Podium Racing is headed to South Africa
Augusta 70.3 Race Report
Believing in yourself is sometimes a very hard thing to do. Especially when it relates to sports and competition. You can continue to train hard day in and day out but lack the confidence to succeed. 2017 has been a steady increase in my overall fitness. So, with a little confidence, off to Augusta I went.
This is the largest 70.3 on the IronMan calendar (>3,000 athletes) and in case you haven’t been to Augusta, Ga, it is HOT! This was my fear knowing I do not perform well in the heat.
The Pro men hit the water at 7:30 am with the Pro women at 7:45. Jesse Thomas struggled at Worlds and Andy Potts has been looking strong through 2017. Certainly a good race to come. It was Sarah True’s race to loose, but I was hoping for a good showing from fellow PurplePatch athlete Cecilia Davis-Hayes. We did a pre-race ride with another fellow PPF athlete Hallie Nicoll and both were REALLY strong on the bike.
My wave went off at 8:22 am, the largest of all waves and the largest age group (45-49). I’m a big fan of this point to point swim as not to contend with any buoys and mass chaos making the turn. Only thing I had to think about was to keep all buoys on the left. A slight current gave way to a nice PR (30:09). This is the discipline I have worked on the most, which was much needed and got the day off to a great start.
T1 was uneventful....off with the ROKA swim skin (not wetsuit legal 77°) and onto the bike. The bike course is a good way to evaluate a race and IM typically does a great job with this.
Augusta was no exception. Closed roads with a ton of volunteers and security for intersections gave this venue an A+ in my book. A windy, rolling, single loop course with 1650’ of elevation led to a 2:31 bike split at just over an average of 200 watts. A solid performance and another good mental foundation headed into the run.
T2 was a quick in and out.....and now the suffering begins. Augusta lived up to its reputation of being HOT. With the high humidity, upper 80° temps, and no shade, it became a mental game to stay focused and hydrated. The 2 loop course was flat and lined with spectators as we ran through the historic district of Augusta. Aid stations were about every 2 miles....not close enough for such a brutal day of heat. No stops or slowing down but grabbed everything I could to keep the core temperature down.
It wasn’t until mile 10 on the run that I scrolled through my Garmin to see where I was in my overall time. This is when I realized there was a chance to have a massive PR even though I was having a less than desired run. 5K to go....stay focused.
An emotional finish with an 8 minute PR. A 4hr 48 min journey on a tough day. I had no idea what this meant until 4pm that afternoon when I was awarded a slot into the 2018 IronMan 70.3 World Championship in South Africa. Only 15 male and 15 female slots were awarded to the top athletes in Augusta. A moment I never thought I would have but certainly a dream come true. It took a lot of early mornings, a ton of hard work, and a moment of believing in yourself for a day of success.
Jessie Thomas finished 1st, less than a minute ahead of Andy Potts. Jessie will be a big contender in Kona. Sarah True was unstoppable, Cecilia finished 4th Pro female, and Hallie was the Overall Female Amateur winner. A good day for PPF athletes and a great day for the Podium Racing Team!