Friday, June 14, 2013

Cyclesmith Duathlon 2013 - FTW!

Alright, finally got a chance to sit down and write this blog post. Last weekend was the great and awesome Cyclesmith Duathlon, an event I have been doing for 5 years now. I have always loved this course, but for the first time in my 5 years the course had changed. Also for the first time there were 2 different race options for adults. The standard 5km/35km/6km race had been changed to an Olympic distance duathlon with a 10km/35km/5km distance and a Sprint Duathlon had been added with a distance of 5km/20km/2.5km. So now I had a choice of races.

I thought long and hard and decided on racing the Sprint. I have put next to no special bike training in this year, relying on my commute to work and the occasional trainer ride to keep my fitness from going away, as this year has been all about running. For this reason I knew that a 35km bike ride would take alot out of me, and as my big focus this year is a marathon, the recovery from a hard 15km of running would also really set back my training. The Sprint would be hard, but the recovery would be much easier. It would also fit in with all the other Duathlons I have raced this year.

Luckily I had a few tough competitors opt for this distance (thought he majority went to the Oly). I knew this would be no cake walk with Kevin B lined up beside me to start.

It was a nice cold, windy, and foggy morning and I could wait to actually get running. We started the race as a mass start on a crusher dust rail to trail. And we were off.

A 5km run start offers little chance to mess up. And I knew how fast Kevin would be on the bike. I needed a lead to make this work. So I didn't hang around and pushed the pace hard. I reached the turn around in 9:19 and headed to the start line. I was at this point in first place and hit the 5km mark at 18:37. My official time is actually 17:37, but the course was bit short.

The run out of T1 was a long one, with the Officials not wanting people to mount their bikes until we hit the pavement due to the poor nature of the gravel road we were on. So I opted to run in my bike shoes, like the days of old. I ran to the line with a 1 minute lead over Kevin in second place and took off.

Being a short race I allowed myself only enough time to catch my breath on the bike before I started pushing as hard as I could. I needed to stay in front of Kevin for as long as possible as I knew the short second run would not offer much chance to over take a person.  By the turn around at about 10km  I still had not been passed. This was a good sign. But as I was starting back I finally saw Kevin and he was closing down.

I pushed even harder at this point. The course was constant rolling hills, so it wasn't always easy to get a great rhythm going. Finally with 5km to go in the ride, Kevin got by me. so that was the 1 minute from the run gone and I had to minimize the next bit of loss. After dropping back out of the draft zone, I managed to keep Kevin in sight for the rest of the ride. I managed the ride in around 38 minutes including both transitions.

As I approached T2 I had to decide whether or not to dismount and run in bike shoes (again it was a long run) or to just do a flying dismount and go barefoot over the gravel. I knew I needed the extra seconds that running barefoot would give me, so at the last second I decided on the flying dismount and ran into T2.

I was quite happy to see that as I was approaching my bike rack space, Kevin had only just started the run course. I racked my bike (once the officials moved, ha ha), did a quite wipe of my feet to get any rocks off and slipped on my shoes. Off I went for a quick 2.5km. 

I could just see Kevin in the distance and pushed my pace. I caught him in about 500 meters or so and surged past. There was no time for playing any games. If he had anything left he would have to jump on my tail and stick to me. After another couple of 100 meters I broke free from him and then never lost the lead again. There was still no time for taking it easy. Again this was only 2.5km so push push push.

I crossed the finish line first in a time of 1:06:11 with a final run pace of 3:58 min/km. Yes, I won. Well there you go, finally. And all it took was a near PB 5km run to start and giving it everything I had on the bike that day. I took home some great gift cards for my prize and thanks to my wife I have something even greater, wonderful photos of the day.

Next up is the Greenwood Duathlon this weekend. I missed my duel with Alan this past week, so I will be happy to race against him again. A huge congrats as well to the duathletes who competed in the Olympic distance. There was some crazy fast people in that race.

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