In a stacked field in Texas today Tyler managed to run himself into 5th place after an uncharacteristically slow bike leg.
Tyler ran a 1.07.52 for the half marathon off the bike, one of the fastest ever for the distance.
The closest to him in terms of run splits was Andy Potts in 4th with a 1.10.09, followed by Tim O’Donnell in 2nd with a 1.11.11, two minutes seventeen seconds and three minutes and nineteen seconds faster respectively.
In this type of race it is unusual for an athlete to go under one hour and ten minutes for the half marathon, and even more exceptional to run that much faster than your competitors.
In triathlon there is a delicate balance between saving enough on the swim-bike to allow you to run well, and giving away too much time on the bike and being out of striking distance, no matter how fast you run. An impressive performance regardless.
With the US side of his family on the sidelines supporting Tyler he said ‘during the bike I knew I was a fair bit behind but I thought to myself as I headed out of transition onto the run, my family has driven all the way down form Houston, I had better salvage something from this race’, and that he did.
Obviously the athletes in front swam and rode much faster times, which affected their ability to run as quickly.
Although Tyler was hoping to be on the podium today he is happy he ran so fast. He acknowledges it is now time to pick up his biking, ironically his weakest considering the four years he took away from triathlon he was a racing as a professional cyclist.
Tyler said ‘I rode as fast as I could, I just didn’t have the power in my legs today’.
Jokingly his father Jim (who was also an exceptional athlete) said ‘maybe you should go and ride on one of those cycling teams in Europe for a year to improve your bike?’, Tyler laughed and replied ‘I tried that, all it did was improve my run, maybe I should go to Kenya and run for a year, it might improve my biking’.
Overall Tyler is pleased, enjoyed the day, and as always, is taking things light heartedly and having a laugh.
We are staying with Tyler’s US family for a day in Houston, then heading to St Croix for another Ironman 70.3 (Half-Ironman).
In St Croix many of the athletes that competed in Texas will also be racing, as well as the current World Champion, Craig Alexander.
St Croix should be another fun day for Tyler, he is looking forward to it.