Sunday, May 12, 2013

2013 Benny Bulldog Duathlon

So a cold but sunny morning greeted us for the 3rd Benny Bulldog Duathlon. This year the event was a 4km trail run (flat), 28 km bike ride (rolling hills), and a 4km run to finish (same as the first).

So I have spent a lot of time training to run over the Winter and Spring, with minimal training on my bike. I mean I commute to work by bike and I have rode on my trainer a bit, but I had actually only done a few longish rides on the open road. So I had to rely a lot on my past bike fitness for this race.

Most people bundled up a  bit before the event. I think it may have been about 5C, though the wind was low, which was nice. I opted to just put on some arm warmers, mostly for the bike portion. I also put some very thin glove liners in my rear jersey pocket, just in case the cold on the bike became too great.

Earlier in the week I had been fighting a cold, which luckily didn't stick and was nursing a bit of a sore calf from the crazy trail run I had done the previous Saturday. But by the end of the week I was feeling much better, so at least I was going into this event fairly well rested, if not peaked on training.

The first run began and I found my pace quickly, rising from 6th to 4th early on and holding it. I was amazed at the speed the first place guy, Greg, took off with, but was extremely happy to see that I was essentially keeping up with both Shawn and Patrick. We all came into T1 in a perfect line, me in 4th place but only listed as 4 seconds behind 2nd (likely the amount of time it took to press the lap button on the timing device).

I opted for this first race to go ahead and try a "flying" mount onto the bike. I had practiced a few times the day before and all seemed to go well. Still I took it cautious and did more of a slightly rolling mount. I had no issues getting into my shoes as I hit the road now in 3rd place! My run time was 16:02 for the run, which was really closer to 4.3 kms. I was pretty happy with that

Of course there were a lot of really strong cyclists right behind me and the rollers took their toll. By the turn around I was passed by 3 people. I was able, though, to keep within sight of Alan in 5th place and restrict my losses to just those competitors.

 I rolled into T2 with the 7th fastest bike ride of the day for a time of 46:44 over the 28 km course. My bike computer had me listed at around 36km/hr. So while I was disappointed to lose all those places, I was pretty happy with my speed overall. And from the picture I saw of my ride, I have some spare speed likely by adjusting my fit a little.

I did a conservative flying dismount and quickly ran my bike to T2. The switch to my runners was quick and I spared a second to remove my arm warmers as I was getting warm. Then off I ran with Alan in sight.

I gave it all I had in my attempt to catch both Alan and Kevin, who where within sight, but alas I was only making small amounts of time on them and the 4 km distance was just not enough. I ended my race in 6th overall, 2nd Age Group. But I would be rather excited to see that I managed the fastest 2nd run overall and was ranked 2nd with the combined times of both runs. I was some 20 seconds faster than the second place runner. That was very exciting. My second run time was 17:27 which included my T2 time. My Garmin had me only 47 seconds slower than Run 1 at 16:47. Regardless, all that run training is paying off big time.

Next Duathlon - Navy Du at Shearwater. I look forward to it as the first run is longer and the bike ride less hilly. We will see how I fare!

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