The Mid-Summer Triathlon takes place on the exact same course as the Blue Lake Triathlon that I'd run in June. Going into race weekend, I was feeling very confident that I was going to be able to take off at least 10 minutes from my time only 2 months earlier. Leading up to this race a lot had changed: I purchased a Cervelo P2 triathlon bike, I'd been putting a ton of emphasis on improving my swim and had been practicing my transitions. Then I got the e-mail on Friday, just 2 days before the race. There was an "algae boom" in Blue Lake and my Olympic Triathlon had been turned into an Olympic Duathlon. At first I was ticked, I'd been working hard on my swimming and now I wasn't going to get to race the swim. However, my coach (http://trijeffsmith.com/) helped me realize that I was going to get to practice my transitions in a race setting, PLUS, running is my strongest of the 3 disciplines!
The format of the Duathlon was definitely not traditional. AA Sports initially said that the format was going to be a 5k run, 40k bike, 10k run format. Then it was changed to a 5k run, 40k bike, 5k run format. Finally, due to lots of unhappy participants the format was changed to a 1 mile mass start run, 40k bike, 10k run. Weird, but I was excited to race nonetheless.
The 1 mile run: 5:46
Not much to say about this. I lined up near the front and tried to run fast, but steady with good form. This was nowhere near an all out effort but kept me in front of the big group so that T1 wasn't a nightmare, which was my primary goal.
The Bike: 1:02:19 (huge win!)
My HR goal for the bike was 170bpm. Because of the 1 mile run start, my heart rate was SCREAMING when I got on the bike and for the first 5 miles I hovered right around 180. Once things settled down, I ended up holding right between 22.5-23.5 mph on the fast bike along Marine Drive. I felt strong the whole way, and if it wasn't for my heart rate goals that Jeff had given me - I would've ridden closer to 1 hour I bet. Huge win for me, nearly 8 minutes faster on the same course that I'd raced in June on my Trek road bike.
The Run: 38:48
Near the end of the bike I got passed by a group of 6-10 guys that were riding in a pretty tight pack, my goal for the run was twofold: don't get passed, and pass every one of those guys that had passed me - mission accomplished. I got off the bike right around 24th place and was able to run my way into the top 10, finishing 9th overall. Final time: 1:49:20.
I'm really stoked about my results, a top 10 overall placing and 1st place in my age group. I'm very pleased with the progress I've made in my first season, and I'm enjoying competing more and more as I'm able to be more competitive. I need to keep focusing on my swim, since most races won't be converted to du's. Also, the bike was well worth the price tag and I'm glad to see that my bike was much more competitive this race! Next up: Aluminum Man Olympic and Austin 70.3