Saturday, September 27, 2008

Treadman duathlon race report

Well this was completely unexpected. Looking at the results from last year, and using my best times from training runs, I figured I'd be square in the middle of my age group. I didn't expect too much, but that didn't prevent me from putting it all out on the course.

I got up at 5am, loaded up, had breakfast a little before 6am (9am start time), made coffee, picked up Sascha, stopped at Starbuck$ for her, and headed down to Rochester. Got there in plenty of time for a good bike slot, did a warm up run, and followed the lemmings to the start area.

The run was a mass start (no timing mat at the start), so I lost a bit of time by not lining up at the front (my 10K had a timing mat at the start). Lesson #1. I had to kind of push my way up at the start, and settled into a group going about my speed. We turned off onto a gravel road, which my joints thanked me for. Onto a multiuse path, a very short loop, then back onto the path into the transition.

I must have looked like a big dork in transition. I put on my helmet over the sunglasses I had perched on my head (it was cloudy), figured that out, fumbled with the straps and then switched shoes, fumbling a bit, then got the bike off the rack pretty well and headed out. Never having practiced with the TT bike, I still did a good cyclocross mount and headed out, straight up a hill. Sascha was being a good girlfriend and cheering for my there and got a picture.

The bike went pretty well. On the course was a girl from the little group I was running with, on a bling Cervelo, so she must have had a better transition and known what she was doing. I finally passed her and settled into another group that I'd play leapfrog with. They'd pass me on the uphills, I'd pass them on the downhills (it was a rolling course). Unfortunately my nutsack was pinched the whole ride! Ouch. Lesson #2 - Body Glide. There was a brisk wind, so I was happy for the ghetto TT bike. It took some mental pushing to keep the pace up, as it wasn't like a road race. At the end of the bike I moved ahead of the group (and by group I mean two or three other people) in order to be unobstructed in the narrow transition zone.

Transition two and I looked like a big dork again. Although I did another good cyclocross dismount and moved up a slot that way, I started running out of transition with my helmet still on! Ran back, dumped the helmet, realized I still had my gloves on (I wore gloves because the transition area was gravel and I wanted to clean my tires after I got out of it), and peeled them off and threw them by the side.

The second run wasn't nearly as brutal as it was when I did the only brick I'd ever done. Must have been the race day adrenaline. I overheard a guy I'd passed on the way in yelling to his S.O. about leapfrogging with me, so I figured he was out to get me. This was good motivation to keep my pace up. I heard someone behind me moving up, and it turned out to be the girl I'd been running with during the first run. Again she must have had a good transition while I was fumbling with my helmet, as I'd passed her pretty early on the bike! She made a good carrot, though, as she was clearly better at this than I was. After the turnaround I saw that I had a decent gap on the other guys I'd been leapfrogging on the bike, but the whole way back I imagined them breathing down my neck, and kept the pace up. I even caught up with my carrot as I picked up the pace when the finish line was in sight.

I left everything on the course, and almost couldn't stop at the end to get my chip taken off, fearing a heart attack if I stopped suddenly! I went with Sascha back to transition to get my bike, and again I looked like a total dork as I was completely unabled to bend over to gather my stuff. You'd think I'd run a marathon or something! Of course Sascha had to laugh at me, but only because she could feel my pain I imagine.

We wandered over to look at the results which were being posted, and I was amazed to find myself provisionally in 3rd place for my age group, 17th-ish overall. I was stoked! Wanting to stick around for the awards, I took by bike back to the car, but on the way they had already started giving out the awards and I'd missed my age group. Afterward I went up to the table, and it turned out I was 2nd! Not sure how I went from 3rd to 2nd (Sascha said something about overall winners being pulled from the age groups), but either way it's a podium for my first ever multisport event!

Is this how it starts then? You get a little award, and next thing you know you're buying man-bras and $2,000 wheels? No worries, I won't be subjecting anyone to my pasty belly. And yes all you haters, I'm happy for my little age group medal!

Run 1 (5K): 21:34 (6:57 min/mile)
T1: 1:00
Bike: (30.65K): 58:07 (19.3 mph)
T2: 0:59
Run 2 (5K): 23:42 (7:38 min/mile)
Total: 1:45:20