The big 50…that’s right. 50 races done. Hard to believe that we have come this far in this period of time. It has been an amazing ride. Also we have finally struck a cord with the media and the coverage of the final push is starting to really take off. The attention for Team Chad is starting to pick up. Maggie and I were out Sunday for breakfast (that’s right, starting to have a normal life again) and she was wearing a Team Chad shirt. Someone behind her in line said that they had just read the story about my season in the Tennessean and that they thought what we were doing for Team Chad was great. This was an awesome moment because it was a realization that all that we have been working for over the past year has started to really culminate in these final weeks. Awesome stuff.
Onto the race. This race brought us to Kingston, TN over near Knoxville. This was a race that I had always been curious about but it never fit into my schedule. I was excited that I finally got a chance to Storm the Fort. The swim was in the clinch river. This was an interesting swim just due to the temperature. (When you race this many events it is the little things..right). The water temperature near the shore was about 15 degrees cooler than that near the middle of the river. I am not sure if this is because of the steam plant on the river. But it was certainly noticeable. Many people who don’t swim distance don’t appreciate how uncomfortable water that is too cold or too hot can be to swim in. The water in the middle of the river was definitely warm and not comfortable. I was glad that I was not swimming further that day because it was warm.
Out of the swim and off onto the bike. I have said this before but as I get closer and closer to the end this has become the part of every race that I worry about about incessantly. I am fearful that I am going to have a silly wreck that will bring this to an end without finishing my final races. So, I ride very cautiously and very nervously the whole way. Sacrificing speed for safety at every opportunity. Once I return to transition and get the bike racked I think to myself that this race is now in the bag.
It is not that the run is easy it is just that I know that the odds of me doing something really dumb that could seriously hurt me is significantly reduced when I reduce my forward speed from 20 miles per hour to my lumbering 7 or so. The run course was the highlight of this course. 4 mile run out and around the fort in Kingston. No great surprise, but the fort on the top of a hill..that meant a run up around the mid-way point. I tell myself when I am running the hills that I am paying to the downhills. That is what I was doing on the backside of this course. I knew that I had a downhill heading back into the finish so I just had to pay for the downhills with the ups.
Across the line and number 50 done. This race added 17.3 miles to our tally. Bringing us to 980.26 miles. This weekends race should get us almost to the 1,000 miles mark.