Friday, June 1, 2007

Apple Duathlon Recap

So this past weekend I was a little uneasy about racing due to it being just one week after I went all out at the World Championships. My body was still recovering, and I did not want to have a poor performance after making the long drive of 7 hours out to Sartell, Minnesota. I made sure that I rested during the week and did a few easy workouts in order to get ready for this race. I knew some really good talent would be there including USA Team members David Thompson and Tom Jeffrey. Both of these guys are true role models. I definitely look up to them and admire the talent that they both have. Last year they were both ranked ahead of me in the Duathlon World Rankings, so I knew I would have my work cut out for me. Then there is also a large group of guys from Minnesota that are very talented in multi-sport. So overall, I just wanted to have a solid race and not embarass myself.

To start the trip, my dad and I started our drive out to Sartell late on Friday night. Due to his work schedule and the heavy traffic that clogs up I-90, we left the household at around 7pm. Last year we left at around 3:30 and got caught up in the traffic averaged 20 mph (I go faster on my bike!). So we did not want that to happen again and left later. The only downfall was that when we arrived in Sartell, it was 2:30 in the morning. We got to our little hotel for the night and the check-in receptionist had no clue what to do. It was her first night on the job and we come strolling in during the middle of the night. She gave us a key to a room not knowing if anybody was in there! So we snuck up to the room, opening the door quietly and peeked in. Phew! Nobody was in there. That would have been a nice surprise having somebody walk into your room in the middle of the night at a tiny hotel. But it worked out just fine. We hopped into bed to sleep for about 3 hours, then woke up to get over to the race site.

The Apple Duathlon is a great race if anybody is looking to do a short first duathlon. Everybody is nice, and the checkin goes very smoothly. My dad and I checked in, set up our bikes, and went over to the start line for the gun.

The first run went out a little slow. I just hung back because right after 200 meters of the start is a steep uphill that lasts for about a minute. I just made sure to maintain pace and stay with the leaders. After the hill, I took off a little bit to get to an early lead. I knew that Thompson and Jeffery would eat me up on the bike course because they are extremely talented riders. I came through the first 5k in 15:26, a pretty fast time, but I felt fine and had lots of energy left.

In transition, I had trouble buckling my helment so both Thompson and Jeffrey caught me. We all exited the first transition at about the same time. The picture above shows the start of the bike course with us three leaders. Jeffrey is in front, Thompson is on the left, and I'm on the right. The start of the course was up the hill that we had to run up. I just pedaled easy and slipped into my cycling shoes.

The bike course is pretty flat with a few rollers. The only problem was the wind! The bike was 20.8 miles long with the first half with the wind and the second half against it. I was averaging around 29 mph on the first half and then died! The wind really tires you out when there is such a long stretch into it. On that long stretch a few guys passed me, and I went into transition in about 7th place. I passed one guy while running through the transition, and two more going up the hill for the second run loop. The second run was the same as the first.

So within 2 minutes of the second run I was in 4th place. Thompson and Jeffrey were too far ahead because of their cycling skills, but I could see 3rd way ahead. I was unsure if I coud catch him because of the distance ahead he was. I just concentrated on running with good form and hopefully I could catch up. By the 2nd mile, he was just in front of me. I knew that if I put a surge in I would recapture my 3rd place position. At 2.5 miles I took over and cruised into the finish line. My second 5k was 16:26, which is really good considering my tiredness from the past week.

I ended up having the fastest run splits for both the first and second runs. It was nice to see that I could actually have a good second split especially with such good competition. My bike split was not that great (23.8 mph avg), but it was ok considering the lack of cycling that I have done over the winter.

I improved by 2 minutes of my last years time which was also nice to see. I hope that I can continue to improve my cycling with more training.

Here is a link to the results:

Next up is a triathlon at Lake Mills in Wisconsin. It is a pretty large event with about 800 competitors. Hopefully I can break into the top 3 with a strong bike and run since my swimming is lacking right now.

-the bread

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