Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Du # 2 - The Cyclesmith Duathlon 2014

Another week, another duathlon. A run, bike, run event of epic proportions. Okay, let's not go crazy.


Like last year, the Cyclesmith Duathlon was split into 2 separate races, the Olympic distance and the Sprint Distance. And again I opted for the Sprint distance. If I was focusing solely on racing duathlons I might opt for the Olympic distance, but with a Half marathon the next weekend, I decided the recovery time would be too great. So for me, the Sprint distance event with its 5km/20km/2.5km distances seemed perfect.

This year the race was held much earlier than last. And unfortunately the weather out at Lawrencetown Beach was not going to be friendly to us. Well the forecast said a brief early morning shower then gradually climbing temps. In fact what we got was heavy fog, chilly temps that dropped even more as the race start approached and finally rain within minutes of the start. Oh well.

I knew that this week I had to push the first run. I am not nearly as strong as Kevin Besner on the bike, so I would need a decent lead, unlike the week before.



So with some quickly added arm warmers and light gloves I took to the start line. A little friendly banter and we were off.

I started out a little on the fast side at well under a 3 min/km pace. As I knew that was crazy, I started to ease back a bit, but I also wanted to keep the pace as high as I could for as long as I could to keep ahead of my competitors.

I reached the turn around and headed back with a bit of a lead. IT was hurting a bit, but I pushed as best as I could and crossed the line at 17:41. The first run may have been a bit short, but I think I still pulled off a PB with a sub 18 min 5km. I was first at this point. Then to the bike.

Quickly on with the helmet, I rushed to the mount line and popped onto my bike and off I went. This is a hilly course, but I pushed through as fast as I could doing my best to stay ahead of Kevin. But while the run course was a little short, the bike was a little long at closer to 22km rather than 20. I had hoped to make it to the turn around point still in the lead but alas Kevin passed me just past the 8km point, and while I pushed to stay with him, he built a decent lead heading into the final run.

I hit T2 while Kevin was off and running. My combined time for T1/Bike/T2 was 37:59. Not bad, but not good enough it would seem.

Bike racked, helmet off, fancy running shoes on and off I ran. But teh bike course and first run had taken its toll. While my initial pace was decent at sub 4 min/km, I quickly start to slow down and while I was catching Kevin a bit, sadly I wasn't catching him fast enough. And with only 2.5km to work with, I was now relegated to second place. But don't rest yet Ian, there are other racers!

So I pushed through, and crossed the line at 1:05:31. Kevin beat me by just over 1 minute. I held second place with more than a 2 minute gap. My second run was 9:47. So I did manage to hold a sub 4 min paced run afterall.
Okay, so we apparently had to stage a photo finish as I ran too quickly for the camera.

Second place this year. I had hoped for the win, but the faster man took that prize. I am happy to see my run speed growing, but my cycling speed seems to not be growing as much. But these are the trade offs right. The ability to get faster comes through hard work and it is best to focus that hard work. Still, a good race, regardless of the weather.

Oh and the food at the end? Yum.

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