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DU-Dover - Duathlon

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Dover, Delaware
United States
Bricks Multisport & Fitness
60F / 16C
Total Time = 49m 13s
Overall Rank = 13/96
Age Group = M55-59
Age Group Rank = 1/6
Pre-race routine:

First I want to lead up to what prompted me to enter this race and also other activities during the months and weeks prior to the race. And let me caveat this report by saying that I write these so that you may experience what I did and perhaps learn from that.

Last July, I entered in Rip It Events Maryland Duathlon mostly because I knew Danny and Suzy Serpico, the race organizers, would put together a good event. Danny also assisted by giving the tri club a bit of a discount. And I wasn't disappointed either. But, better yet and despite getting injured on the first run, I was able to take 2nd in AG. Up to that point, I hadn't given duathlons much thought considering I did okay in my first one and placed 4th in AG in the other two I did. Also, though I'm not the best swimmer, I do like triathlons. But, as the run has become my strong point and I seem to be getting faster, I decided this year that I should get ranked in duathlon as well as tris. So, I searched the normal race organizations for a USAT-sanctioned event and found DU Dover listed on Piranha Sports (though they only listed it. Race organization was Bricks Multisport & Fitness in Dover). The timing was right (early April) and cost was relatively low ($55 at the time). It was a super sprint which did give me pause as I would've liked perhaps a bit longer distances. But, since this would be the first race test with my new tri bike and it was a flat course, I thought it fit the bill (note, though, there was also a longer Sprint distance event just to the north on the same day in Delaware City. If I had known about it, I might've entered it instead and may consider it for another year).

A couple of weeks before the race, I attempted to scope out my competition in my new AG this year. Found results for several via Piranha Sports. A couple of them had me thinking they would give me competition. While my goal is always to finish, I also don't mind being on the podium if I'm able to put forth the effort. The most likely person in my AG to give me competition was Jon Nicholson of West Chester and Turk's Head Racing. He had some impressive results from an earlier sprint tri. But, I was feeling like I had at least a shot at 2nd or 3rd in AG since there were only 7 in AG.

I also tried as best as I could to see if I could figure out the run course. Semi-cross country was how it was described. And it did look like we'd be running on fields in the park where the race was located (Dover Park). So, I was a bit concerned about whether I could run as fast as I needed on varied terrain. The bike course promised to be easy, flat, and fast with minimal turns. Looking forward to trying the bike out on that!

The day before the race I head to Dover with hopes of a good race and more so, good weather. Just two weeks prior, I was in a 10 mile running road race where we were rained, snowed, and sleeted on along with cold temps and strong winds! So, I was looking forward to better weather this time. There was the threat of a cold front and overnight rain, so I was prepared with arm warmers and a short sleeve shirt to go under my tri kit.

I arrived at the race site the evening before and scoped out the run course. Wow, this REALLY would be mostly cross country! I thought perhaps there would be a trail, dirt or gravel, for us to follow. But there wasn't and it got pretty narrow in spots. Also, there were roots to be aware of between the pine trees and fence boundary of the park! Going to have to be extra careful through there! Then I drove the modified bike course. It had changed the day prior to 10+ miles as opposed to 8.5 due to construction where the one road would be closed. This actually may have been better for me and I liked a longer bike anyway.

With course checkout complete, I later had my usual pre-race evening meal which is actually breakfast: pancakes, omelette w/bacon, toast, and hash browns. I had a bit too much coffee though and had trouble sleeping for some reason. Probably more pre-race anxiousness than anything else. Still, it didn't help that I didn't feel like I had slept when my alarm went off at around 5 AM. As I had a big evening meal, I don't usually need quite so much in the morning for breakfast. Still, had a banana, Gatorade, coffee, and yogurt which the hotel offered. Good to go and headed over to the race site which wasn't too far away from the hotel. I thought there might be more of a line since there was only one way in and out of the park to park. But, I apparently got there early enough to avoid that and was able to register in short order.

Got my gear and bike and found a place in the middle of transition. I usually like a longer run out of transition and shorter bike in/out so I can get my legs working for the run while heading out. But, in a small and short race like this, it really doesn't make any difference. Later I looked at all the bikes and thought there might be some really fast folks here! I knew there was a mix of new folks and experienced but wasn't sure after looking at all the nice bikes. Well, left that thought behind and proceeded with my warm up.

After my warm up, I realized that even with temps only around 60 that I would be too warm with the arm warmers I had on and took them off. I didn't wear the short sleeve, though I brought it. Good thing after I realized I'd even be too warm with the arm warmers. Soon, we were given the pre-race briefing by the race director, Jess Manning. He did a good job giving everyone the lowdown mindful that he had beginners here. With that done, it was time to race!
Event warmup:

I decided to make sure I knew the run course and also needed to get my legs woken up. I don't do too much in tris because the swim alone wakes me up. So, I ran the course at least once and saw how they were marking it and where I was to go at certain places where I couldn't tell from the day prior. This was a good thing to do.

