Brian Stern takes on IM 70.3 Kansas

70.3_KansasBrian Stern raced at IM 70.3 Kansas in Lawrence, KS on June 14.  Leading into the race, he raced a couple times for SSSMST.  He raced the NEO triathlon kickoff (500yd swim/13mi bike/ 3.2mi run) on June 7, coming in first overall.  This was his last hard workout before tapering for Kansas, with a reportedly decent swim and strong bike and run.  He took the lead from Nate Loman at T2 and never looked back – a good confidence builder before heading to Kansas!  Later that week he ran the Flag Day 5k in Mentor and took 3 of 234…. which takes us right to race day. 

His short report for the 70.3 race is as follows:

What a beautiful state and no it’s not flat but is definitely windy. The swim, bike, and run courses are in excellent condition filled with lots of volunteers. My race was solid but not great. I missed the Clear Water Qualification (top 5 in AG) by a little bit. I suffered as best I could but just not enough. My wave consisted of 140 (AG 40-44). I came out of the water in 65th and then finished the bike 42nd (had a slower bike because of a diversion – read full report). Then I gave everything my body could muster to qualify with a 1:23:48 Half Mary but fell short by finishing 12th. I ran out of T2 with an excited 5:39 first mile followed by a series of 6:05-6:10 miles until I started to run out of power with two miles remaining. I walked away from this race knowing I left everything on the course and will return to this event for a rematch with the Kansas 70.3.

For the long version, read on:

70.3_chrissie

 

We (fellow Clevelander AJ Baucco and Brian) meet Chrissie Wellington the day before and she is so cool and down to earth.

Race day:
Get up at 4AM do the usual (eat some oatmeal) and head to pick up AJ Baucco around 5AM, head to the course and wait thirty minutes to get into parking. We set up T2 which is about 2 miles away from swim start and warm up with some running. I get stomach issues and start to dry heave? I have not puked since High School State CC race where pancakes were the culprit. It gets worse and my stomach decides oatmeal was not the pre race meal choice for this day. We run around getting ready (in my case so I thought) and head to T1 where are bikes are racked and make some final adjustments. Then into the wetsuit and corral for the swim start. I then realize that my Tri top is back at the car (total rookie move – and to think this is not my first trip to town). So I calmly decide after the swim I will exit T1 and ride off course to the parked car to retrieve the top and cross my fingers not to lose too much time. I thought, “don’t over react”, just fly out of T1 to the parking area and continue to race (two minutes or so off course and Tri Jersey on I returned to the race). My bike split suffered a bit as the hills and wind picked up forty minutes into the ride. I was catching people in my age group and passing a good number and thought to myself save some energy and run them down. The race book says a flat run course I believed them until I saw the monster hill at 2.5 and 9.5 miles heading up from the water. My run splits were low 6’s until the hill and then they jumped to 6:40 each time we ascended. The course also had .05% grades with multiple turns that made it very spectator friendly but brutal to the racers. Those tiny changes in grade made us suffer and moan. I ran down as many people as I could before my legs started shutting down (with the fore shadowing twinges and shakes before total leg lock up occurs). I saw one last guy that looked like my age group and thought, “ I hope he is not in my group and Damn he was, age 41. So I suck up what ever I have and decide pass by him hard to avoid a sprint finish and it works and lets me go past. We go to awards and wait for roll down spots and the two remaining are taken before my name gets called, so we drink some beer and bake in the sun. Ran into Mickey Rzymeik and get set up with Gatorade and free food (Nice…). I get home that Monday print out the full results and discover the guy I passed at the end gets the final Clear Water spot? So as it stands I’m waiting to hear.

 Our fingers are crossed for Brian!

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One Response

  1. Hope you get the stray spot, although i reckon that same time gets you to clearwater at steelhead. Looked like a really deep field at Kansas.

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