If you like tough races, put this one on your calendar! You don’t hear quotes like this every day:
Matty Reed (winner): “The toughest course I’ve ever done… Ridiculously hard!”
Joe Gambles (2nd): “The hardest course I’ve ever done”
Lisbeth Kenyon: “That was heinously hard – several times when I saw yet another massive hill (a very bad word) just popped out of my mouth”
Belinda Granger: “I was told by Alex McDonald I would feel bad for the first 30k of the bike, but I felt like crap the whole way – I wanted to kill him”
Unidentified top 3 age-grouper: “I’d rather do the Lake Placid IM loop twice than that once any day!”
The consensus was that the race was impeccably organized. Both the run and bike courses were evil – road and traffic conditions were great, it was the elevation changes that hurt. The swim was flat fast and perfectly marked. No drafting on the bike – massive climbs will do that. $100k on the line for the pros brought in great talent and showcased some balls-to-the-wall racing. The amusement park venue worked great and made it possible for us to bring our kids and have them mostly entertain themselves while I took photos and videos and Lis raced.
And race she did: overall win by 5+ minutes. Best female amateur bike split by 6mins. One of only 2 ag women under 5hrs (results here). Her new Kestrel Airfoil Pro SL SE worked flawlessly. She was also racing some K-Swiss K-ona’s for the first time (she’s only had them for a couple weeks) and was very happy with them – no blisters, and that has to be a first. Look for a race report and more photos and video soon.