Duathlon? More like Done-athlon.

Today was the day. The weather forecast was for rain, wind, and no shortage of either. The drive down to Riverport had me thinking we might squeeze the event in before the heavy stuff came down, but alas, while standing at the start line, the rain started sprinkling down. Not my favourite way to start out any event (I'd rather actually be moving when I get soaked, that way I don't get the urge to pack it in completely.), but within minutes we were off, and I was jostling for position as I tried to find my stride and my pace. We waved to our friend David, who was competing in the Do-a-Du (1km / 14km / 1km), and who would finish 2nd overall out of 8 competitors.

Stage 1: 4 km Run

I passed a few people and headed for about mid-pack, and a couple of runners passed me. I couldn't tell if I  should be running the same pace as them or not, so I figured I would just find a good stride where I could breathe, but knew that I wasn't dogging it in my own pace. When I rounded the first turn-around point, I was running about 8 minutes and change, so I knew I was on target for sub-five minute kilometres.  I lost my friend Ian early on, but knew I'd see him on the final run, probably heading back after the turn-around as he's a fast runner, and a better cyclist than I am.

Oh, and as well prepared as I thought I was, I somehow lost my gel, and the piece of clif bar that I had stashed in my back pocket came out about two kilometres into the run. I guess I was going to rough this one.

Stage 1 time: 17:26, 4:22/km

Transition 1

I entered the transition zone quickly and stripped off my shoes, getting a little slowed down by the pesky velcro (seriously, how hard could that have been? It's VELCRO.) on my biking shoes. Total transition time, after getting shoes and helmet on, and stuffing some Clif bar into my mouth, was longer than I'd hoped it would be.

Transition 1 time: 00:01:26

Stage 2: 28 km Ride

I'll preface this by saying I'm not the world's best rider. I'm more of a leisurely rider, a touring guy, and not much of a racer at all. I told myself that for a 28km route, I should aim for an hour long ride. I don't usually ride 30km/hr averages, but the last Duathlon I competed in I managed to squeak out a 27km/hr pace. This time, however, I hadn't factored the rain into things, which at times was a little demoralizing.  

I got passed on the flat and in some rolling hills by a couple of cyclists on wayyyy better bikes than mine. I took consolation in the fact that I probably kicked their butts on the opening run. Hey, it helped me a little. About 10-15 km into the ride, we hit a pretty significant hill, and I was passed by 3 or four more cyclists (most on better bikes -- again with the self congratulating on the run). I rounded the last corner with about 10km to go and lost a water bottle. The volunteer who noticed told me not to come back for it, that it would be waiting for me at the end (it wasn't), so I soldiered on. 

Twenty-six kilometres in to the ride, I was about done, and my glutes / hamstrings were calling out to me in a way that they never do when I've been running for an hour and ten minutes. I convinced myself to keep spinning, stand up a little to get the blood flow up, and to work on breathing to prepare for the final run.  I rolled into the transition zone and flopped off the bike and jogged it back to the rack. 

Stage 2 time: 55:04 (including previous transition), 30.4km/hr

Transition 2

I admit it. I kinda messed this one up.  I was worried about getting some food and some gatorade, I'd already lost my water bottle, and my legs, at that point, were most unhappy to be jogging alongside my bike, even for the short 10m distance or so. Anyway, I got my biking shoes off, my runners back on and tied up, and took a big squirt of my remaining gatorade. I started to take off, and realised that I still had my helmet on. Uh, oops? I'm sure I didn't look very suave as I removed it and hung it on my handlebars and ran for the mat.

Transition 2 time: 0:58:60

Stage 3: 4 km Run

I was a good kilometre into this run before I felt like I could finish this race feeling okay. A short downhill got me moving, and a longer uphill got me into the groove. I made some comment as I passed another runner about waiting for my body to hit its stride, which in hindsight probably didn't reflect well on me, but mostly I was just complaining about my tired old body at that point.

At about the 1km point, I saw someone I knew coming back on the return leg, and Ian appeared coming toward me two minutes after that. I figure that he was a good 7 or 8 minutes ahead of me at that point, but I took some solace in knowing that he probably wasn't gaining any time on the run, and that he'd made up a little (or a lot) of time on the ride portion. 

Stage 3 time: 21:07, 5:17/km. With transition, 22:05, 5:32/km 

Overall Time: 1:34:48, 11/16 in age group (Men 30-39), 39th overall (out of 80)

Posted bythemikestand at 7:26 PM  

2 stepped up to the mike:

sarahdoow said... 10:22 AM, October 05, 2009  

*clonk* ... *clonk*

That was the sound of my legs falling off at just reading that. Impressive work, Mr Mike, well done!

George said... 8:33 AM, October 06, 2009  

Awesome race recap!Well done!It`s funny how we race to our strengths.I comfort myself with the knowledge I can reel in(some of)the runners who pass me when I get on the bike.

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