Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Navy Trident Duathlon (Triathlon for some) 2011 - Race 4

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So Race 4 of my season came up this past weekend. I decided to Do the Du at the Navy Trident's Triathlon/ Duathlon event on May 29th. I have done this event twice before and always enjoyed it. Okay, so maybe I don't enjoy getting up at 5am to drive get to the event by 6:30am, but the actual event has been fun. And not to disappoint, once again it was also foggy / wet out, though at least wind free this year.

I was really looking forward to this years event, as well, because I have been running pain free on a great knee / leg combo as I have mentioned in other posts. So nothing mentally or physically slowing me down. And the field was a decent size this year as well. 24 people signed up for the Duathlon, which normally is seen as the sad afterthought to the great and mighty Triathlon. So to have a decent percentage of the total people signed up doing the Du, that  was great. And some really strong competitors as well, also great to see.

The course was slightly different this year, but still 3/20/3 for the distances. I (being #63 in this race as is still evidenced by the marker on my leg - really sturdy marker it seems),  lined up and was off with the whistle (or horn or some sort of sound device). It was a fast start and I felt great on just out of bed / Redbull legs. I managed a strong first run coming in 4th overall with a time of 12:51 for a 4:17 pace. Now that to me seems slow, and I always wonder about the distances on this course being odd for the run as I managed a 3:50 pace over 4 km at the last Duathlon. But it matters not as everyone runs the same distance. And coming in ahead of some great fast guys like Kurt was very moral boosting. 

Now the bike leg starts by going right up a nice steep hill, which I don't mind as it helps get the blood headed right to the legs. As it was the year before, the bike course was almost too foggy to find, but I still managed. I did a little off course excursion, nothing huge, but found my way back. Apparently a few others did as well, but them's the breaks. The main portion of the course is 3 loops on the main runway of the airport and it is dead flat. Normally it is also a nasty headwind and great tailwind combo, but as I mentioned, in the early portion of the event, the wind was quite dead. I did get passed by a couple of guys on the bike but held a decent pace and didn't completely kill my legs. When I came back to the dismount line, and back out of T2 I managed a time of 32:57 for the bike portion and T1 combined (a listed avg speed of 36.4, slightly higher on my bike computer which didn't have to change its shoes and put on its helmet) for the 7th fastest time of this leg of the journey.

Finally the dreaded second run on dead legs. Well the legs felt fine, worn a bit, but okay. I picked a decent pace and headed off. I did have to stop for a quick shoe tightening, but other than that was solid and steady. This was the same as the first run (2 laps for a 3K total). And this course was almost dead flat but for one nice hill. I love hills, but they will take their toll when you are tired. Still I think I kept fairly steady for a 14:41 time with a 4:54 pace (this of course also includes T2 time). sadly I wasn't able to hold my place and fell down one in the rankings with about 1K to go. I was passed by Jimi Owen and tried to hold on, which I did until the very end. With the finish line being  2 90 degree corners and a tight sidealk run, I let up just slightly before the second turn as I didn't have enough to "fight" for that kind of finish and Jimi was just running stronger. 

All in all I managed what I wanted. Top 10? Check, 8th place overall. Top 3 Age Group? Check, 2 out of 4. And sub one hour? Checkish sort off. Well I managed 1 hour and 29 seconds. I can't be upset with that.

Lessons learned? Sunglasses in thick fog = no vision. Giant bowl of cereal 1 hour before event? Not a great idea. Pressed for time? Redbull is quicker than coffee, though not nearly as enjoyable. Coffee came after the event. 
Next up? Lawrencetown Duathlon. Be there people!
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