Last year Brian's was the only focus race I had before Lake Placid. I've done Brian's four or five years in a row. This year, however, it was an open question if I would race, with it being two weeks before IM Arizona.
Well, it was an open question in that Eric and I hadn't talked about it, and therefore the possibility existed he would say don't do it. I didn't even ask about the 5K run in the same park the day before, which I'd won due to sparse competition both years they'd held it.
It was a nice day for Brian's, which means it was about 50 degrees and sunny. the wind in Hammonassett Park is always present, and always in your face out to Meig's point.
Last year, I lost the race by eight seconds. For the fourth year in a row, I'd been first off the bike, but had nothing to show for it in the end as Mark Hixson outran me in the last two-mile run.
When we ran into each other before the race, I knew what my assignment was- try and put more time into him on the bike than last year, and have a better second run, while not spending too much energy in my first serious race since November.
We went out on the first run and he got away from me but good. He put :51 into me because the guy is a great runner. Still, I wasn't worried. it's a 10 mile bike and I felt I could get over a minute a loop. Which I did. Problem- both of us were behind another great all-around athlete, Peter Daly.
Peter had only put 30 seconds into me on the run. He never came back on the bike. I only saw him a few times because the course is twisty, turny, and woody at times. I saw him once on the run and thought- I can't catch him. I ran as hard as I could, but it wasn't close. I gave up 38 seconds to Peter on the first run and 38 more on the bike and second run, and I came into the finish three seconds off last year's time but much farther back in second.
The race raises money for The Myelin Project, so if you are feeling generous please give the site a visit. Brian's gets its name from a boy who has a de-myelinizing disease named Brian, who is always at the race, cheering us on.
It was still a good start to what is going to be an early season.