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National Duathlon Festival - DuathlonStandard

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Richmond, Virginia
United States
Sports Backers
85F / 29C
Total Time = 2h 26m 11s
Overall Rank = 410/886
Age Group = M 50-54
Age Group Rank = 29/55
Pre-race routine:

Up at 5, carb drink, coffee, yogurt, and granola. A bit different than what I normally do, but seemed to work okay. Get to the area and find a parking space on the street without too much problems. Still don't like hauling my gear for any great length of distance, but this works okay this morning. Helps that other folks aren't arriving until later. Find my numbered spot in transition and arranged my gear. Decided to go with a hydration belt during the first 10K run as it was already quite warm, though I still debated this later and actually something quite amusing happened later because of this decision. Hmm, my place just didn't look like much after I was done. Thought I was missing something. Oh yeah, swim stuff/wetsuit. It was quite a bit different not having to deal with those and my little area really did look quite incomplete. After I was done, another nice feature was a bag dropoff place. So we didn't have bags competing for space in transition either. Just the essentials for racing. You could always get your bag as they gave you tag with your number on that sheet to place on your bag. The temp was near 80 at the start and forecasted to get into the 90s later. Good thing my wave started at 8:10.
Event warmup:

Jogged up the hill to the start area and back a few times.
  • 47m 4s
  • 6.21 miles
  • 07m 35s  min/mile

Okay, I'm pretty much ready to go and warmed up by jogging up to the start and back a few times. Met my friend Vicki Bate, who was in the women's wave after my wave of the men. Wished each other luck and I stretched and relaxed before the start. We're called into the start chute, all wishing each other well, and then the starter counts down…1 min, 30 sec, GO! (Air horn blast!). I get going but I'm also really watching this big gaggle of guys take off out ahead of me. I wave goodbye and sit back a bit to get into my own pace.

Unlike Rumpass in Bumpass, I had no illusions here. In order to be a top finisher, I would have to run around a high 6 or low 7 pace for both runs and be above 20mph for the bike. So, I thought a sub-9 pace would be okay for this first 10K, probably 18-20 mph for the bike, and pour whatever I had left intot the 5K. The first part is a pretty big downhill, which I don't remember when I get to the bike. Then we're going along old part of Richmond with cobblestones! Didn't appreciate that but maneuver around them. As I'm crossing a bridge, I see guys out ahead of me and maintain my pace. But, as I get into the second mile of the 10K, a few guys are already having problems up one of the hills. As I start to pass these folks, I see the mid-pack guys ahead of me. Chase mentality starts to set in and I set about to pick as many of these guys off, one by one. By mile 3, I've picked off quite a few but still a few more to pick off. At mile 4 I glance at my watch. It says 30:something. Oh, wow! I'm at a sub-8 pace! Since I didn't feel uncomfortable here, I decided to continue with this pace. And I had my sights set on this one guy ahead of me who seemed to be maintaining the same pace. But, after mile 5, I was able to pick him off as well. Coming up to transition, we're going up a hill and I'm able to get ahead of a couple more. And feeling pretty good about all this as well as I head into T1.

What would you do differently?:

Not much really. Considering inconsistent training due to illness and schedule the months prior, I was really surprised at my 10K performance. I might've gone out a bit stronger than I should've considering my goal, but this really wasn't a limiter. Love to see what consistent training could do here.
Transition 1
  • 01m 49s

In T1 I had some small problems getting my helmet and shoes on, but no big problems. Already had socks on so that wasn't a factor either. So, I started to head out. BUT, just before I did, something jiggled around my mid section – my hydration belt! Normally, this would not be there in a tri as we don't have these on the swim. So, I quickly turned around and dropped the belt off at my place which wasn't too far away. So, that chewed up my time in transition. Still kinda funny though.
What would you do differently?:

  • 1h 15m 56s
  • 23.61 miles
  • 18.66 mile/hr

The first part of the bike was a short uphill to the run start area. Not too difficult and then as I crested the top, I'm looking down this steep downhill that I should've remembered from the run. It’s kinda like looking down on a roller coaster ride. I first think "Alright! Screaming downhill!" But, as I start down it, I think "AAAAAAHHH!" as excitement turns to fear. The road is pretty uneven with manhole and pipe covers in it to dodge. I resist the urge to brake and hold on for dear life as my bike hits slight bumps and uneven pavement here and there while zooming downward! Fortunately, it smooths out and I can confidently hammer the rest of the way in the 53 x 11. But, not for long as the first turn comes up. I decide that for a bit more control, I'll feather my back brake for just a bit on this hill during the next 2 loops. As I just alluded to, the course is 3 loops of 7+ miles for a bit over 23 total. And it turned out to be fairly technical with many sharp turns, some uphills, the steep downhill, and lesser ones. Went over two bridges, one of those twice each loop. I was doing okay but didn't feel overly strong on the bike today. I did pass folks but I had a good number of fast folks pass me as well. The road surface also wasn't the best and the bumps were a bit jarring here and there. Splashed my aero hydration bottle a few times as well, even with the sponge. Never could get into a rhythm as there really were no long stretches. As I headed into transition, I started getting out of my shoes and almost took out myself and some spectators! I was on the right so I wouldn't hinder anyone but drifted a bit too far over at first and scared a few folks watching the race from the curb. Oops. Got back and successfully got out of shoes for another nice dismount. Running into T2.
What would you do differently?:

