Monday, June 20, 2011

2011 Greenwood Duathlon - Race 6

So it was up early. Greenwood is a decent 1:45 or so away from my place (depending on traffic and speed) and the race started at 10 with a race briefing at 9:45am. The car was packed the night before to allow myself a leisurely morning of food and coffee. It is also best to just wear your race clothes, well as much as possible, to save any time you can upon arrival. This includes a pre race vintage 7 Eleven hat.

The sites on the way to the race are always fun. Hey look Llamas!

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Then after what seems like a long time behind the wheel, Greenwood! (Oh I know the race officials are up even earlier than me, and maybe it is too dark for them to see the fun llamas on the way in. But thanks to them for doing it).

Anyway, that is the end of my pictures for this event, so bear with my rambling while I describe the rest of the day.

9am arrival and the weather is holding. The weatherman had said maybe showers, but so far so good. Overcast, check. Windless, check. Cool, check. All of this seemed great. Not too hot, not too sunny, no winds (at Greenwood?). But then after setting up my bike and stopping for a few chats, it started. Drop, drip, splat. The light sprinkling of rain came down. Not too bad, annoying but okay I said. Then thunder, lightening and the skies opened up. Massive downpour. The temporarily suspended racing and pulled people out of the pool (now I didn't see them actually pull anyone physically pout, but these are triathletes, so I imagine some had to be).  How odd is it to hear, " Shoes and helmets are floating away in Transition." Oh yeah, there was that much rain. Easily ankle deep in 15 minutes. But the rain let up, we got things going and we were all wet.

Thankfully they held the start for a bit while I finished getting my bike shoes and helmet and water bottle set back up in the TZ. Then it was line up, race brief (2 laps, 3 laps, 1 lap) and the horn blasted. Alan Miner told me to chase down the leader right before the start. I think he was just trying to tire me out. Little did he know that I just take off regardless. The leader (I was later told) was pretty unstoppable by anyone on the duathlon and he raced a few ITU events. Oh well, whatever. I still held with him for the first km or so, then found my proper pace and kept running. Eventually after about 3kms Alan passed me, but I stuck with him for the rest of the run a few steps back. He took a wrong turn heading into Transition so officially I beat him in the first run, though just by a second. Another sub 20 minute 5K for me. Big thanks on that go to Shane M. for holding those winter Tri Camps this year. Also I am sure my half marathon training helped a lot. I ended with a time of 19:56.

Then on to the bike. My helmet was all messed up from the rain. It was soaked and the straps were tangled. After try number 2 I got it on, put on my shoes and headed to the mount line. Then off I was for the flattest time trial you will get around here (if it weren't for that first hill at Shearwater it would be a tie). Head down, legs pumping, redline it to the end of 20km. It was great with no wind until the final lap when a bit started to pick up. I kept Alan in my sights the whole way, but he is pretty strong on the bike and I couldn't get any closer to him. It was also good to see no drafting on course. That is great on such a small course. I came into T2 with a time of 32:20 for a avg speed of 37.1km/hr. Like I said flat and windless.

I dropped off the bike, helmet and changed shoes. I was about to grab for my running hat but it was in a puddle 2 inches deep. So I decided against that. Sunglasses would have to do. Though the sun was coming out strong and I am sure it would have helped (I had switched to yellow lenses with the horrible rain and overcast conditions).   

Off I went. I could just see Alan in the distance. My legs felt okay but much slower now. I wasn't cramping like in past year or having ITBS like last year, so I couldn't complain. I just pushed through the tired and went for it. After all the second run was only going to be 2.5km. I kept pace with Alan, but his lead was too much for me. I came across a guy running in the Sprint Triathlon and paced him back to the finish. He looked miserable and needed a boost. So I chatted with him as we picked up his pace a bit. We rounded the corner for the finish and he apologized for trying to out sprint me, though I beat him to the mat. Nice try ( I had told him I was in a different race). A sprint finish is always fun. I raced the last 2.5km (including T2) in a time of 11:25 to take 3rd place overall and first in Age Group. Same as last year so I was pretty happy. I had hoped to break 1 hour, but it was not to be and a time of 1:03:40 is still nice. Still two great runs and a strong ride made me really happy for the last Duathlon until Riverport in October.

Next up? As far as multisport and TNS go, that will be Ingonish in 2 weeks time. My first Sprint distance triathlon and first swimming competition in open water. Should be fun and scary.  
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