Let's see, how shall I start this one?
Hmm…how about, 'I had a good day and took fourth overall at the Tampa-Davis Island Coca Cola Sprint Triathlon?' No, no, too boring. It's gotta have some grab. Put a little Mike Tyson in there.
How about, 'What the heck are Dave Picciano and John Reback putting on their cereal?' Ok, that's a little better. Still needs some work though.
How about, 'I raced with the legendary Scott Molina - and got Terminated?' Ok, that's good. That's got some flavor.
Wait a second. The light bulb just went on. How about, 'My girlfriend Brianne took third overall - and looked great doing it?'
Yeah, that's the ticket. That's a sure winner!
The Tampa-Davis Island Coca Cola sprint was another rounding success for the ESM crew and regular racers. 1200 athletes showed up and we were treated to overcast skies and moderate winds, which kept things pretty cool for most of the morning.
I did have a decent race, but once again felt sort of flat on the run and could only watch in frustration as first John, then Scott, then Dave all ran by me between miles 1 and 2. That's the funny thing about competitive sprint races - if you don't have a perfect day, chances are there are a number of people ready to steamroll right over you. I felt much better than I did at this same race last year, but actually fell a spot due to the smashing performance of Mr. Molina.
Dave proved that he still owns the Florida sprint courses, backing his Clermont tie (with his brother Bill) last week by winning the most important race of the Coca Cola series. John also turned in a great performance, but when Dave is on, we all need a couple more minutes of breathing room.
And what can I tell you about The Terminator? I never heard him coming. He ran by me with a very comfortable, efficient form, not even breathing hard. From the back he looked like any other 20 or 30-year old racer. But there he went - Scott Molina, 42, in the flesh.
A host of other new and familiar faces also competed in Tampa, a warning sign that the elite ranks will continue to be stacked with serious talent around the state for years to come. Joe Bonness, 47, turned in the fastest bike split of the day, while Dustin McClarty, 16, and Nelson Mora, 26, spanked us all in the swim. Leo Gonzalez from Fort Lauderdale and the eternal Mike Hoffstetter, Largo, were also just steps behind and breathing down my neck all morning.
Scott Tinley, was, well, he was Scott Tinley. I understand he can play the guitar better than the rest of us!
Laura Shaw proved she is the lady to beat this year by running more than a minute faster than Linda Neary and Brianne Harrington. Incidentally, she also ran 35 seconds faster than me (but then again, she ran faster than all but five elite males, if I've read my splits correctly).
Hopefully, most of you also had a good race and some fun. If you did have a good one, congrats! And if you didn't, remember what I've told myself frequently throughout the years:
You can get 'em next time.
See you (yeah, that means you!) next time,