HONOLULU. October 31.
Finally! Race day!
It was so awesome–everything I expected if not even better. Overall, the US team did awesome. We had John Flanagan (who is from Hawaii) bash through the finish with an 8th place. We also had Steve McLeod come in 11th. Those were great places for the men with the conditions we had today.
There was some controversy about the finish, with some Europeans playing foul at the end, but nothing was done about it.
On the girls' side, my roommate, Annie Stein, and I did great. At the start, two groups formed and I really had no idea where I was in the pack, although Annie was in the lead pack. Later in the race, I discoverd that I was in the trailing pack, so I had to make my move. It took me a while to move up to the lead pack. There were helicopters and boats with photographers, not to mention scuba divers (who almost gave me a heart attack) there every time you breathed!
It was a little rough out there, but we made it through as best as we could. There were also a few surprise waves that crashed on top of us, but it's all part of the game!
It is now the official joke that I had pulled a "Klete" (my brother), who always seems to come from behind and beat everyone. I ended up getting second only to a Peggy Buchse, a German, by four seconds.
It is so exciting placing in the top three at the first FINA Open Water World Champs. We had a great start for a great meet today. The whole team feels confident about their individual races, thanks to our wonderful coaches who have given us valuable tips during our training. Some of the tips and training techniques really came into play in a close race like the one I had.
So all of us 5K-ers are looking forward to cheering on Team USA in the next few days.
Hope you all had a great Halloween!
'Till next time, Aloha!