Race report Chiangrai jan 2023Jan 31, 2023
After my morning swim and run, I went back down to transition (6kms away from where im staying) for race briefing to find out that bikes needed to be racked today before 6 pm (OMG WTF) It wasn't an option for me to ride the bike there and taxi back, so I carried my TT bike on the scooter, I've really become Thai local here, as I rode past a 7/11 I saw a friend there as I yelled out hey man" my hat flew off, fuck it I kept going to avoid an accident turning around carrying a bike.
I got the bike racked in time, listened to the race briefing and was very surprised to hear that it was going to be draft legal on a TT bike, something I had never experienced before; I made some new friends and then headed home for my usual pre-race dinner.
I told you that im the master of pulling it together on race day, anyhow woke up feeling like superman, with no cold, no body aches, pains or fatigue was feeling so fresh and ready to go; I set up my transition and headed off for a little warm-up run still in pitch black darkness at 6 am.
I went down to the race swim start for a quick warm-up, but they said you can't enter the water until 630am, ten minutes before the race start, being only 15 degrees, I needed to keep moving to stay warm; 630 am, no one was swimming because too cold but the water temp 23 degrees I jumped in and did 200 metres.
Running down a hill is not an ideal start but managed to be in front; many swimmers around me, but my plan was to push the first 100m and then relax; the first 50 m, they were all gone; my friend from Phuket a strong swimmer, just in front which was the perfect opportunity to get a draft, two others on my toes on the second lap I felt I needed to go faster but do I go around working harder or just sit behind saving energy and what would probably be the same time? I decided to stay and just relax; the last 200 metres, the pace slowed slightly, and the two behind me wanted to pass. I moved over to block, but this guy must have put in an effort to stay in front, ad the last bouy this guy (idiot) decided to stop and breaststroke; I had to buy wide with me and my friend coming together slightly, as we run up the hill me and my friend had the plan to take 2 mins turns on the front for this 43kms bike.
The bike course was 2kms out of the park with three loops as we got out on the road, there were now 4 of us we made it clear to now take 1 min turns in the front; there was one other guy I had ridden with before in Phuket, but the other one was not good, but we manage to keep a good pace with a 3 min recovery in between it was really easy and fun so much fun riding on back wheels with your friends, I know this would be good for me to have a good run, as we came around for the third lap many other jumped on our peleton getting a free riding hanging at the back coming off the bike 1:01mins was an awesome time for 43kms and still feeling fresh.
Having a super fast transition kept me in 2nd position overall (1st place was a Japanese guy that was crushing it). This 5kms x 2 loop course was undulating with hills, so I didn't want to blow up the hills. I kept a perfect pace, I felt like I put some time into 3rd and 4th that were close but halfway through the second lap 3rd place came by up the hill and was moving fast. WTF, oh yeah, this guy sat at the back of us doing to turns on the front after we caught him on the first lap, the top of the hill I put the pace on closing the gap again, but the next hill he would pull away again the last 1km home strait he was 150m in front of me and I couldn't close the gap, I had to settle for 3rd 2:12:05 running an average pace of 4:15mins on a tough hilly course.