out how much I was closing on my brother!
The timing splits showed that I posted the fastest women’s bike split of the day by over one minute! And I had out-rode Dustin by four minutes! But during the race, I only knew that I had over two minutes of lead time going into the run…that information was provided by my coach, my father, and my trainer who were all screaming at me from the sidelines as I headed out for the final 6.2 miles.
At the turn around, I was able to see who was chasing me down…a handful of great runners led by Bec Wassner and Sarah Groff. The time check was down to one minute. I dug deep and kept the lead until mile 5 when Bec passed me. Then I started hearing time checks that Sarah was closing the gap. It was down to :15 seconds at mile 6, just one corner away from the finish. I didn’t bother looking behind me; I was on an empty tank and still a couple 100 meters from the finish. With 50 meters to go, in the finish shoot, with the crowd going crazy, with my eyes rolling back in my head, Sarah out-sprinted me for second place!
It was one of the closest finishes in St. A’s history…the first three women were separated by just :27 seconds. And, on a more personal and painful note, Dustin’s finish time was :33 seconds faster than me!
I’m very proud of my race result. It was a great confidence builder after a year away from racing and six months after surgery. My rest and recovery time is very short because I am already in South Korea for my next event. May 2nd, at 2:10pm, in Tongyeong, I will be competing in the first 2009 ITU World Championship Series event!
Later, Gators

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