Updated: Dec 9, 2018
Beach 2 Battleship was a great race, as always, with some changes to transition areas which really increased times.
Swim: Always a blast. Swimming with the current. Head for the left side of the island and BEWARE of the upcoming bouy. I heard of an athlete DQ's for swimming on the wrong side of the bouy. Aim towards the building and take the steps up. Strippers are easy to see. TIME 33:46
T1: Again, running down the dock and across the street. Not a bad idea to leave a pair of flip-flops or Crocks if you've got sensitive feet. IM made this one of the more complex transitions I've seen, and my time showed it. TIME 6.47 (0.48 miles!)
Bike: Course was modified from prior years. We were told it had to do with the recent Hurricane Matthew and flooding, but I'm not entirely sure. It started in Wrightsville at the park and finished near the convention center. With only one hairpin turn, it should've been fast. Yet, I found myself riding defensively most of the time due to the wind and the volume of riders on the course. Must watch the wind! It's either blowing off the ocean (and the ride will be easy on the way out) or coming from the mainland (and the ride will be easy on the way back). This year, it was gusty, and coming across the bridge was tough for me because I would get hit by a gust and blown a foot towards traffic. Ride was more busy than normal because the full-IM'ers were riding the same course. The ride finishes nicely, coming back across the river and into town, so you know when to get out of the cleats. TIME: 2:49:11
T2: Instead of sweeping into the convention center as in years past, we were directed down a road that wasn't completed into a field and had to dismount almost a 1/4 mile prior to dropping off the bike. If the weather was wet, that road would've been a disaster. TIME 4:08
Run: I thought the run was reasonable, and similar to years past, snaking along the river on the dock and then heading out of downtown with a large hill until settling in for a nice run with a few rollers thrown in to keep things interesting. Water stops are IM's expertise, and it was on full display here, with fully stocked and frequent water stops along the way. Only one hairpin turn at the half-way point, and mostly in the shade, this run is fast. I really enjoyed it, and just settled in to hit my splits. I clearly had something left in the tank, but given that this was my last run of the year, I just wanted to enjoy it, which I did, and finished with a decent 1:44:32.
Total: I knew that my injuries this year kept me from having the race I had in years past; that being said, sometimes you take what life gives you and enjoy the moment...which I did. TIME 5:20:44