I guess the only thing I could've really done differently is ride the course beforehand. I didn't really have problems per se on the bike, just didn't seem to really have a very strong ride. Still didn't seem to do that bad either.
Transition 2
  • 01m 3s

T2 was uneventful and pretty normal now for me. Still need to improve though.
  • 20m 20s
  • 3.11 miles
  • 06m 32s  min/mile

Now into the 5K and the heat is on a bit more. Legs are a bit like jelly too and having a difficult time getting moving. Fortunately, the first part is all downhill and I need it to keep my legs moving. This course covers some of the last part of the 10K which is a nice view of the canal in downtown Richmond. There are other runners here, a few my age but more are the wave ahead. I pass a few thinking "Gosh, I hope I can still do this at that age!". By the mile 2 marker, the run and heat are taking a toll on me even though we're in the shade. I’m moving progressively slower. And the last part of the run is uphill. Geez, didn't I leave this party earlier? But, I trudge on, even smiling for the camera during the last leg. I put on a good show at the finish and sprint in hearing my name announced over the loudspeaker! My first du is done!

Now, the time for the 5K I get at the results is just not right and everyone is saying the same thing about this that the run wasn’t really 5K. I can believe this because my time says 20:20. No way for me. That’s a sub-7 pace and I know what that feels like. There was no way. Kevin Clark, a fellow triathlete from Frederick, said someone else who had a Garmin on measured it was on 2.5 miles. That I can believe and that’s an 8:08 pace for me. I hope I didn't cut things short somewhere, but if I did, so did a lot of other people.

What would you do differently?:

More brick work in training. Not much to do about the heat.
Post race
Warm down:

Stayed in the medical tent just to be sure I was okay, drank plenty of Poweraide and water, kept the cool towel on my neck. Then off to grab food and more drink.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

The heat started to be a limiter and my jelly legs, though I didn't cramp up which was good.

Event comments:

Organization was pretty good and volunteers were just super! Lots of goodies (shwag) to go along with the race made for a nice consolation. The open, rolling transition concept worked well and perhaps should be done for larger tris too. This concept kept activity in the transition to a minimum while emptying and filling from one part of it to another as later waves arrived to drop off stuff. This way there wasn't a large throng of folks all arriving at the same time with the folks in later waves waiting around for hours. I was disappointed in the Expo as I thought for National event, this should've been in a building with lots more exhibitors. Eagleman had much more. The shwag was terrific for the price - backbag, running hat, technical T, and beer glass for finishing! The after race party was great with some good food by Chipolte Mexican restaurant. Good music with a band starting up, but didn't stay for that. The gear bag dropoff was a good idea and kept gear from piling up in the transition area. Another thought for tris. The bike course being technical with uneven street conditions wasn't really the best and I kept getting jostled from the uneven surfaces. Never able to get up to speed on it either. The cobblestones on the run courses were also something that surprised me as a twisted ankle can end a season. And the "5K" could not have been that distance. Either someone messed up there or else many of us missed a key turn that wasn't clearly marked. And the uphill at the finish is never appreciated but does separate the folks with hill training from those without. Overall, a good race though with lots of support and a great way to introduce myself into duathlons.

Last updated: 2008-12-03 12:00 AM
00:47:04 | 06.21 miles | 07m 35s  min/mile
Age Group: 34/55
Overall: 507/886
Performance: Good
Course: A few hills in the beginning, then turned to flat along the canal, then uphill to the transition area. Cobblestones to deal with in the beginning as well.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Time: 01:49
Overall: Below average
Run with bike? Good
Jump on bike?
Getting up to speed and into shoes:
01:15:56 | 23.61 miles | 18.66 mile/hr
Age Group: 32/55
Overall: 413/886
Performance: Average
Wind: Some
Course: A pretty technical 7.87 mile course with uphills and downhill, sharp turns and curves. Did 3 loops of the course.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:03
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Average
00:20:20 | 03.11 miles | 06m 32s  min/mile
Age Group: 21/55
Overall: 266/886
Performance: Average
Course: Short trail section and then downhill to meet up with first part of 10K. Then the last part of the 10K course along the canal, uphill to the finish.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
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

2009-05-01 5:58 AM

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Extreme Veteran
Frederick, Maryland
Subject: National Duathlon Festival

2010-04-16 7:55 AM
in reply to: #2122943

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, North Carolina
Subject: RE: National Duathlon Festival
Ha ha!  Fun race report!  I've heard of people forgetting to take thier helmet off in T2, but never a fuel belt in T1!

I did my first Du unexpectedly when the swim portion of the Savannah Fun Fall Sprint Triathlon got canceled.  So I can relate to feeling like something is missing!
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