I've heard nothing but great things about Pleasant Prairie so I figured I would give it a try. The race lived up to everything I heard about. I'll definitely be back. It was just as well run as any of the big (i.e. over priced) events but for half as much. Plus it was a USAT race, with at least one official on the bike course and an elite wave
The swim was probably the worst part of the race for me which is ironic as my swim the previous weekend at Lake in the Hills felt great and was one of my best ever. I just felt like I was fighting the water the entire time and I kept drifting off the buoy line even though I was sighting more than normal. I felt slightly better on Sunday night when my garmin showed 1.09 miles for the course (should have been 0.93) and that most others had slow swims as well. Either way, my swim still needs more work as I was about 2-3 minutes slower than I need to be.
I think I was about 11th or 12th coming out of the water and felt great for the first 30 minutes of the bike. I was careful not to overdo it and just sat at my target watts. I passed maybe 4 or 5 people and then Giuliano passed me. The second half of the bike sucked. I stayed really close to my target watts but I was working a lot harder to hold the power and slowly watched Giuliano get about about 20-30 seconds up the road by T2. My bike time was solid though with a 57:59.
Coming out of T2 I could see Verzbicas and Giuliano up the road but I was pretty sure that if I attempted to catch them I would blow myself up. So I just ran my race. Mile 1 was by far my slowest and I felt better and better as each mile went on. I passed a a few more people and never got passed on the run. I finally felt like I was starting to run well right around mile 5 and then the race was over. I ended up running about a minute slower than I usually do for a 10k.
Overall, the race went well and I ended up with a 2:03:47 and 5th overall. A couple of studs showed up (Eicher, Verzbicas, Giuliano), so I was never really in the race up front but instead I was watching from a few minutes behind. I really want to beat my 2:00:01 Olympic distance PR and thought this might have been the course but with my crap swim and slightly slow run it just wasn't the day for it. I'll keep trying though.
I'm really enjoying doing more of short course racing and racing more often so I have a few more local races on the calendar before I start to train for Kona.
Sorry no pictures as my wife and daughter decided not to get up at 3:30 AM after just doing that last week. I have to admit I was a bit jealous when they were sound asleep and I was driving to the race.