Steelhead 70.3– Stern and Reddy continue our great summer

PottsStern

Brian Stern and Andy Potts, Steelhead winner

Last weekend, the Steelhead Ironman 70.3 was held in Benton Harbor, MI. Spin – Second Sole has had people racing for the past three years, and everyone comes back with glowing reports about this race.

This year, Brian Stern and Rob Reddy took the drive to Michigan’s west coast. Brian had a fantastic race, setting a PR of 4:32 and earning a spot at the Clearwater 70.3 World Champs. Reddy had what looks like a trying day– swimming 23 minutes (!) and riding 2:31 before encountering some issues on the run.

Click through to read Brian’s report…

Most Triathletes are wound tight before a big race but I tend to be laid back, sometimes too relaxed (maybe I should get a bit wound). This was evident at Kansas earlier this year. So, fast forward to the Benton Harbor, Michigan, Steelhead 70.3 race. I get a parking pass from local all around good guy Mickey Rzymek, boy is that an awesome set up, plus all the other swag he throws our way. I get to park at the race venue and skip the bus trip and/or long walk. Really is a plus going to big races and knowing someone that runs the show (Thanks Mickey).

I get there a bit late, not rushing, and Transition is closed, I run around and finally get the head official to let me inflate the tires, add nutrition to my bike, and place run stuff on the ground. Then I get a nice jog down the beach (about a mile or so) to the swim start. Everything is good now or so I think. My wave starts and immediately arms and legs are all over the place, might have been due to the rolling waves (you could only sight the next buoy at the top of the roller and some people were zig-zag swimming). So, 400 meters into the swim a big guy (compared to me most people are big) swims over me from the left and catches on my wetsuit strap opening the back. I roll and feel water rush in and think this is going to be fun. I continue the battle until I reach the beach, drop to the sand and strip the suit.

Head out on the bike and ride really solid until the last 18 miles as the storm front comes through and winds begin to get stronger. Head winds the last 18 miles are nothing but fun. My average speed went from high 23’s to mid 22’s by the end and I’m thinking that my goal of a PR (sub 4:33:13) is out of reach. I felt really good on the bike and thought maybe I didn’t push it hard enough– but you never know. T2 looks like a ghost town when I rack my bike and notice very few bikes in our area. I get the run started with three quick miles (6:13, 6:05, 6:02) and then decide to settle into a comfortable pace before I blow up.

Somewhere in the start of the run my right shoe speed lace opens and is loose ( I decide to stop and tie it only if it comes off ). I pass Rob at about two miles and he tells me 8-9 guys are in front of me. I just keep pushing, but a bit conservative, because I feel way to good and think the leg cramps and crash are going to start anytime. The miles roll by as I continue to catch racers in my age group. I tell myself the last two miles are slightly down hill and will push the pace again later (I was pleased with a 6:13 last mile). I end up pushing in to the finish with a run split of 1:23, breaking my Half Iron PR by just over a minute on an interesting day with a finishing time of 4:32:02. I earned a Clearwater spot for 2009 Worlds but decline for this year (next year) so I can focus on Half Max long course Nationals in Sept in Oklahoma.

steelhead bike
steelhead finish

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One Response

  1. Nice job Brian! That’s pretty fast.

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