Try Charleston Half
This was my first ever half iron race. The swim went OK for me. Its not much longer than an oly race and it was wetsuit legal. I was a lot faster on the bike than I thought possible. I'm sure a lot of that has to do with the course: flat, few turns, no wind to speak of until mile 50. Overall felt pretty good on the run, but I just didn't want to blow up in my first race this long. 5th in my age group (2nd AG bike, 5th AG run) with a 4:34. I really liked this race and want to do it again. Its a good race to bring the family as we camped at the KOA at the start.
Tri at Baxter Sprint
This race is always a fun one for me. It was my first ever tri back in 2010. I keep thinking I can somehow get into the top 3 overall, but hasn't happened yet. Sliding down into the pool to start the race is pretty cool, well unique if nothing else. 5th overall finish this year (3rd OA on bike and 3rd OA on the run). I hadn't really been training for a fast 5K, so overall it went OK. I guess I can't complain, since I did win my AG.
Wawasee Flotilla Road Race
This is an 8M road race up in Syracuse, IN. I've run this old school race quite a few times. I averaged 6:16's on this mostly flat course. Pretty humid for the area, but it was fun, and I won my age group (7th overall). Actually turned out to be a really good tempo run workout as well.
Stumpy Creek International
This is the second year in a row that I have done this race. It just happens to work well on the schedule being the first weekend in August. I had a terrible swim (no wetsuit) and found myself 11:31 behind the fastest time in my age group and 7:19 arrears of the eventual 2nd place in the AG. I hammered the bike (first race on my FLO's) and had the fastest AG time by 4:20 (3rd OA fastest bike). Then I had the fastest run by 2:10 to eke out the AG win by 0:42! Was great to come back and win the AG, but it really told me something about my swim.
Ironman Augusta 70.3
This was it. My "A" race for the year (don't you just love stupid tri lingo?). I was super nervous for this race. The field was huge. The competition was better than any I had been up against. And all my training pointed to this race. This race ended up being so much fun and so well organized. My swim time was OK but my swim rank was incredible for me (top 1/3 in my age group). Gotta love a current aided wetsuit swim for crappy swimmers! Followed that up with a monster bike averaging 24.5 (2nd in AG) and didn't die on the run: 6:31 avg (2nd in AG). It felt great to "earn" my Las Vegas 70.3 World Championships slot. I didn't rely on roll down at all. 4 slots in my AG and I finished 3rd (out of 412) with a 4:13:57. The rolling hills course and flat run played into my favor as well.
We planned a mini vacation around this race, as it was all fun for me. We hit Legoland on the way down and Universal Studios on the way back up. The weather was nice except for the super strong winds caused by Hurricane Sandy. They ended up cancelling the swim. The bike course was great: flat, good roads and scenic. Too bad it was so windy. I averaged about 27 mph in the first half and then 22 mph in the second half. I didn't do so well on the run, but still won my age group. It was definitely a fun way to end the season.
So I won my age group in 4 of the 6 races, plus finishing in the top 1% at IM Augusta. Really couldn't be happier about my results for the year. I raced a little less this year, which helps keep the training more consistent. I like doing the 2 races near the end of the year to try and take advantage of the fitness level I was at.