Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Cyclesmith Duathlon 2012

Okay, so another Sunday another race. This weekend we were out at Lawrencetown Beach for the 26th annual Cyclesmith Duathlon.

Now this is a beast as far as local duathlons go. By far the longest with a 5km run then 35km bike and finally a 6km run. The first run is hilly to start, the ride is full of quick but often steep little hills and the final run is dead flat.

I always want to do well at any race, but this one even more so. Usually some of the fastest racers around come out for this race, as there is no triathlon associated with it and it is so close to town. Therefore a good result means that much more. And this sort of course seems to suit me well, my prior results  not withstanding.

My previous best result was last year with a 20th place (though I also had a 20th place the year before with a slower overall time). So I was aiming for something better this year.
With the temperatures in the low teens, an overcast sky, and little wind, it was a perfect day for a race. As usual we lined up on the road, right behind a nice piece of tape and awaited our command to go.
And we were off. I had hoped to start off this race as I did the last Cyclesmith Duathlon, with a personal best 5K time. For some reason I can set a fast time here even with a big hill. But I also had to temper my run so as not to burn myself out (which I usually do). Thank you Garmin for the help here.

I quickly glanced down and slowed my pace a bit trying to start out with around a 4min/km pace. I figured if I held that over the hilly part I could pick things up a bit for the flat finish to this leg. Well I was slightly ahead of target but feeling good so I went with it. As I hit the timing mat to enter the transition zone I glanced down to hit my lap button on the Garmin and saw the number 19. Later on I would see that I had accomplished a 19:05 start to the race. Wow, I am closing in a sub 18 minute 5K. Something to look forward to later on in the summer.
I was in 6th place at this point and knew some fast cyclists were behind me. So I quickly changed shoes, donned my helmet and off I went.

I passed one cyclist fairly early on in the ride. I was then passed by a few myself. One was Kevin Besner. I had hoped to keep ahead of him but he is a faster cyclist than m and a 5K run just wasn't enough a of a lead this time around. Still I managed to keep him and another cyclist just in front of me for most of the second half of the ride.

Perhaps I would be slightly faster on a proper triathlon bike, but we all have sacrifices to make and buying a new bike just is't in the cards for me, and neither are fancy race wheels. And truthfully my little Devinci road bike is setup pretty well for short distance aero riding, so most of the blame lies squarely in my legs.

It is always nice to see only a few bikes in the transition zone when you come back. I didn't count them but I knew I must be around 10th place or so by this point. I had already let up a bit on the bike coming back, relaxing my legs over the last kilometer. A few more seconds on the bike could lead to a lot less seconds on the run, and I almost always cramp up to start this second run after all those little hills.

My time for the 35K on the bike (including my T1 time) was 1:02:01 or 32.9 km/hr. That is pretty close to previous years times, and I was feeling pretty good.

A quick change and I was off down the board walk and onto the flat trail bed path.

I could just see Kevin Besner in the distance so I knew I had to keep my pace moderately high. The guy in front of me was pulling away a little each minute and I didn't want to burn myself out going after him. But I could see myself inching closer to Kevin.

Being a 6K run and on tired legs I opted to try and maintain my half marathon pace of 4:20's per km, at least for the first 3K. But by the turn around I was right on Kevin's tail and surged forward and passed him. Now I just needed to hold on for 3 kms.

At this point I had to pick things up again and tried to keep an even 4 min/km pace. After a kilometer or so I must have fallen asleep a bit when I looked down at my pace and picked things up again, maintaining that 4 min pace  for most of the rest of the run until right before the end.

With 500 meters to go I dared a look behind and I was free and clear, so now it was all about getting the best time I could.
The closer I got to the finish line, the more excited I was to see the clock. With a little extra effort I was able to squeeze in under 1:49 with a finish time of 1:48:26 and a final run time for the 6K (including T2 time) of 27:21.  This was good enough for 10th place overall. And I was very happy.
While I did not win a coveted draw prize this year (or frankly any year, or frankly ever), I did take home a lovely gift card which will buy me some exiting bike tubes.

We also learned that Paul Shaw will be looking to pass along hosting duties of this race for next year. Hopefully someone steps in and picks this up as this is a great race. Thanks for all the hard work Paul.
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