Wow – what a way to get back in touch with my inner REV3. The last time I made it to the start the line of this series was several years back at the inaugural REV3 event held in Quassy. Even though that event was a very average day out performance wise personally, I just knew I liked what I saw with this new event on the block and knew I wanted to do more. Problem was injuries, illness and a few missed US seasons meant it’s taken me this long to limber up for another. I promise it won’t take that long again and you’ll definitely see me at the next one in Branson!
To the race itself..the sight of cool, calm waters at Old Orchard Beach on race morning was just what the doctor ordered. These kind of conditions play right into my hands (with swimming my weaker leg) because I can usually keep in closer touch with the super swimmers like Eric Limkeman, Kyle Leto , Brian Fleishman, Chris Braden etc just to name a few. An uneventful swim for me had me out only 30secs back from the front runner and I made up most of that with the extra long bolt to transition around the roller coaster park.
Also out in good position was Dave Thompson. He didn’t know it, but provided me a big X on his back for the next 55 minutes and change on the nice bike ride through mostly farm and neighborhood roads. Dave was charging, and it wasn’t long before we picked up Eric and Kyle up front and proceeded to distance ourselves from some other handy athletes behind, namely fleet footed Chris Foster
I tried a couple of times to move a little closer to the front and do my share with the nose in the wind, but I soon realized these short course fellas are a little more aggressive than the half distance guys and almost immediately they’d re-pass me and relegate me to the back of the group. In the end I decided my best bet was to stay there and conserve a bit more energy because by the half way turn I was starting to feel the fatigue of the previous weeks Timberman 70.3 2nd place creep in.
The 4 of us rolled back into T2 and my lack of shorter racing was evident with a very pedestrian transition. While I put some socks on to protect my tootsies from getting blisters, Thompson, Limkeman and Leto jumped me and had a handy lead out onto the run. It took me a mile to reel them back in and when I did decided to make it interesting with a few surges. Dave hung tough and we ran shoulder to shoulder the remained of the 10k. Every now and then I threw another surge in to see if he was awake..and he sure was because he matched them all. With 1 mile to go, I hit him again and he responded. With 600 to go I went again, and this time he matched but also raised me and opened a little gap. I thought it was all over at that point. Then with 500 to go, we were approaching a traffic policeman who wasn’t looking in our direction and to my amazement Dave went on the inside, when I was thinking the outside was the safest line. The policeman sidestepped straight into Dave’s path and both of them nearly hit the pavement. The policeman staggered to his feet and then straight into me!
We both regained our composure and with 300 or so to go and nearing the final corner into the straight, I hit Dave with everything I had. Even though I’m more a half distance athlete, I have a pretty good sprint, because this is what I was born and bred on growing up racing in Australia. Dave must have been either still bewildered from crash tackling the cop or simply had nothing left, because he never responded. To say I was absolutely pumped to take the Win would be an understatement, because it’s been the best part of a few years, and half a dozen or more 2nd places since I last broke the tape first.
Watch the Finish
I loved the overall vibe around the REV3 event and can’t wait to toe the line to try and grab another win next month in Branson.
Check out the entire Pro race action:
Follow Leon via Twitter: https://twitter.com/grifffo
Or his Website: http://www.leongriffin.com.au/