The Rev3 series finale was a half distance triathlon in Venice, FL. The winds were very strong and caused dangerous rip currents in the gulf, so the swim was canceled and replaced with a 1.5 mile run. I was a little disappointed, because I do triathlons to compete in all 3 sports, but swimming is my weakest, so I knew it would not hurt me to replace the swim with another run. It has been a long season and I was excited for a solid taper going in to this race.  I was feeling good the last couple weeks, but I am still a little weary of the half distance…this was only going to be my second race.

It was very windy, as I stated before, so there was no way I was going to lead! I was glad when there were 2 guys that wanted to be in the front on the way back.  I sat behind them and let them fight the head wind.  I was 4th into T1 and 3rd out…perfect position for me at that point in the race.  Once out on the bike I started watching my watts.  I knew where I had to be to have a good run, and the line I did not want to cross.  I have never been that close to the front at the beginning of the bike, usually I am 1-3 min down coming out of the water.  It was a strange feeling, and I liked being there, but it was a long race so I had to chill and relax early, so I let the pack go.  It was a crazy tailwind going out so I knew the wind was going to punch me in the face all the way home.  I rode a steady pace for the first half of the race and then really tried to ramp it up with 11 miles to go, I wanted to be as close to the front as I could.  I got as far back as 13th place and then started to pass people as they began to fade.  I knew by the end of the bike that I rode a little too hard, but I did what I thought I had to. My quads were jello coming off the bike, and I figured the run would get interesting.

I got in to T2 in 7th and did what I could to move at the beginning of the run. I probably went out a little too hard but I thought if I could pass guys early, then I would be able to stay away.  Well I passed guys early, then the wheels fell off the train.  I moved up into 3rd place at the halfway mark.  I did all I could to keep moving, but I stopped sweating at 3 miles, so I tried my best to hang on.

When Viktor went around me I tried to stay with him, but my body did not respond…I was in survival mode.  Then I heard Ben coming up behind me, I tried to dig deep, but there was nothing I could do.  I was dead on the road, I had to hope for the finish line to get here before someone else passed me.  I was able to hold on for 5th place.  That ended up being just good enough to sneak into 4th place in the series.  So even though my legs still hurt 3 days later, and am hobbling around, it was all worth it.  It was my last race of the season and now I have two weeks to relax and recover before I start building for next year.

It was a hard race, but it fit well as the end to this season. I went through a few rough patches, but just kept going forward with the guidance from Greg.  I would not be where I am without him!  I would also not be able to compete week in and week out without the help of my sponsors: N.B Properties, Bralin Laser, Champion System, Profile Design, Rudy Project, BH Bicycles, Cobb Cycling, Scott Shoes, CompuTrainer, Hofferth Chiropractic, Pro-Form Bike shop, and Express Press.

Melissa as well as her aunt and uncle, Katie and Ryan, came down to Florida with me.  It was great to have them there cheering as well as someone to hang out with post race/end of season!!  It was a fun weekend and am glad I did the race. The Rev3 crew puts on the best races and series in the US.  I am glad to have something that great in the sport of triathlon.

“When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.” ~Thomas Jefferson

~ Kaleb