Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Summer Solstice Duathlon Race Recap

It's hard to believe that it's been a month since my last race and I'm just now putting together my race report.  June 19 was the Summer Solstice Duathlon at White Rock Lake.  This event was put on by a smaller organization, White Rock Racing, and it was apparent by how poorly the event was put together, starting first with the lack of information given out at the packet pickup.  There was no course map or map of transition.  There wasn't even an accurate map on race day.  And you would think for $50 there would have been some sort of SWAG bag like from Ironhead Race Productions.  They didn't use timing chips either, so I couldn't get official splits for each leg.  And they didn't have transition marked by number, it was just a free for all in there.

But enough of my rant on how bad the production was...let's move to the actual race.  I got there about an hour early to setup.  I was trying to keep the pre-race jitters under control.  I was a little nervous going into the race because I felt like my fitness had dropped some since transitioning to a vegan diet back in May.  I noticed that my pace on the run had slowly climbed over the last month so my expectations were not that high for the two run legs.  The start was delayed about 10 min due to some complications with blocking off part of Mockingbird and Buckner Roads.  Finally the gun went off...

For the first half mile I was running about a 6:20 pace and was feeling pretty good but I knew I wouldn't be able to sustain that for the entire run, so I dialed it back and finished the first mile at 6:49.  I always make the mistake of lining up at the front and end up trying to keep pace with the top guys.  Ryan Cooper, overall winner, had an incredible first run and I tried to keep him in my sights for as long as I could.   I made the turn at the halfway mark and headed back towards transition.  I was still able to keep a pretty strong second half of the run with a 7:35 on mile 2, finishing with 14:33 for run 1.  I came in about 2 min behind the leaders, so I was pretty happy.

For the first time ever in a race I didn't have any debacles in transition.  No one moved my shoes, I didn't knock over the rack, nothing.  Well, I take that back.  I did almost leave without my helmet.  I came in to T1 and I had arranged my gear a little differently with my helmet sitting on top of my bag instead on top of my aero bars like normal.  In my haste to get out on the bike, I got a few steps away and realized I didn't pick up my helmet.  It cost me a few seconds overall, but it could have been more.  

The bike leg was going to be pretty easy.  It was really windy but for the back half of the course it would be at my back.  I began picking off a few riders right off the bat.  I only had one guy pass me on the bike leg.  It was pretty crowded because there were other riders out at the lake not participating in the race.  As I neared one mile left on the bike there was a guy in front of me who freaked out on 2 women out for a casual ride.  I tried to pass him but he kinda blocked me for a bit.  I was finally able to get around him and announced "on your left."  As I got around him I heard him yell out, "Not for long."  I entered T2 and racked my bike, threw on my shoes, and darted out for the final 2 miles.  I heard the guy I just passed on the bike yell, "I'm gonna get you." 

The second run was pretty solid.  I could feel my legs tightening up though.  At the one mile turn around I could see the guy I had passed on the bike.  I still had a pretty decent lead on him.  He ended up catching me with about a half mile left.  My last mile was significantly slower  than my first.  I finished 33rd overall, and 5th in my age group.  

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