We drove out to Chicago 2 days before the race. Our downtown hotel was close to the venue and about anything we needed. Didn't do much sight seeing as it was really hot and humid for most of our stay.
We got to watch the ITU World Triathlon Series pro women and men races that may have been about the most exciting race I have seen in person.
My race was on Sunday early morning. Bike check-in was the night before. About 4000 other bikes were racked up alongside mine. I would be curious to know that $$ all those bikes worth.
I was in the very first wave. The swim was just along the harbor. Swim up along the shore, back to the start then continuing towards the swim exit. I was on the heels of a swimmer who was following another guy. However, we were far behind the leading group. I swam comfortably and exited the water rather fresh. My swim split wasn't too strong but at least I had the legs for the bike. After a long run back to transition I quickly picked up the bike and headed out on the bike course. Got into aero as soon as I could and as much as I could. The road wasn't entirely smooth and there were some accidents along the course, too. Four laps of approx 10k was the distance and I felt very strong all the way through. It was pretty cool biking through the tunnel where the Transformers and/or Batman was filmed. No wind and flat course helped for a quick time. It was said to be 40k but my 55min split suggest it was a little short. After T2 I was in chasing mode. I had no clue where I was so I only guessed based on the speed of the runners when we ran against after the turn arounds. Turns out I ran down 2-3, one only about 300m to go. I ended up crossing the line in 2nd place at that time. I figured this would be good for a high overall finish and after all age groupers finished I got 7th. Not too bad after a slow swim and decent bike. My ran time, however, was over a minute faster than of the second fastest. That's pretty cool, huh. 32:40 is about the fastest I have ever run especially off the bike.
After some recovery I was out on the course again in the afternoon but this time to watch the Gomez, Mola, Murray trio racing alongside a few dozen professionals. Their course as super technical with sharp 90 and 180 degree turns every few hundred yards.
I am going to take a few weeks off to prepare for the XTERRA Mountain Championships in Beaver Creek, Colorado. That race is pretty important to me as the course is very similar to the XTERRA USA's course in Ogden, Utah.
Next up: XTERRA Mountain Champs in Beaver Creek, Colorado