Monday, June 16, 2014

2014 Greenwood Duathlon: Win #2 for the Year

So another weekend, another Duathlon. This time it was the Airforce Du in Greenwood, NS. This event is 3K / 20K / 5K in length. It is also flat and fast and one of the few events where I wish I didn't have my compact crankset on my bike. Oh well, you ride what you bring.

The day prior to the event I woke up with a horrible head cold and spent the day in a zombie like state. I was not impressed. I then followed that up with a relatively sleepless night, yay. But I got up, had the car packed and was on the road at 7:15am.

I couldn't fathom making coffee in the morning, so I drank a vile of Red Bull on the ride down as my caffeine replacement. Mmmm, sort of. It was cold and wet and my taste buds didn't really work, so hey. Also on the ride down we would go through periodic bouts of rain and fog. So far so good!

I arrived, checked in and set up. The it was on to race briefing with the knowledgeable Andrew presiding.


While the du crowd was bigger than last year, it is still on the smaller side. That's too bad as it is such a fun event. That doesn't mean you don't give it all you got though. And regardless of my sort of cold, I was going to push for some speed today.

A slight alteration of the course for us in the du meant we started over on the other side of transition. Not a big deal, and actually shaved a couple of corners off the course without changing the distance. So that was nice.

I started with a pace that was a bit too fast, but that old adrenaline really does make you feel pretty good at the start of a race. By 1/2 a km in I slowed the pace down a little, but still passed the 1km mark in 3:24, weee. By the end of the first 3km run I had slowed things down to an average pace of 3:34 min/km for a 10:40 time and was in first place.

 The ground was still a bit damp at this point and the air humid



The twisty turny into T1 bit


So into T1 and to the bike. The beauty of the duathlon of course is that you just pop off your shoes, put on your helmet, grab your bike and go.



Off to the mount line and on to the bike course we go!

No change from previous years, the bike course at Greenwood is flat. A slight dip on the back section exists but it is nothing to write home about. You do three loops before finishing for a roughly 20km course. This year there was  great tail wind on the way out. Speeds were easily topping 40km/hr on the flat and for once I really wished I had bigger gears to work with. I maxed out the speed on the bike. Coming back the headwind and slight uphill equaled about 5 km/hr less in speed but still it was good.

I managed to not only stay in the lead, but my lead grew a little and by the end of the bike I had a 2 minute lead on Alan in second place. I managed the fastest bike ride for the duathlon in 34:03 for an average of 35.2 km/hr which included T2, so that made me pretty happy.

Off the bike, to the rack and on with my sneakers for the final run. The run through transition was a bit wet so I got to start the second run in wet feet, blah.

My pace start out quite nicely at sub 4 min/km. After the little dip in the run course I slowed a bit for a few minutes but found the oomph to pick it back up. Then sometime after the 1 km mark, a stone got lodged in my shoe in the tread and made a horrible tap shoe click for the rest of my 5 km run. Yes, I could have stopped to remove it but it wasn't causing pain, and I am really bad at judging distances, so Alan didn't look all that far behind to me.

The second run is much more ziggy and zaggy, cutting through little neighbourhoods and side streets. That makes it hard to see where your competitors are. Also there are other races going on at the same time, so you come across people that you don't really know. At one point I had a small child on an electric dirt bike driving in front of me. He was just fast enough to stay ahead, but I was afraid he might crash, the way he was driving. He didn't, though I think he may have knocked over some of the cones that lined the route.

By the time I hit the last kilometer, I was pretty sure I had the win, but I kept the speed up, aiming for a sub 20 minute final run.  I hit the finish line at 19:30 for second run pace of 3:65 min/km and a final time of 1:04:42.



It was great to win this event for the second year in a row. Chris puts on a  good show, and it isn't easy to organize an event with so many people starting and finishing at the same time. It was also good to win a nice bottle of rum from Ironworks.



The bike felt great again and once again this years training work with Jeff Z at Kinesic Sport Lab has been great. Last year I found the speed, this year I have also found the smarts when it comes to racing and training together. Now I am much better at not pushing the training when the conditions just aren't right and it is keeping me overall much healthier.

Next event, Ingonish and an Olympic Tri, my first one.
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