Friday, August 2, 2013

Sunset Spring Duathlon Race Report

Well, first off it's been a busy summer so far.  We've gotten to sneak away on a bunch of short vacations so far (Williamsburg, VA; Vermont; Long Beach Island, NJ) and it's made the summer just fly by.  We had a great, relaxing time in Vermont.

I could get used to this view!
On Saturday I made a return to the duathlon scene.  I've raced this event a few times, the Sunset Sprint Duathlon which is held in conjunction with a sprint tri and an olympic triathlon.  It's a great venue, held at state park with a campground and sandy trail around the lake.  Luckily the temps had cooled off slightly and the humidity was bearable.

I haven't raced many du's in the past few years so I wasn't sure who the competition would be so I figured I'd take it out hard and see if anyone would follow. It was a narrow out and back 2 mile run on a sandy (and shaded) trail, so plenty of opportunity to see your fellow duathletes on the way back. 
Ready for the start.
We headed out and I could hear footsteps and breathing behind me, but by a half mile in they started to fade.  Hit the turn around and there were two runners not too far behind, so I kept it pinned.  Got to T1 in 10:46 (I had run 10:45 two years ago on the same course) with a decent lead.  I kinda flubbed the transition, trying to buckle my helmet with one side backwards....and it just wouldn't snap....go figure!

Headed out on the bike.  This is a FAST, mostly flat 12 mile course.  The course already has triathletes on it as their swim started the same time we did but took an average of 7-8 minutes.  I just put my head down and started to crank the pedals while hoping to recover my legs.  It was a rather uneventful ride, I passed quite a few triathletes, fought a little bit of wind but other than that it was good.
Just out of T1 and getting rolling.
No one seemed to catch me, so I felt that I had a decent lead at this point.  With a 37:17 / 24.8mph bike split (only 7 seconds off of my 2011 split) I had the 2nd fastest split of the day about 20 seconds off of the fastest triathlete.  Ironically enough, three of the top 5 bike splits of the day were in the duathlon, and the duathletes ran 2 miles while the triathletes swam for 8 min!

Out onto the run after a quick transition.  The run was a 5k loop around the lake, some on trail and some on campground roads.  I wasn't feeling my best, but nailed down an 18:14 5k, and more importantly picked up the overall win by 40 seconds.  I'll take it!
A great venue and a slog of a finish on the soft sand.
So now some preparation for cross season and a slight increase in run miles for my fall racing.  Then a break for our cruise!  Can't believe how quickly this summer is flying by.

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