Sunday, April 23, 2006

I may have found my new addiction. Multi-sport.

This morning, I crawled out of bed at 4:45 a.m. and headed to Joe Pool Lake for the 14th Annual Du-2-Du Duathlon. Although I originally wanted to compete in the long distance duathlon, my frequent training buddy convinced me that the sprint distance would better serve as an introduction to multi-sport.

We loaded up our bikes around 5:40 a.m. and made our way out to Grand Prairie. We weren't exactly sure where we going -- luckily, there was a caravan of vehicles leading into Lynn Creek Park. We made it just before they closed the gates at 6:30 a.m.

A few hundred yards from the parking lot, we reached the start/finish/transition area. There were about 300-400 athletes milling about. A group of race organizers inspected our bikes and helmets and tatooed our race numbers onto our bodies with a permanent marker. In addition to wearing a race bib on your shirt and one on your bike, they write your race number on your left arm and left leg. They also write your age on the back of your left calf.

We were then directed into the transition area, where we were given our assigned bike rack spaces.

Thirty minutes later, the head organizer, Iron Jack, laid out the ground rules. Apparently, there are a lot of ways to get penalized and/or disqualified from an official USAT event.

Another thirty minutes later, and we (the sprint distance duathletes) were off and running (literally). Our event consisted of a 2 mile run followed by a 10.3 mile bike followed by a 2 mile run.

The first 2 miles were probably the toughest of the whole event for me. I have trouble getting into a good running rhythm in such a short period of time. But I still ended up finish the first leg of the run in 14 minutes, 35 seconds (7:17 per mile).

The transition from running to biking took 52 seconds.

The bike ride started off nicely, but about 4 miles in the course headed across a bridge spanning Joe Pool Lake. The wind was brutal. My pace going out slowed, but the course soon u-turned, and the tailwind was awesome. I finished the bike portion in 30 minutes, 51 seconds (20 miles per hour).

The transition from biking back to running took 48 seconds.

The last run felt sluggish, but, even stopping for a quick restroom break, I clocked in at 15 minutes, 42 seconds (7:51 per mile).

As I neared the finish line, I heard rapidly approaching footfalls. For the last several hundred yards, I was in an all-out sprint to the finish with another runner. We crossed at almost the same time, but the tell-tale ChampionChip gave him a 0.25 second edge, which turned out to be enough to push me down from 2nd to 3rd place in my age group category.

In the end, I finished 18th overall and got a nifty bronze metal for finishing 3rd in the 25-29 age group category. (Results are here.)

Damn, it was fun.


Frandog said...

Great Job! I'm interested to hear more about it. Do you think you could have done the longer race?

Frandog said...

I just looked at the race results. I totally could have gotten in the top 3. Even if there were only 4 in my age group.


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