Of course, after midnight I started waking up every couple of hours. Around 4 I started feeling those butterflies in my stomach- I guess you could call them sympathy butterflies! Up and at 'em nice and early and we were heading out to transition right on time. We were only about 2 miles from transition, so it usually takes about 5-10 minutes to get there and get parked. Not this year. There was about 1.5-2 miles of backed up traffic at 5:45. After 15-20 minutes in line, we came upon a scenic view area with a few parking spots. We abandoned the cars there and hoofed it to transition. At this point, the race was 50 minutes away, so the warm-up run was a jog down to transition. We had been expecting rain and cooler temperatures, but it was still warm, just gray with no rain.
Out on the bikeTwo hours of waiting and finally guys start coming back in on the bike. Bjorn Andersson killed the bike and actually put a good gap into Andy Potts, but after those 2 came flying through, it was a bit of a wait. Guys started to trickle through and Janda hit transition in 9th. Dean came through a couple of minutes later- it turns out that he had had 2 issues out on the bike! Having to stop to fix one problem and then stop again and wait for the support car to bring him a wheel, he still biked within a minute of Janda!
Back to transition
Janda headed out on the run with a guy right on his tail. He started out pretty agressive and looked good heading out onthe run. In spite of all his problems, Dean was still smiling as he headed out! When Janda came by us a second time he was looking good and making time up on the guys in front of him. Then about 50 meters past us, he pulled up like a sprinter in the 200 with a hamstring cramp! Janda is extremely stoic during races, but this had him screaming and cursing in pain. He stopped, tried to run, but it wouldn't work; tried to walk, but it wouldn't work. Finally he stopped to stretch and grabbed some water. He tried to run, but again, his leg wasn't working. He managed to work it out by running backwards for a bit until the leg stopped seizing. During all of this, the guy right behind him passed him, so now he was in 10th. As he started the second loop, he was just trying to keep the muscle loose. He downed tons of water in loop 2, but couldn't find any salt tablets to help with the cramping. Smartly, he ran the second loop conservatively to keep his leg going and keep the cramp from turning into a potentially on-going and season threatening injury. Anyone who has had hammy problems knows that they can linger.
Out for loop 1At this point I headed to the finish chute to wait for him. Andy Potts killed everyone, but then there was some shaking up of the order, so I hoped that Janda had managed to finish loop 2 strong and run by a few guys. In fact he had and I was extremely pleased to see him come down the chute in 7th! Given his run issue, I thought that this was a great placement.
After everything was said and done, we headed back to the camper, cleaned up and headed out. We grabbed some dinner on the way and we were relaxing on our own couch at 9pm. What a weekend!