Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Duathlon #2: Cyclesmith @ Lawrencetown 2015

Two weeks and 2 races. Bam. This year Cyclesmith's Lawrencetown Beach Duathlon was held a little later into June than normal. But with the weather we had this Spring, maybe that wasn't a bad thing. I apologize again for a lack of photos.

Race day came and the morning seemed great. It had rained hard the day before but this day promised sun. Outside I was greeted with a slight chill in the air but otherwise lovely day. Until I got to the beach. Dang you Lawrencetown. The sun was out and bright, but the wind was crazy hard. You could see bikes with disc wheels blowing on the transition racks. You coudl also see the sun slowly disappear under a huge blanket of clouds. Blah. There went the warmth.

Regardless, the race must go on. I was racing the Sprint distance duathlon today, 5km/20km/2.5km (or close enough). Today there was about 22 of us in my race. Not huge, but there were 4 of us up front that would give it a good race.

A few minutes following the start of the International Distance race, we took off. I quickly jumped into the lead, knowing again that I needed to have a little comfort room before the bike leg in order to have a hope that beating some of these bike studs. I hit the first kilometer in 3:29, but I couldn't hang onto that speed after the turn around with the wind in my face. I managed to cross the line into T1 in 18:36 for an avg speed of 3:46 min/km. I had a lead but would it be enough?

A quick change and I was on the bike. The head wind was fierce. I tucked low and pushed on. I really hoped to get as far into the bike portion as possible before the others caught me, but alas Brad got by maybe 5 km in. Still I pushed on. A kilometer later Greg passed me and then Adam. I was able to hang onto Adam at a legal distance, and then to my surprise passed Greg as he had to stop and fix his chain. I knew that bit of respite wouldn't be much, though, as he is such a strong cyclist. And the next thing I knew Adam dropped a chain, wow.

I hit the turn around expecting to finally get out of the head wind (it was so hard to keep a consistent rhythm) and yes, a huge tail wind. The speed jumped quickly. I was happy. Until about 6 km to go at which point (what?!?!) the head wind was back. Oh cruel Lawrencetown.

Shortly after this point Adam recaught me and passed (Greg had gone by again as well). Rather than fight him, I dropped back and followed along. He was pulling away, but it was slow enough that I saw him all the way back to the beach and T2. I figured (and hoped) my run would send me past him again.  My average speed was 33.8 km/hr. Dang the speed on those other guys.

I got to transition in fourth and made the switch to my running gear quickly enough. I took off. Adam was just slightly ahead of me on the path. I focused on picking up my cadence and just hitting a decent pace. I passed him in less than 1/2 a kilometer. I took off after Greg and Brad.

As I neared the turn around I finally saw those two guys running together. But I knew unless they had a really bad turn of events, I was too far behind to make up that distance. Still 3rd place was mine to lose, so push on I did.

I coudl see a few hundred meters ahead as Brad took off and won, followed by Greg. I hit the line with an 11:03 2.5 km run for an avg pace of 3:48 and a total time of 1:07:49. That was a hard fought race and while 3rd wasn't what I wanted, it was earned.

I was mostly really excited that my run averages didn't really drop off as they usually do. Holding a higher pace for the second run was great. I just need to keep doing that. And as usual some more bike work.
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