Thursday, April 29, 2010

Duathlon Nationals Weekend

This past weekend K and I went down to Richmond for an awesome weekend of racing... Saturday was the Off-Road Duathlon Race a very tough 11K 25K 3.5K. I raced while Kristin watched (she was resting up for the on-road event on Sunday). The trails where impresive for so many reasons, I've never seen such a great singletrack trail network within minutes of a downtown area. Here is a video of the highlights of the mtb course. Its speaks for itself.

The first run, althought fun, kicked my butt. Basically a super hard effort for 55minutes before I even got to the bike. Once on the bike, I thought I was going to have a chance to recover at least for a little bit, but it took me a good 40 minutes before I started to feel strong. Up and down stairs, flying through singletrack and over narrow bridges. I was glad I had a full 100oz of water in my camelback because there was little opportunity to take your hands of the bars to drink. The one mistake I made was forgetting my gloves in transition, and with my sweaty hands my grips where as slick as ice. Probably costs me a minute or two over the course of the ride, because I had to be a little more cautious in tricky sections and the death grip I had to maintain probably caused a little extra fatigue.

By the end of the bike I was pretty cooked. But the last run was only 3.5K and pretty flat and I actually felt pretty good once I got going, even had a little kick left to get across the line. Which I did after a total of 2hrs and 28mins.
I had no idea at the time, but I ended up winning my Age Group! I knew I had a pretty good race, without any mechanicals or flats, but winning was a complete shocker. I learned the news from Kristin who came running over from the results board. I think she was more excited than me!!!! I then learned that there were only 2 finishers in our Age Group, but there were many more that started, so I guess just finishing was an accomplishment.

Sunday came pretty quickly. The On Road Duathlon Nationals, a pretty flat and very fast 5Krun / 40Kbike / 5Krun. I felt surprisingly OK after a long slow warm up. the starting gun sounded and some of the fast runners where out of site within seconds... Unbelievable! I just continued running my race and trying to get to the bike as quickly as possible. My split was 20:05 (6:28 pace). The bike leg was fun. 3 laps of a figure 8 course. Very spectator freindly as it passed transition 6 times. Rarely did I have to get out of my aero position. My split was 1:04:17 (22mph). Only thing I wish I did differently was bring another water bottle. One wasn't enough. Then came the run, I was hurting and Saturday's race started to catch up with me. But I only let one guy pass me, so I guess I wasn't the only one suffering. My split was 21:19 (6:52 pace) so not too bad. Earned myself 14th place in my Age Group, and qualified for to be part of "Team USA" at The Duathlon World Championships in Scotland. Will I go? Probably not, but still cool to say I qualified for "Team USA".

Kristin had a great race. Her goal was to qualify for Team USA, and she definately did, finishing 5th in her age group... in the nation... crazy!!! So proud of her. All of her training is starting to really pay off. She loved the course and was all smiles the whole way through. She's already looking forward to Scotland!

Full race results HERE (the virtual race tracker is pretty cool... we were all racing with GPS chips around our ankles)

Next Race: Greenwich Biathlon

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