Wednesday, October 8, 2008


POSTED BY TIM HARTLEY --- The Toyota US Open is my favorite race - at least favorite to date.  Its a lot of fun having the pro's around and to watch and even talk with them a little.  This year was no exception with Ross and I talking to Hunter Kemper, among others, and being on the "front row" watching the pro's in their warming hut prior to the swim. 

Joe Pool wasn't too cold but cold enough to take advantage of the wet suit float factor.  The swim was a time trial start with groups of four going out every 10 seconds.  I started with fellow Heathen, Scott Ervin, and then began to pass a number of "floaters" who scared me bad enough to wave the kayaks in for a "rescue"!  After the turn around, I finally started to feel comfortable and actually cruised smoothly back in to T1.  (But, I swear that was more than 800 meters!)  Running out of the water a young lady shoved me as I pulled my wet suit top off.  Happy I wasn't.  I proceeded to warn her that I would see her again shortly on the bike. 

The bike started off with a nice little hill - perfect for a guy still sucking for air.  Made it about a mile and saw a fellow competitor who failed to recognize the need to slow down dramatically for the downhill hair-pin turn that sent him sprawling and then onto a stretcher and into an ambulance.  The rest of the bike was hilly - up and down, up and down.  Speeds ranged from 12 mph to 30+ mph!  Speeds got faster at some locations despite hills when I noticed that the "natives" were a little restless with our biking presence.  I'm sure it was the concern of being late to church that bothered them the most.  At one point, little Hector pulled out in his trailer hauling chevy van and ALMOST ran me over.  I sped up in an attempt to catch up and "greet" Hector but to no avail.

Got into T2 and then the real fun began.  Yes, those wonderful quad cramps!  Thankfully, these were a gentler version of the cramps that punished me at the Prairieman Half 2 years ago.  Regardless, they plagued me for about the first mile of the run and then things got better.  Happy with my time and 2nd (or 3rd) place finish in the "beefy" category - but should have done better.  Regardless, managed to shave a minute or so off my time from last year!  It never gets easier, just faster - right?! --- Tim


POSTED BY CORLEY KING --- Sure it was great and i would do it again.  It was the most painful thing ever.  I started out great with a 31 min swim a felt great comming out of the water but comming to T1 i had a upset stomach and threw up before the bike.  I must have swallowed some water on the swim.  That scared me cause i was going on the bike with nothing in me.  I still kept trucking on and had a good bike for me at around 15.7 mph.  It was a fun course but i knew i was in trouble on the bike when i clipped my right foot to shake it out and when i did it cramped up so bad.  It happened around mile 45 and after that i went from setting a good time to just finishing.  When i finished the bike I was at 4 hours.  It took me 3 hours and 44 mins to do the run.  After the bike i could barley run and about mile 3 my calfs, stomach and back.  Everytime i tired to jog they would cramp up so bad it would make me paralized so i walk as fast as possible and had one thought Finish.  The cramps got so bad by the last lap i wanted to quit but there was no way i was not going to complete my first halfiron.  I started to jog the last 20 yards and my second i started to jog it crampt up so bad that i dragged my right leg across the finish line.  It was a life changing experience that i will do again and i learned some great lessons for next time.  Corley King   

POSTED BY PETER BARNARD --- i didn't get a chance to email earlier as I have been in Galveston since early this morning inspecting damage from Ike. I finished yesterdays race in 5:35, a 37 minute improvement on Grand Prairie. Was hapy with the bike and very hapy with the swim but my run still sucks. I can feel my run getting better, my knee seems to be holding up well and my endurance is building back up....albeit slowly. Next stop Arizona. --- Peter

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