The Elite Athletes started an hour and a half after us and entered the bike course when I was on my 3rd loop. Vansteelandt was so fast that he was off and riding before I finished lap two, so I never saw him. I did see a majority of the elite men, however, which was pretty cool. I saw Tom Jeffrey. I saw David Thompson, who is a monster on the bike. It’s a blast spectating a pro race while in the field with them!
And so great to see friends David and others there cheering! Plus, his good friend Desiree Ficker was there with him to check out the scene. How cool is that! She is such a rockstar and a gluten intolerant to boot. She had plenty of good advice as I prepare for Silverman.
Quickie version of the race. First run felt pretty good but the second loop started to feel my lack of tempo runs. Bike was totally fun. Very technical and very rough. Paced it pretty relaxed and increased effort each loop. Moved from 12th to 6th but started to feel hungry on the bike on the last loop. In hindsight, should have at least slugged the goo right at the end and risked cramping, or taken it with me on run 2. Cramping is better than a major bonk on the final run/walk that moved me from 6th to 9th and from 1st in the AG to 3rd. Surprised I medaled at all! Full RR to come later.