The race: This is my first time out to Sonoma Valley, California. It reminded me a lot of home, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, a beautiful wine growing region. The race always attracts at top class field, due to the accessibility, hospitality and attractive prize purse.

The players:  Matt Reed (USA), Tim Berkel (AUS), Tim Don (GBR), Luke Bell (AUS), Tim Reed (AUS) and Paul Matthews (AUS).

The outcome: I exited at the back of the lead swim group which consisted of almost all of the main players. Almost. The good news was that we had created separation from Jesse Thomas (USA), Tim Berkel (AUS) and Jordan Rapp (USA). A mere 45’s, but our group had enough horse power, if we all committed, put our heads down and rode hard. That we did.

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The bike group largely stayed together with the exception of Reed who took the race into his own hands and rode off, taking what would be a race winning advantage of 3mins as we began the run. The remainder of the group didn’t respond, or maybe couldn’t. I had a solid run of 1:15 and held off Matty Reed and Matthews for 3rd. A flying Don took out 2nd. Congrats to Reedy who capped off a great two weeks of racing, also winning Ironman 70.3 Buffalo Springs in Texas prior.

Messages Image(277086724)Photo: Rob Canales