I love gong back to Michigan to do this race every summer. It's a 20K out-and-back on Hines Park Drive. The course is flat with really nice pavement. The road is completely shut to traffic, so no cars! I have been trying to get under 30 minutes in this race for the last few years. I have been about a minute off that time each of the last two years. I felt pretty good warming up and thought I might have shot today. I was a little discouraged that about ten minutes before my start, some rain started to fall and the winds picked up a little. It felt like it was going to be tailwind out and headwind back in. I decided not to look at my clock and just watch my speed until about the last mile. The first 6.2 miles felt like they went by fast. This race starts everyone with their race category, so there is not as much passing as at some TTs. Still, I caught my minute man in about three miles. The rain started to come a little harder during the ride, but it felt okay. It kept me nice and cool even though my shoes got a little spongy. After the turnaround, I could tell the wind was knocking me down a little. I had been around 27 mph on the first half, but was working hard to keep it at 24 on the return. At about 10 miles, there's a little hill. I downshifted and kept telling myself to keep it over 21 - which I managed to do. At the top, I shifted back up to my biggest gear, pulled a few hard strokes and coasted for a few seconds to catch my breath. I pushed my speed back up to 26 on the back of the little hill. At the bottom I carried my speed up to the intersection with Merriman Road. I know at that point there is about 1.1 miles to go. I finally made a quick click on my computer to check my time. 27:10 with a little over an almost perfectly flat mile to go. I stood up for a couple of strokes to give a little push back against that headwind and try to build some speed toward the finish. I kept glancing - up the road to see the finish, down quickly to see the clock. I remember thinking, "This is gonna be close, please don't miss by a second or two." When I could see the finish, I stood for a couple more strokes, sat back down and sprinted as best I could with what I had left. My eyes were crossed in pain, soI couldn't see the official clock but I heard my wife yell what sounded like a happy yell. I asked her if I made it. She said, "29:59." The official time was 29:59.04. I just missed the top ten, but really, I didn't care about that. My goal was the time and after a bunch of tries in a bunch of different races over the years, I finally did a sub-30 20K. I averaged 24.8 mph, almost a one mph improvement over my previous best-ever in a TT. I improved on my best time at this race by 59 seconds. The funny thing is, two weeks ago I decided to take the big step of buying a rear disc wheel. I had Mason out at Westerville Bike Shop order me one. It didn't come in time for the race, so I had to go without it. Turns out I didn't need it after all.