Yes, you read that correctly, I race my first duathlon on Saturday. I’ve triathlons of all sorts of distances, running races, cycling races and the like but, never a duathlon. Thankfully, the weather was perfect on Saturday (NOT!) for the 5k, 20 mile, 5k format in Stillwater, MN. Tri Fitness of White Bear Lake puts on the Cinco Du Mayo duathlon and they have been doing so for the past 6 years now. They’re a great organization and this race was a blast.
This has been an unusual offseason, to say the least. I’ve been without my bike for the past 5 weeks and haven’t done ANY training for cycling whatsoever. My bike showed up at my doorstep on Tuesday evening after yet another trip to the spa in Florida for “rejuvenation treatment”. The build was quick and I had hopes of riding before Saturday but Mother Nature had distinctly differing views on the matter. Nonetheless, I got a quick 1 mile spin around the block on my freshly glued tubulars (also the first set I’d ever glued, no big deal) and decided that was good. I also received a brand spankin’ new aerojacket from wheelbuilder.com on Wednesday. The old adage of “nothing new on raceday” clearly did not apply this weekend! Saturday morning was less than ideal conditions: 30-37 degrees F, light rain, overcast and general awfulness. Things were really looking like they were set up for a fast race…(heavy sarcasm). This was also Alex’s first duathlon and her first real outdoor ride on her new triathlon bike. She was pretty nervous and excited.
After a quick warmup on the bike to make sure everything worked. I racked up and started to shiver. Poor decision to wear my tri kit with only arm and leg warmers? Perhaps. Who cares? If you can’t be fast enough, you might as well look awesome!
5k #1: I started out on the front line with some of the other fast folks and tried to lead out the opening 5k. My hopes of doing so were dashed once I was blown away by eventual champion Brian Sames (wicked race, sir, wicked race). Upon realizing that I could not hold 5:20/mi pace, I backed off and cruised to a 6:34/mi average for the opening 5k. This put me in second coming into and out of T1.
T1: 0:37 (oh yeah!)
Bike: As I mentioned before, I had zero legs for cycling so this was a “let’s see how this goes” kind of ride. I ended up having about 20″ on third place after a speedy transition and as I exited the park I heard Steve (Stenzel, you know, the guy in the awesome shorts) cheering for me so I instantly redlined and rode like a madman. Then came the first real climb of the season. I totally blew up going up that bad boy. Climbs-1 Cody-0. The next bits were pretty rolling and easy. I never really felt like I should push it because my legs just weren’t ready for the quick pace. I continued to get blown up by the climbs. I believe I halved a match in there somewhere but, it’s all a bit fuzzy. Final score: Climbs-3.5 Cody-.5. I was also held up by a train. It probably helped me because it made me remember this: “Hey, Cody, you have electrolytes in your water…DRINK THEM!” After the boxcar boys went past, I tooled it back home to begin the run. Another quick transition and I was off to the races.
Bike: 54:09 (stupid train cost me fastest bike split!)
T2: 0:57 (Seriously, I haven’t been practicing transitions)
5k #2: Knowing that I was a bajillion miles behind first and a couple minutes up on third gave me the distinct pleasure of being able to “lollygag” for my run. I was chit-chatting and shuffling the first 1.5 miles. After the turnaround I saw the third place runner about a half mile behind me and decided I should probably pick it up a bit. I did. I ran the second 1.5 in ~ 6:30/mi pace and comfortably finished in second. I lost by over 7 minutes to Mr. Sames (ouch) but learned a good bit about duathlon racing.
Run: 21:37 (whatever)
Alex’s Mom and myself waited around for a good while for her to come in from the bike. We both got more and more nervous by the moment. Unfortunately, Alex came back to transition area in the Medic truck. She had a bit of a spill on the bike and couldn’t finish. Luckily, nothing is broken and she is left with a bit of nasty road rash. I can’t emphasize how rough and unforgiving the roads were on Saturday and Alex felt the brunt of this. She was having a great race and can’t wait to get back out to training and racing.
A huge congrats to my friend Steve Stenzel on his first overall duathlon victory. He battled hard out there and got what he deserved. Give his race report a peek over at: http://iwannagetphysical.blogspot.com/2013/05/cinco-du-mayo-duathlon-2013.html Follow him on twitter too, because he’s pretty awesome.
We hung around for awards and shivered a bit more before heading back to the cities. I got a sweet margarita glass for my efforts and had some tasty tacos. I can’t wait to get out and race again. I went for an awesomely warm bike ride on Sunday to shake the legs and get some climbing done. It’s going to be a fun and frantic build to the triathlon season!
Run: K-Swiss K-Ruuz 1.5, Smith Pivlock V-90 Sunglasses, K-Swiss Triathlon kit (2012)
Bike: Custom Cervelo P3, Mavic Cosmic Carbone Ultimate Tubulars with Mavic Tyres, Wheelbuilder.com Aero Jacket, Bontrager RXL Hilo Chrome Shoes.