Honey Stinger Waffles before the start and it might be my new strategy.
The course was a six mile loop and we had about 3/10 of a mile of pavement before we hit the woods. They started us in the Single Speed Category in the last wave. I go into the woods in 5th and right off the start we are hitting traffic and get split from the the front four. I am driving the train of the second group and the bike bell was ringing and I am calling out which side I (we) are passing. First couple of laps was uneventful and I was setting a good pace to where no one wanted to pass me. Finally on lap three I run up on 4th place and go by without a problem. No stopping at the pit area for the first three laps, but now every time I would roll into the pit area Ryan would have the bottles and a waffle waiting, so I wouldn't have to stop but creep through. Lap 6, I see third place ahead of me halfway through the lap and he has blown up. I am a man with a mission now and the legs were feeling great. I pass second place in the pits between Lap 9 and 10. Lap 10 is when the legs are starting to cramp and that was not a good sign since I had no clue how close third was. Going up the first of two steep but short hills my right quad locks up and I do the stiff leg shuffle to the top and try and massage it out. It did not want to bend and I knew I had to be in by 5:40 to be able to get my last lap in. Finally got to rolling after about thirty seconds and I made it with nine minutes to spare. While standing in the pits getting my last bottle,waffle and massaging the thigh again, third place rolls by me and has about twenty seconds on me. I finally catch and pass him with a little less than 2 miles to the finish and try to pull away, but burned my legs out catching him. Once by he is hanging on and not letting me get away. When we hit those final two hills that just sends my legs into crampville and have to walk the last hill. He pulls away at the top of the second hill and I end up rolling across the line in 3rd and a minute and ten seconds off 2nd. This was a great race that came down to the last lap to sort out second and third. By the end I had consumed twelve bottles of Nuun Lemon Tea, eleven Honey Stinger gels and ten Honey Stinger Waffles.