A NINETEEN minute 1.2 mile swim? Apparently all it takes is a swift current and my TYR wetsuit and I can swim just as fast as Katie Ledecky! And yes, that felt very, very good!
Augusta is a quick 2 hour drive from where I live in Atlanta, but this was my first time racing the half Ironman distance race there. I’d previously cheered for friends on the course, so I was really looking forward to checking it out for myself.
They let us dive! I don’t usually like diving into water when I can’t see the bottom, but it was kind of fun!
I knew the strong current meant I couldn’t expect much of a time gap coming out of the water, so I made the most of it, swam hard, and was super excited to set a new women’s course record of 19:32.
First out of the water! Vuvuzela photo bomb!
The 56 mile lollipop-style course loops from Georgia to South Carolina with some false flats, rolling hills, and bit of wind sprinkled in for variety. My Illicito was riding like a rocket and I held the lead through mile 25 when Lauren Barnett flew past with a few words of encouragement. I worked hard to keep Lauren in sight as long as possible and managed to roll back into town 2.5 hours later in second place.
The RUN! The CHEERS! I loved this course! Zig-zagging through the streets of downtown Augusta made for amazing spectator support and the Dynamo Multisport cheer crew was out in full force!! Betty, Ernie, Micki, Shelly, Lauren and Kevin were EVERYWHERE!! Tri Coach Georgia, Peak Racing Team, and Swim Bike Mom all had tents set up on the course and they cheered HARD when I passed! Thank you!! The hometown support was incredible!
Near mile six, speedy Sue stormed past me. With all those cheers, letting her go was not an option, so I did everything I could to stay with her. Things got pretty ugly near the end, and I never did catch her, but I kept fighting and got the gap down to 18 seconds, crossing the line in 3rd with a 1:25 half marathon and 4:19 total time.
Best Cheer Crew EVER!! Ernie, Kevin, Micki, Lauren, Shelly, Betty, Me
But Wait, There’s More!
Race day didn’t end in Augusta! Betty, Ernie, Micki and I hopped in the car and drove to Chattanooga! We arrived just in time to cheer for Dynamo friends finishing up their Ironman marathons, including my athlete Stephanie who finished in a massive PR!
Stephanie cruising toward the finish!!
Dynamo cheering in Chattanooga - Ron, Matthew, Betty, Sean, Me, Micki, Linda, Casey
LOVED seeing all the Smash HC Kits in Augusta & Chattanooga!! Looking GREAT ladies!!
MAJOR thanks to everyone who cheered for me in Augusta, to Betty for hatching the Augusta-Chattanooga double deal, and her husband Ernie for driving us between the two!
Thanks to all of my sponsors: TYR, Smashfest Queen, Quintana Roo, SRAM, Reynolds Wheels, Kask Helmets, all3sports, Mizuno, Osmo Nutrition, and Dynamo Multisport.
Thanks to my family and friends for the support from afar, and my coach Matthew Rose, for his guidance throughout the season. More to come!