Monday, May 7, 2012

TriZou Title Defense

We made our way to Columbia, MO for the 6th year in a row to attend the ever growing TriZou triathlon. This year was extra special as I was the returning champion after my first elite wave victory last year and I had no intentions of giving up my hard earned title. This trip is always a special trip for the whole family because we stay with our good friends Joe and Amy Company and our daughters are now both old enough to interact and play together. So we made a weekend of it and went up Friday already to spend a little more time with them. Joe, who owns Endurance Company (pictured above) and is the home town favorite thanks to his numerous amateur and pro accomplishments, would not be in the elite wave this year due to the number of athletes he now coaches who were racing. This, along with the absence of other recent past champions Andrew Starykowiz and Ben Kanute, meant the field had some new names and was wide open.
The pool swim is a 400m in the University of Missouri's 50m pool which is a great swim venue. The elites each get a lane to swim but then the real action starts once we are out of the way as the remaining 800+ athletes enter one at a time and snake swim from lane to lane in time trial format. It is quite a site to see that many athletes lined up.
As usual there were some very talented young swimmers who bested me out of the pool but I was out in a personal best 5.44 in 4th place. A long transition run at this course took us out to the intramural field during which I picked up one place and moved into third. The bike course at TriZou is a hilly two loop course and is the most technical I have raced. By mile 3 or 4 I had pushed my way to the front and kept hammering. The weather was warm and humid but calm which made for some good cycling conditions. My time was 32.31 which was the fastest of the day by several minutes and a new bike course record beating Starykowicz time from the famous TriZou dual between him and Simon Lessing in 2009.
After negotiating the multiple tight turns back into transition I took off onto the 3 mile run. I hadn't received a time split since I took the lead so early so I kept pushing with the assumption that second was not too far behind. I finished the run with a 15.23 on the newly revamped run course but a few seconds shy of my best effort at this race. My finish time was 56.41 just 21 seconds shy of Starykowicz course record from the 2009 race. It turns out the anxiety of my pursuers was unfounded as second place came in just over 5 minutes later.
I will be making a stop in Kansas City on May 20 for the KC 5150 race before making my way to KS Ironman 70.3 (half ironman) on June 10.

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