Sunday, July 11, 2010

13th? Where Were the Other Racers?

Yesterday I competed in the Life Time Fitness Triathlon in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I finished 13th in an incredibly stacked pro field that featured athletes like, Matty Reed, Greg Bennett, Craig Alexander, Matt Chrabot, Cameron Dye, and David Thompson. While they had all toed the line, I might as well have just raced by myself because that’s what I did!

The swim was in beautiful Lake Nokomis – calm, 80 degrees and the course was one big inverted triangle. When I thought I was getting a leg up on the field by wearing a speed suit, I got to the start line and noticed everyone was wearing one! Normally, in a race like this, I’m able to maintain in contact with a few swimmers, but miraculously, I got dropped within the first several hundred yards and the next slowest swimmer was 2 minutes ahead of me! Mind you, this isn’t because I had a bad swim by any means, I actually thought I had a good swim – felt great, evenly balanced effort, and was able to dip under 22:00 for the first time in a triathlon (21:50). It’s just that when I’m going up against a field where the average swim time for this race was 18:25, it kind of puts me in a hole right off the bat!

Out onto the bike, I started putting out a pretty good effort in an attempt to slowly reel my competitors back to me. Apart from passing a few DNF’s, I was never able to make contact with the field who had built up such a large lead out of the swim. Again, it wasn’t because I bonked on the bike, but rather I felt like my effort was solid and I was working well through the rolling hills.

I got off the bike after having split a 1:02 and headed out onto the run, not sure of my place or time back from the other racers. So as usual I took off in anticipation that I would slowly start to come up on a few struggling competitors. It never happened! And again, not because I had a bad run (I split 33-mid and it was one of the faster splits), but just that EVERYONE brought their A-game today and it happened to be that I found a ridiculously talented field that I couldn’t quite crack! Being stuck out in no man’s land, I was racing no one other than myself and never really found that extra gear because I didn’t have any carrots on the course. In fact, my only carrot was the finish line.

I was able to cross the line in just under 2 hours (1:59:52) and I have to say despite the place, I feel pretty good about my result. As I said before, I might as well have raced by myself, because that’s what I did.

At the end of every race, I try and analyze ever facet of it so I can learn from my experience and utilize my new knowledge the next time I toe the line. I would say that this was about as good a field as it gets and I knew going in that I had quite an uphill battle. But as a pro now, I want to race against the top fields because I want to know where I need to get to in order to truly compete in this sport. This is my first year as a pro and it’s only customary for me to get my butt kicked! I’ve been doing this sport for less than two years and to be able to even hold a candle next to guys like Reed, Alexander, and Bennett who all have been doing this for 15+ years, is inspirational in itself for me to continue to work hard and come back next year and show them what I have to offer then!

Race Results:

I’m next heading to NY where I will be getting ready for another Life Time race next weekend (July 18).

Thank you all again for the “good luck” notes and the congratulatory remarks, it truly means a lot and I carry that with me as fuel during my training and racing.

Check back soon for a mid-week report and then of course all my coverage before and after the NYC tri!

Talk soon!



  1. Congratulations Henry! You're a superstar!!! We can't wait to see you race in person soon! Best, Jennie

  2. nicely done!! See you in person in NY!

  3. Well done! You couldn't ask for a tougher field and you held your own.