This is just a short report before I have time to sit down and write something more detailed. The race was quite good and I felt strong through out most of it. The plan was as follows:
Based on my own splits (the official race results are not out on the web yet) I kept-up with the pacing strategy during the swim. I swam the whole distance freestyle with frequent sighting and course corrections which paid off. The split time leaving the water was 30:13 which is only few seconds off the pace, T1 was without any glitches. I did not bother to try to capture T1, I just focused on getting to bike mount area and then getting into my shoes and climbing up the hill. I only started my bike computer on the hill. Bike was very strong - I got passed by only one person during the whole two loop course. And the person that passed me was doing sprint. T2 was also very good - no running from my stall with the helmet as in my previous race. I guess the Saturday morning transition practice paid off. The run was slower than what I wanted. I had very stiff legs after the bike and it took me more than 1.5 miles to get my running legs back. I averaged around 7:45 or 7:50 and had to walk twice in the first mile. Not quite the 7:20 pace I was planning to keep.
But opposed to the B and C races I did earlier in the year this time I was not saving much for the final stretch to finish. Actually the last mile was quite interesting - someone in my AG passed me about 0.75mi before the finish line. I kept on his toes and toyed with the idea to do Macca to him (see it on YouTube). But about 0.3 mi to go I decided to make my move. I kicked in 6:15 min/mi pace and kept it until I can no longer hear his steps. I never look back when I do this. Then for a good measure I sped-up for the next 50 meters and kept the pace above 6:45 until the finish line. I so badly did not want to get passed in the last stretch. And so I got my new shiny PR - 2:28:36 (not sure about the seconds, but pretty sure it is well under 2:29). Overall very good race and I still feel it today. I left it all on the course yesterday. I'll need to take it fairly easy this week.