TO: That was the one thing in Texas – I felt fine at the beginning of the run.
TD: You usually do. If you’re trained right, you should.
TO: My heart rate wasn’t up, I wasn’t breathing hard. But then all of a sudden, at 18, 19 miles, the brakes went on.
TD: When you start the run, hold yourself back. You’re still running fast enough, but there’s no reason to go out fast. And it’s exponential compared to a half ironman. A 6-minute pace should feel pretty easy to run, compared to what you’re used to, but that’s a 2:36 marathon. People don’t do that in Hawaii. So run 6:30’s. Pull back and then slowly build into it. I ran 2:43 there, and I started at a 7-minute pace. So to get out of transition and be running 5:25’s was just stupid. I still ran 2:48 that day, but what could I have run if I paced it better? I struggled so badly at the end. So those are the risks – letting someone go, thinking that they’ll come back.
TO: Does anybody negative split that race?
TD: In Kona? I don’t know – Rinny? Did Chrissie?
TO: I don’t know, I think Rinny was out in 1:20 maybe?
TD: It’s hard to negative split because the second half of the course is tougher, and you’re looking at the end of an eight-plus hour day, so it is hard, but you’re much better off even splitting it. Most people have massive positive splits there – they really blow it near the end.
TO: Tell me about the first time you raced professionally.
TD: It was very different for me. Looking at the American side of things, when I started racing professionally it was the Mark Allen era. He was going on his sixth win. So it wasn’t about: America needs a winner! Or anything like that. People were sick of America winning! I was kind of coming up. I was on stage on the podium in 10th and Mark was first in his last year. And then we started having this draught. You know we had Ken Glah and Cam Widoff and some other guys in there that people were thinking about, but that was when the Europeans really started coming. So my first year as a professional was just fun. To be out there in that group – I was riding with Mark, riding with Welchie [Greg Welch]. And it was one of those brutally windy years. [Thomas] Hellriegel was off the front and everyone was kind of scared to go. I was just following Mark and following the guys I thought I should be near. And then it was just run how I thought I could run. I happened to be fast enough to get into 10th. But it was so different of a pro debut for me as it will be for you – and as it would be for most anybody today. I mean for me, there were no eyes on me, yet it was a huge breakthrough to have a young American coming up. But again it was kind of dubious, because Hellriegel was my age and he was second, and Lothar Leder was in there – he had beaten me – so we had a few 24 year olds in there doing well.