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Maryland Olympic Duathlon - Duathlon

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Woodbine, Maryland
United States
Rip It Events
80F / 27C
Total Time = 1h 59m 21s
Overall Rank = 15/349
Age Group = M45-49
Age Group Rank = 4/35
Pre-race routine:

Duathlons are supposed to be great for triathletes who suck in the water (me!), but I got more drenched from the humidity in this one that I think I have in triathlons in the past. I entered this race because it's a rare duathlon that's fairly large and in the summer, and because I needed a reality check (= something to scare me) ahead of AG Worlds in 4 weeks from now. Main take-aways from this are: (i) old guys are fast, and (ii) my biking needs attention.
Event warmup:

Up at 3:30am to get my act together and drive the 45 minutes to the race venue. I would have enjoyed the view of the mist at dawn, if it wasn't for the fact that this told me it was going to be very humid indeed for the race. Feeling sluggish before the start. I didn't taper for the race. I had just completed my biggest run week of the year, though I did make the concession of moving the long run one day earlier to give myself an easier day before the race.

  • 12m 42s
  • 2.01 miles
  • 06m 04s  min/mile

As there were ~400 participants, the race started in waves. Unusually, M45+ started as a separate group, ahead of the younger guys (though after the elites). So I expected that this would put me fairly far forward at the start. As usual, lots of folks set off at a pace that I knew they'd pay for later, and I deliberately held back, though in the humidity it wasn't as easy as I'd have wanted. Mile 1 was more down than up, though the entire course was rolling, and 6:01 was as fast as I would have wanted to be. I eased off in mile 2, to around 6:30, mostly uphill, but still made up a little ground. I went into T1 in 3rd, about 150 yards behind two guys up ahead of me. Feeling fine, though already quite damp.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. I'm happy to hold back on the first run of a duathlon.

[By the way, what's up with the auto-calc feature on the new BT?? It's way off in calculating my paces for Run1 and Run2. Both were almost identical, around 6:20/mile.]
Transition 1
  • 01m 17s

Relatively efficient, but practice would help. I lost around 20s on the faster guys. Perhaps I could gain a little from replacing the old MTB shoes.

  • 1h 16m 51s
  • 26.48 miles
  • 20.83 mile/hr

This was the part of the day that let me down. I didn't expect to gain time on the guys ahead, but I didn't expect to lose so much time as I did. It's not a particularly fast bike course. Two 13 mile laps plus the ride in/out to transition. I rode one practice lap yesterday, to test out gearing, cornering, etc., as it's a relatively technical course, with lots of turns, ups and downs, and relatively rough road surfaces. Based on that I had been hoping for around 1:12-1:14, so barely cracking 1:17 wasn't so good. I was mostly riding within myself, not wanting to destroy myself for the second run, but I was certainly not riding easy, and I thought that I was keeping a relatively good position (by my low standards, at least). The humidity was ridiculous, and sweat was pouring out of my aero helmet. I don't think I have ever got so wet on a bike. I was passed by 2 guys from the same AG, and never saw the 2 who had been ahead of me on Run 1. At least, not until I saw them out on the run, when I still had a couple of minutes of biking left to do. So I came into T2 5th in the AG.

What would you do differently?:

I'm not sure what's up with my biking. I know that loss of training through the spring and early summer, mostly due to travel, has probably slowed me. But I thought that I was in ok shape, and my climbing ability seems to be intact: I've done a lot of climbing in the past few weeks, and my times on the climbs have been as good as I've ever done before. And this week I also lowered the bars on my tri bike and installed my fancy new Flo race wheels. I gain on everybody going uphill, but lose time on the flats/downs. It's tempting to say that this is just due to w/kg, but in this crowd I was with other spindly runners and don't stand out at all as a lightweight. I wonder if I'm riding wrong in some way, or if I'm just terribly non-aerodynamic. I may have lost a little time in the last few miles when my rear-wheel magnet was constantly tapping against my bike computer sensor, but that can't have made much difference. Gotta work on this some more.

Transition 2
  • 01m 31s

Slower. This time I lost over 30s on the fast guys. I threw off my now drenched headband and pulled on a visor.

  • 27m 3s
  • 4.27 miles
  • 06m 26s  min/mile

I had been looking forward to this part, as it was where I was hoping to gain back time. I did, and I got the fastest run split of all age-groupers, which was a nice bonus. But I had left myself with too much to do. With the aero helmet off and the sun starting to heat things up a bit, it was actually a relief to have a bit more of a breeze in my face and a little more evaporation action. The run was advertised as 4 miles even, but it was probably around a quarter mile more than that. I was pretty happy with the mile splits: 6:12, 6:19, 6:24, 6:28 (some of the variability is due to ups/downs). My quads started to threaten cramping, but I was feeling fairly strong generally. I picked off one of the guys from the AG who had passed me, and got to within 20s of getting another, but simply ran out of road. Average pace of 6:20/mile was almost identical to Run #1, and was about as good as I would have hoped for under the conditions (rolling hills, hot/humid).

What would you do differently?:

Nothing probably, though I might have pushed a little harder - I had more in the tank than I realized.
Post race
Warm down:

I was not thrilled with the overall time, though pleased with the running. I guess that should have been better, as my running has been much more consistent lately.

Surprised that I came 8th out of all age-groupers, but this left me 4th in M45-49. Tough age group!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Heat & humidity.

Event comments:

Duathlons are normally small affairs that are consigned to the spring/fall months when lakes are too cold to swim in, so it's nice to have an event that falls in the summer and attracts an unusually large crowd. And this one was very well organized. Is it possible that duathlons would be struggling less if they were more spread throughout the year?

Last updated: 2013-03-17 12:00 AM
00:12:42 | 02.01 miles | 06m 04s  min/mile
Age Group: 3/35
Overall: 29/349
Performance: Average
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Just right
Time: 01:17
Overall: Average
Run with bike? Average
Jump on bike? Below average
Getting up to speed and into shoes: Average
01:16:51 | 26.48 miles | 20.83 mile/hr
Age Group: 5/35
Overall: 32/349
Performance: Below average
Wind: Some
Course: 2 rolling loops.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 01:31
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Below average
Running with bike Below average
Racking bike Below average
Shoe and helmet removal Average
00:27:03 | 04.27 miles | 06m 26s  min/mile
Age Group: 1/35
Overall: 4/349
Performance: Good
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 2
Physical exertion [1-5] 2
Good race? No
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2013-07-14 1:07 PM

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University Park, MD
Subject: Maryland Olympic Duathlon

2013-07-15 7:43 AM
in reply to: #4803596

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Crab Cake City
Subject: RE: Maryland Olympic Duathlon
I did my long bike and run over the weekend and I know what you mean about the humidity!! I would never imagine racing in July, especially on the hills of Howard County. Strong work as always Colin, keep up the good work!
2013-07-15 12:07 PM
in reply to: dmbfan4life20

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Subject: RE: Maryland Olympic Duathlon
Awesome! And you even had gas left in the tank! 
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