Buffalo Springs Ironman 70.3 2009 Race Report

     I really believe that Buffalo Springs Ironman 70.3 is one of the best races out there. This was my 5th time racing there and every year, despite variable weather the last two times, I absolutely love the experience. This year was no exception. The race has a unique feel, laid back atmosphere, and hospitality. When you add that to a good challenging course, it makes for a great event.

    I was happy overall with my performance only two weeks after my race at Kansas Ironman 70.3. I finished 8th in the pro field. I didn't set any personal time records, but had an overall solid race. I was really happy for and proud of my friends' top placements in the race as well. The husband/wife duo of Brandon and Amy Marsh had an amazing day with Amy WINNING the women's race and Brandon taking 4th in the men's race! My close friend Kelly Williamson took 2nd in the women's race as well. I am so happy for all of them. I know how hard everyone trains, so to see friends do so well is great.

   The weather was a bit reminiscent of last year. The days before the race it was sunny and 100+ degrees. This had me excited because I wanted the Colorado boys traveling down to the race to suffer in the heat. But on race morning, same as last year, a cold front blew in, bringing with it stiff gusty winds, cool temps, and pouring rain. You just race the conditions you're given.

    I'm going to skip writing about my swim. I've spent enough time and energy sharing my swimming frustration with the world. So lets start with the bike! As I was leaving transition, my parents yelled to me that I was the 21st person onto the bike. That was pretty consistent with the last several races. I felt nice and strong right away on the bike. Despite the wind, I felt like I had a good rhythm and didn't fade towards the end of the bike as I had in Kansas two weeks ago. My bike time was the exact same as last year, but I felt it was much stronger considering the conditions. My bike split was closer relative to the front group than last year. I came rolling into transition in about 11th place (I think). 

  Buffalo Springs run course is very challenging. The first 3 miles are pretty tame, until you hit the first 2 huge hills. Not only are they "average speed wreckers", but I've always found that when you get on the flat out-n-back after the hills, I can never get my speed back up to where it had been right before the hills. They're like taps, taking the sap out of your legs. Then on the back side of each hill, they're so steep that they just wreck your quads. 

     I ran pretty strong, putting up my best run time in my 5 years of racing there by over a minute. So I was obviously happy about that. I was able to pull myself up to 8th place by the end, passing the last competitor with less than a half mile to go. I felt like I suffered a bit more on this run than two weeks ago and was fighting the second half "fade" more than in Kansas, but was happy that I was able to hold it together at the end. 

    All-in-all I was really happy with the race. My parents and I had the pleasure of spending time with the Little Caesars franchisees in Lubbock. Their hospitality and kindness were second-to-none! I am very appreciative and grateful for their kindness to my family and I. I also think we got them excited about the race for next year!! 

    Only two days after the race my body feels great. I went for a swim, bike, and run today and my body felt better than it ever has after a race. So now I'm trying to push through a week of solid training while tired from this race before resting for Rhode Island Ironman 70.3 in two weeks.
     I would like to thank Little Caesars Pizza for their belief in me and my racing as well as their support. I’d also like to thank Jack and Adam’s Bicycles for their endless assistance. I’d also like to thank Xterra Wetsuits, Advanced Rehabilitation, Hill Country Running Company, and Lewis Signs. I want to thank my parents for their unending support. Having them in on this trip to Lubbock really made the trip very special. Without the support of my family and friends and sponsors, it would not be possible for me to continue my pursuit of racing; I am appreciative of their unending support and encouragement.


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