I thought I might do well this year, given the base fitness left over from IMAZ in November plus some good rest ahead of the race. I even thought maybe I could get close to 3:00 for the Olympic distance again. But the week before the race, I saw that there were 10 men (!) registered in the 65-69 age group, and my friend Jeff said that if I'd been racing 3:10 or 3:15, dropping 10 minutes in an Olympic is a very tall order, and he was too nice to say it, but I figured out I was unlikely to do it.
And when I got to the race, I did fine in the swim and was happy with my bike time, but my transitions were slow, and once I started running, I realized that my 3:00 days are long gone, and I am now at the point where 3:10 is a really good day, and I wasn't going to get to 3:10 today.
But I was determined to see it through, and I finished in 3:19. I got some water and then hung out at the Tri Scottsdale tent, satisfied with the effort but figuring that with 9 other guys racing, I was in the back of the pack, figuring that I finished well below the median.
To my surprise, it was a podium finish - third in my age group, and I actually had to beat out 3 guys to get it. I had no idea; they don't post finishes anymore, you scan a QR code at the finish and check your results on the website, but my phone was back in transition. I learned I got third when I was congratulating another Tri Scottsdale athlete on her third-place finish, and she told me I did as well. (Of course, she's about 30 years younger and finished about 20 minutes sooner.)
Total 3:18:41.3 (3/6 division, 160/220 men, 214/329 overall)