The headline on IRONMAN.com reads, "Some fast age group racing in Buffalo Springs Lake".
Yes, I'd say so.
About 1,300 athletes came out for this year's race. Being part of the official IRONMAN 70.3 series, which offers qualifying slots to the ultimate IRONMAN event, the Ford IRONMAN HAWAII, in Kona, this race attracts a remarkable group.
Neither the wind, rain, nor hills deterred the leaders in the group from posting some amazing times.
The overall winner was Leon Griffen from Boulder, CO with a time of 3:58:35. The female pro winner was Mirinda Carfrae, also of Boulder, posting a time of 4:23:28.
Mike W. had a great race, despite some hiccups during a somewhat chaotic swim start. The pro wave began the event, and these pros first ran along the shoreline for the first several hundred feet of the swim before diving in to the water. The subsequent waves took this strategic tip and followed suit. In our wave, after Mike began his swim, another athlete dove on top of him, dislodging his swim cap and goggles. Mike, flustered and out of breath from having just run through sand and water, gathered himself, got to shore, and quickly recovered his gear. He still managed to complete the swim in under 32 minutes. Awesome time! The bike and run were as impressive, and strong enough to give Mike a sub-six hour time on very challenging course.
For my part, I scrapped in just under seven hours at 6:50:56. I managed to slightly improve my swim time over the recent Galveston race, but the tough bike course took it's toll on me and highlighted well the areas in which I need to improve: leg strength and core body strength.
Overall, Buffalo Springs Lake is a great race, and within a short days drive in Texas, it will be one I hope to do again. Though since Mike registered for the Coeur d'Alene IRONMAN, which takes place the week prior in 2009, and I'll making a trip to New Orleans for SHRM 2009, next year's not an option for either of us.
That's one commonality with my work and triathlon training: trade shows and IRONMAN racing need to be planned at least a year in advance.