To sum this race up i think ill go with...."I'm getting suspension for next season."
This was probably the most consistently technical course of the season, but it was the kind of technical that is still really fast, and without suspension that roughly equates to feeling like you just got beat up in the parking lot after a push up contest when you get finished with 18 miles.
This was the first time i really felt like riding ironman was holding me back, my legs and heart felt great and i really wanted to let loose but i was going as fast as the pain in my hands and arm joints would allow and as fast as i could manage without crashing. I would have liked to have come in about 10 minutes faster and I think I probably could have even with the terrain but I checked out of this race mentally around mile 14 of 18 and it turned into survival after that. (for a split second on my last lap quitting even crossed my mind, and for anyone who knows me that never happens. luckily my masochistic side immediately starting making fun of me and that was that)
So yeah i'll finish off the season ironman, add that to my bragging rights, and then go buy a fork for next year. Ended up coming in 5th out of 6 finishers (10-12 people started). I am currently in 3rd in the overall standings and i believe I have that spot secured...i.e. even if the guy in 4th wins the next two races and I don't show up I will still have more points than him. There is a chance I could move up but it would require the other two guys to either DNF or no-show.
Now I can start to focus some of my attention on some fun races (pinnacle challenge) and maybe a century ride.