Friday, June 26, 2009

Chris Lieto's Pro Challenge Race Report

By Chris Lieto

After the last couple races being a close finish and dramatic I wanted to make a clean break in the first leg
of the new Pro Challenge Series. I rode a 49:40 time for a 40K time trial giving me a 3 minute lead ahead of
Alcatraz 2nd place finisher and strong cyclist David Thompson.

2nd leg of the race was a 800 yrd swim, 2.5 mile run, 800 swim, 2.5 run

Fathers Day weekend was spent with my son at the Silicon Valley Olympic Distance race and the first stop of
the ProChallenge Series. My son Kaiden joined me for the weekend as we worked the Green Machine K-Swiss and
Trek Van. We got prime expo space to park the Van and set it up as a booth and hung out Saturday and Sunday
answering peoples questions and promoting my sponsors. Kaiden and I spent the night in the van, which meant I didn't
have far to go to get ready for the first leg of the Pro Challenge in the morning.

I woke up at 5:00am ready to go. I rolled out of the van and my bike and trainer was set up for me to get
warmed up. The first leg was a 40k time trial event. Each athlete leaves for the TT in 1:30 intervals. I was the first to
head out on the TT and went out hard and soon felt like I made a mistake and would not be able to hold power for the
whole 40K TT. 7 miles in I felt like I was going to blow. In the end it was probably a good thing because the first 10
miles was into a headwind. My new Trek bike rides amazing and slices through the wind like nothing else.
There was one good climb in the middle of the course, and Iattacked it hard and carried that momentum over the top
and the rest of the way back to the finish. Not having to run off the bike I dug deep and pushed hard knowing I didnʼt
have to save anything. The last couple miles I was hitting speeds over 40mph. The new Trek bike did its job and I
rode a 49:40 for the 40K giving me a 3 minute lead over David Thompson, who finished 2nd at Alcatraz the previous

Over 3 hours of rest later we got to start the second leg of the race. A 800yrd swim followed by a 2.5 mile run
and then straight back into the water for another 800yrd swim and finish it off with another 2.5 mile run. With my
2nd place finish at Boise Ironman 70.3 last week I was unsure how the legs were going to feel. Pushing myself to
the sprint finish with Craig Alexander last week left me a little tired and so I really didnʼt train much this last week. I
was glad I had a big lead and didn't have to push super hard during this leg of the race. I maintained my lead
through the first half of the leg and after running the 2.5 miles and having to dive back in the water was an
experience. Your arms are dead and you are grasping for air. I eased into the second swim and tried to find good
rhythm and pace that would allow me to finish strong. Coming out of the water I still had a solid lead and got to
enjoy the crowd the last couple miles. It was a tight circuit run course of just over half mile loops through the expo and
finish line area. It really made for an exciting race with great spectator crowds.

The new series is very excited and something I am excited to be a part of. Creating new formats to make the
sport of triathlon more exciting and spectator friendly. Know it is time for a little rest and recovery before
my build and training for Ironman Hawaii. Thanks for all your help and support and look forward to connecting with
you all soon.

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