|Age Group Men - Swim Start|
And then it was onto the bike. The bike was quite congested for the opening section on Kuakini Highway, but once we were out on the Queen K things started to spread out. Most people seemed to be trying to ride legally for the first bit of the course. My power meter wasn't reading right so I just settled into a steady pace. After about 45min, I reset the power meter and it then appeared to work fine for the remainder of the bike. Just before Mauna Lani, we started getting a head wind and you could see the draft packs starting to form. All of a sudden a big pack of almost 30 plus riders rolled past me. I was expecting this at some point so I just eased off my effort and let them go. After a couple aid stations that pack seemed to disperse a little and I was able to start riding through some of them. As I was cresting the hill just North of Hapuna Beach State Park (around 66km into the bike course) I crashed into another athlete. I am not sure exactly what happened, but from what I recall, someone stopped on the road (I think he was trying to fix his chain). The rider in front of me, who I was in the process of passing, swerved at the last minute and manged to just miss the stopped rider. I couldn't react quick enough and ploughed into the stopped rider. I hit the ground pretty hard and then another rider crashed into me. I quickly assessed my wounds: a bump on the left side of my back, and scrapes on my right ankle, right knee, and elbow. My lower back really hurt, but I straightened my aerobars (as best as I could), collected my bottles and computer, and then jumped back on my bike.
Riding in the aerobars was extremely uncomfortable and applying any significant amount of power through my left leg on the climbs sent throbbing pain through my lower back. I figured I could either wait for a sag vehicle or finish the bike course. I resolved that I would finish the bike course and then call it a day. I didn't want to keep Claudia waiting too long as I knew she would be waiting outside T2. So that's what I did. I was mentally done when I arrived in T2. When I got off my bike in T2 I could hardly walk as my back had completely tightened up. Clearly, not what I was hoping for but knowing I was already qualified to come back next year was certainly a welcome relief. Despite the crash and the pain through the remaining ~120km of the bike I still managed to ride a 5:16 on the bike. Power 190W Avg, 202W NP, VI 1.06. (My power numbers were down about 5% from last year)
|Abrasion on my lower back.|
As I reflect, I wonder if I should have tried finishing the race. I feel like I battled through the bike and I had nothing left to prove. I was in pain and didn't see the point of trying to walk/hobble the marathon. I was mentally done when I called it a day. I had no more fight in me and so now as I reflect, I believe I made the right call. It's unfortunate that the 2017 results will have DNF by my name, but I can accept that as I gave my best on the day.