Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Duathlon of Champions in Wolfville 2015

This past weekend saw a new Duathlon in the Province, the Duathlon of Champions. This was a fundraiser event for cancer, specifically to raise funding for research into cancer in adolescents and young adults (AYA) and the role of exercise in treatment.

The night before I had attended and taken part in a barre class (look it up, it was great) to help raise funds for prostate cancer research. That was 45 minutes of crazy intense workingout and I was left a little weak in the hips afterwards. So basically I wasn't sure how I was going to do at the duathlon, but it would be fun.

I arrived at the race site and got setup fairly early. That allowed me a little warming up as well as casual chat time. There were some great cyclists present, and on a course like this I knew that my cycling wouldn't be nearly on par, but I hoped that I still had a little speed on the run left in me. A success would be having the fastest first run in my mind.

We soon lined up after our prerace briefing.

And then we were off. I let Zach take the lead right off the bat and tucked in behind him. He is a spectacular cyclist and a pretty darn fast runner as well. We quickly started to set a fairly fast tempo doing the first kilometer in 3:38 and pulling a slight gap over the other runners.

As we started to get close to the 2 km mark, I was feeling strong so I decided to take the lead. Right after doing so I was presented with the option of going left or right and went left. Turns out that was wrong. So from first to 5th just like that.

I picked a pace and continued on, slowly closing the gap. All told I probably lost about 200-300 meters on the group by starting the wrong turn. But I wasn't trying to kill myself to catch the pack. Still, I knew I wanted that first run to be mine.

Within a kilometer I caught the 2-4th place runners and pulled passed them. Then over the next 500 meters I managed to catch back onto Zach (by the way he had taken that wrong turn as well). Coming to the finish of the first run we were side by side, so I pushed forth and claimed the first run. Whew, that was some work.

I finished officially in 18:41 for 5k, though it was more like 5.2km. Not bad. A quick T1 (28 seconds for the 2nd fastest T1) and onto the bike I went.

This route had 2 spots where police were supposed to wave us through stop signs. Sadly the police didn't show up. So I had to stop at the first sign and wait my turn (4 way stop). Then off I went.

Heading out was fine and I felt good, though was soon passed by the top three riders. I put my head down and kept riding.

I looked for the turn off that was supposed to be coming up and again the police didn't show up. But there was no traffic so I made the turn without incident. Though this may or may not have been the right turn, as it became obvious that without enough volunteers (and the police not showing up) we all got a little confused as to the proper course turns. We all seemed to make it to the turn around and all managed to get about the same distance, so I guess we are all good. Except Zach. He went for a long distance ride into the far off distance.

My dead legs and confusion at points of the course lead to  only the 9th fastest time on the bike with just shy of a 32km/hr 20km ride. Knowing my spot in the race near the end of the ride, I also let up a bit to get ready for the final run.

The fastest T2 of the day followed, as I dismounted and switched to my running shoes. Then off to the trail I went.

I wanted a fast run and I got it. fastest second run of the day, 2.5k in 8:38 for an average of 3:28. That run may have been a bit short, so that speed may be a bit on the fast side, but I know it hurt.

I crossed the line in fourth place overall and second in my age group (behind Kevin). Not my most stellar outing, but I was really happy with the runs.  Now onto another weekend double header of running only event. Whew, this is a busy month.

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