Opelousas Duathlon (Relay) - DuathlonStandard

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Opelousas, Louisiana
United States
47F / 8C
Total Time = 1h 12m 42s
Overall Rank = 21/105
Age Group = Relay
Age Group Rank = 1/4
Pre-race routine:

Just started back running after a three-month injury layoff, but this is the area's biggest duathlon so I wanted to participate in some way. Had trouble finding a partner, most of the multi-sporters I know are doing the whole race, all the pure runners I asked had other obligations. Finally, I guess my olest son Dylan felt sorry for me, changed his mind and agreed to do it as a team.

Morning of race, nothing unusual, bagels, coffee, shower, shave, dress, load car, drive to race. Checked in, got packet, and set up transition areas with no problems.

Found the race director and got the twins set up to work the water station in transition. They've done this many times and are old pro allstars at the water station.
Event warmup:

Five-mile bike ride on course at various intensities.
  • 14m 50s
  • 2 miles
  • 07m 25s  min/mile

Looking over the competition we could see that two of the other teams consisted of high school cross-country runners. Dylan is by no means a pure runner, his interests are in football and basketball, doesn't mind running but doesn't bother with training. My biggest concern was that he would get caught up in the moment and try to keep up with the leaders, only to burn out halfway through.

To no surprise, both of the relay team runners came in among the first 25 runners, within seconds of each other. Dylan did well, was smart enough to follow the pace of a friend of ours and finish only two minutes behind the other two teams.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. Happy to be racing with Dylan on my team and he did well.
Transition 1
  • 00m 18s

I had on shoes and helmet, bike ready, so T1 consisted of Dylan running through the length of the transition area, hand slap as the exchange, and me running to the mount line and mounting my bike. Everything went well, don't know that we could do this faster.
What would you do differently?:

  • 43m 7s
  • 16 miles
  • 22.27 mile/hr

Since we were two minutes behind after the first run, I figured for us to have a chance of winning this I would have to gain five minutes on the cyclists to make up the deficit and to give us a three-minute cushion for the second run.

First mile coming out of transition was horrendous. The City of Opelousas should be ashamed at the atrocious state of disrepair that this road was in. Race director did a great job of marking the potholes and obstructions, and of warning us to the condition and advising us to stay out of aerobars, but still this is worthy of a letter to the mayor and city council. Keep in mind that the RD changed the bike course to avoid an even-worse stretch on the north end of the course.

Regardless, I cautiously passed a half-dozen riders on this stretch, then turned on to the service road and got to work. Service road is the hilly part, but it's our regular Wednesday ride so I knew how to ride them. Rode up the first hill at 24mph, going down I topped 35. On the second, steeper hill I backed off and held 21, then settled down in my pace for the flatter remaining part of the course.

By this time I had passed dozens of riders so that I was now among riders of my race pace. There was in particular one guy from the Baton Rouge tri club who was right at my pace. We swapped positions several times, when he passed me coming out of the turnaround I stayed ten lengths behind him and let him set the pace going home.

I passed one of the relay teams at mile 6, never did see the second. Followed my pace dog through the return set of hills, like 19mph going up the first and 22mph going up the second. Slowed down and negotiated the bad stretch of road again, got out my shoes easily, and hit the transition area in fine shape.

Note: looked at some spreadsheets. We were 61st on the first run, but 19th after T2. Among the two transitions and the bike we passed a net of 42 people. Only two people (net) passed Dylan on the second run.

What would you do differently?:

Maybe better pacing in the early stretches. This is such an early season race that I was worried about burning out by going at it too fast too early. In hindsight I could have pushed a little harder earlier.
Transition 2
  • 00m 10s

Did a flying dismount right before the line, and went into a full sprint through the transition area. Tagged Dylan and he was off.
What would you do differently?:

  • 14m 20s
  • 2 miles
  • 07m 10s  min/mile

At this point I knew we had a 2-1/2 minute cushion over the team I had passed, but had no idea whether the third team was ahead of us or behind. Regardless, all Dylan had to do was stay as close to the other runners as he did in the first run and we would have at least second.

Well he did even better, he beat all of the relay runners on the second leg with a 7:10-pace run and actually added to our lead. Turned out that I had passed the third-team cyclist somewhere early on the ride, so they didn't even figure into the race. With Dylan's stellar performance we ended up winning the division by nearly three minutes.

Funny note: down the stretch Dylan was involved in a sprint to the finish with another racer (Dylan won). I was congratulating Dylan and telling him that we had probably won the relay. The other runner heard us and said, "You guys are a relay? I wasted my energy tryning to beat a relay team?" We all laughed at that.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing, again he did great. Just have to wonder what he could do if he took an interest in this stuff and actually trained. ;)
Post race
Warm down:

After I tagged Dylan I had an anxious 15 minutes waiting for him to finish, then we both got drinks and food and waited for mama bear to finish. After she finished the bike, Dylan and I loaded my stuff in the car then walked back to the finish line, but somehow she beat me back and I didn't get to see her come in.

Hung around talked to the few BTers who were there. Aaron (Ern), the young fellow who was there with his Dad, Mom, and younger brother; among them I think they took home half the door prizes and one-foutrth the AG awards. Also met James(tri-a-betic), a new BTer and fairly new but addicted triathlete, and his girlfriend Cassie. At the awards, our new tri club made a great showing, taking first overall and winning several age groups. And, of course, the relay. ;)

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Nothing, IMnotsoHO we did great.

Event comments:

Great, well-organized and supported event by the same group that puts on CajunMan. Just a shame that the City of Opelousas doesn't appreciate the crowds that the event pulls into the city enough to at least make an attempt to maintain the road.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2007-03-13 12:00 AM
00:14:50 | 02 miles | 07m 25s  min/mile
Age Group: 3/4
Overall: 61/105
Performance: Good
Course: Through the subdivisions behind Opelousas General Hospital. Route was shortened this year as last year everyone's GPS had it measured at 2.2 miles. This was probably closer to the advertised distance.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Time: 00:18
Overall: Good
Run with bike? Good
Jump on bike? Good
Getting up to speed and into shoes: Good
00:43:07 | 16 miles | 22.27 mile/hr
Age Group: 1/4
Overall: 9/105
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: Race director also changed the bike course. Rather than a two-loop course on the service road around I-49, they opted for an out-and-back utilizing one leg of that service road going north, then LA743 south to the turnaround and back to the transition area.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 00:10
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal
00:14:20 | 02 miles | 07m 10s  min/mile
Age Group: 1/4
Overall: 35/105
Performance: Good
Course: Repeat of the first run.
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4