I had a Tour de New England this past weekend hitting New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York and Vermont. The final destination of the weekend was the New England Trifest half ironman in Fairlee, Vermont a Hammer Nutrition sponsored event. The New England Trifest was hosted by Sun Multisports Events which produces a triathlon series in New England. Prior to the race Bri and I headed to New York for her cousins high school graduation on Friday. We hung in New York until Saturday afternoon then made the drive towards the race. The weekend was a bit hectic but this race was another tune up race for Ironman Lake Placid and I knew that I would not be firing at 100%. After racing the White Mountains Triathlon I have been hitting the training hard. The past 2 weeks saw 25+ hours of training, including a big week of training prior to the New England Trifest. Racing on tired legs can be difficult, but I knew I needed to get in a big block of training in while I had adequate time to train. We finished up the tour and stayed at Bri’s grandmothers camp in New Hampshire about 1 hour from the race venue. The camp was beautiful and brought back many childhood memories of family vacation in New Hampshire.
I was feeling a little more confident with my swim after my complete lack of swimming for a couple of months and now had almost 3 weeks under my belt. I’m still not at 100% swimming but I have been making some progress. For the first time this year I had a swim workout over 3,500 yards. My main priority has been to hit the bicycle and run hard in these final build weeks before Ironman Lake Placid. I did two key workouts this week that are crucial to my Ironman build. On Tuesday I ran a 6 mile warm up then 6×1 mile and a 2 mile cool down, Thursday I rode 95 miles with some short tempo speed bursts every 20-30 minutes. My legs were feeling a little crispy after these workouts so I knew I might be feeling a little lethargic on Sunday.
Fast forward to race morning. I arrived at the race venue in Fairlee with plenty of time to prepare, register and get my mind wrapped around racing a half ironman. After two late arrivals to races (Ironman Mont Tremblant & Leadman) I have made it my priority to arrive on time or even a little early this year. The swim had a bit of magical start as the fog covered the majority of the swim course and it cleared just as the race began. I found myself swimming in a group of 3 that included triathlon legend and hall of famer; Karen Smyers. I had a decent swim and exited the water in the top 10. After only 10 miles on the bike I found myself in 2nd place and about 4 minutes down on the race leader. I was happy to have Hammer Nutrition out on the race course and this made my fueling much easier. I cruised the first lap of the bike and felt a little lethargic and started to feel much better with 20 miles to go. In the last 20 miles I started to apply the pressure and was able to close the gap to the race leader. The bike course covered some beautiful terrain, climbed over 3500 feet and it even went through one of the wood covered bridges twice. I entered T2 in first place with with a small gap on second place. I wanted to run a steady run pace but this was difficult because the course included what felt like a mountain from miles 4-6. I made it to the turn around and still had a comfortable lead on second place. I let my legs stride out on the steep downhill sections and cruised the rest of the run. I finished the race in 4:23 in first place winning the inaugural New England Trifest half ironman. I was happy with the win but more importantly happy to make another step towards Ironman Lake Placid.
The New England Trifest and Sun Multisport Events hosted a great first year event. I was happy to be apart of the triathlon festival and enjoy another beautiful, challenging New England triathlon. After racing two races in New England in two weeks I have discovered that these races offer some very challenging terrain. You rarely find long stretches of flats on either bike or run courses here. A big thanks to the race organizers & volunteers for hosting a great event. I highly suggest this event to anyone looking for an Ironman Lake Placid tune up. After the race I hit some Hammer Recoverite to begin the recovery and have me primed for a few more weeks of solid training. Next up will be the Newtown Triathlon in St. Louis, Missouri. This is a race hosted by Big Shark Bicycle Company and I will be hosting a clinic and helping out with the kids race. After a few days in St. Louis I will head to the center of the universe (Missoula, MT) to work the Tour de Montana with The Cycling House. It is almost time to light of some fireworks….