  • 10m 1s
  • 1.5 miles
  • 06m 41s  min/mile

Overall ranking is estimated from finish place and folks I passed on the bike. No chip timing to know for sure. Well, as there are only 96 of us and no chip timing, it's a mass start. Jess let us know that speedsters should move up front and slowest in the back so they don't get run over. I placed myself back a bit because I wasn't quite sure how I would do on this type of run. But this was a bit of a mistake because we were going to funnel in on a narrow path and then be kinda packed together for the very first part of the run. So, Jess counts down and with an air horn blast, WE"RE OFF and RUNNING in DU Dover!

Now, I start off well, but it's apparent I'm too far back and need to get clear of the group so I can put out more speed. Much too packed together in this very first part and I'm actually ducking some pine branches while trying to get by folks. Careful to maneuver around old horseshoe pits which were marked with cones. When I reached the soccer field, I was now able to pour on my speed and passed numerous folks here. Go by the pine trees and careful of the roots (we pass by here 4 times!) and out onto the back parking lot where I can put forth a bit more speed on the pavement. We turn right to a turn around point ahead. Just before this turn, I see Jon N out in front of me for this first run. Here I noted in addition to the fast guys that there's a young boy just ahead of me running on the other side who's doing well also, but not really a match for me in this event and I zip by him in short order after the turnaround. I'll give him a lot of credit for being up here though!

After the turnaround, we come back, turn right before the ball field, and run behind the it in the still kinda wet grass. Think I'm still passing a few folks here but no one has passed me on this first run yet. Loop back behind the ball field, across the parking lot, over the roots, around the near side of the soccer field, over a mat draped over a cable barrier, run to the right of the horseshoe pits, around a small hill ("Mount Dover", aka the Finish), and come into transition for T1. Whew!
What would you do differently?:

For this race and course, I should've started up front a bit more to get better position. But overall, a decent pace!
Transition 1
  • 00m 48s

Small transition and get to my place in short order. Quickly get out of shoes, into bike shoes, helmet on, riding glasses, grab my bike and go! Very minimal for a sprint - no water bottle and only small gear bag with spare tube.
What would you do differently?:

Really not much. Decent T1 time for me.
  • 28m 21s
  • 10.46 miles
  • 22.14 mile/hr

Time is just slightly estimated as there was no chip timing and hit my Garmin to start T2 when I was nearly done with T2.

So, now the first real test of the new bike and myself of the 2014 season. If I remember correctly, I'm alone at the mount line or at least got going before anyone else joined me shortly thereafter and getting out of the park, turning right onto White Oak Road. I see a few folks ahead of me going over the only short little hill on the course and I start to get geared up to chase, but knowing there's a second run afterwards. In addition to my bike, this is the first test of my new aero helmet and Garmin 910XT in multisport mode. During trial runs, I decided to turn the Garmin to the inside of my wrist so I could see it while in aerobars as I didn't have a mount yet for my 510. This worked okay but I really couldn't see it as well as I would've like to actually use the power, cadence, and HR info. I will have a mount for my next event.

I did see, though, that my HR was up there and did attempt to calm myself down a bit. Get over this first little hill which took more effort than I would've liked I think because we had just a slight headwind. Power up on the way down and proceed to start chasing the folks in front of me. And I am gaining on this first person as I come up to the next right turn onto Bayside Drive (route 9). From the day before I knew this would be a nice smooth road with a decent shoulder until getting to the town of Little Creek. So, I decided to see just what I could do without blowing up completely. Passed the guy who was ahead of me not too long after the turn and then I passed who would be the women's overall winner, Elizabeth Edwards. Next riders were fairly far ahead and I pushed along!

There was a moment where we had to be mindful of traffic going through the stop sign where we would've turned onto N Little Creek. There was a police officer who was there to help if needed but we still had to ensure our safety. Fortunately, no traffic and I went on through without too much hesitation. Come through Little Creek being mindful of parked cars and any debris and made the next turn shortly thereafter on S Little Creek and heading back. I see at least a couple of riders ahead. Have bit of a gradual ascent here and I seemingly lose a bit of speed. Still gaining on the next rider and after a short gradual descent to our next turn onto Fox, I'm able to pass him just after the turn, stand to get back up to speed, and settle in again to try for the next rider whom I'm also slowly catching. Make the next left turn onto N Little Creek and I'm continuing to gain ground. As I make the turn onto Willis, I'm right behind this last rider and attempt to pass. He does speed up a little now that he knows I'm there and I ease back slightly but see a chance and speed up again to pass. Round the next turn ahead, see the park entrance, make the turn, and start to get out of my shoes. Now these are new shoes as well (yeah, went all new for my new AG ;) ) and though I practiced a bit the week before, I didn't realize what the velcro would be like and it stuck to my socks so I couldn't get on top of my shoes as well as I'd like. This won't happen in tris because I normally don't wear socks for less than IM distance. But here it kinda messed me up a bit. Still I was able to swing my leg, balance on the one pedal, and come in running for T2. The shoes also hit the pavement and that kinda unnerved me a bit too. So much so, that the guy I passed got into T2 just a little before me.
What would you do differently?:

For the most part, not much. Think HR was way too high coming into T2 but sprints are about redlining too. If my second run had been longer, I would've compensated on the bike by not pushing quite so much as I did. I'm also aware of what my new shoes are like with socks too for future events this season.
Transition 2
  • 00m 24s

Time is estimated due to not hitting my Garmin until I was ready to go on run #2 and no chip timing.

Rack the bike, shoes on, helmet off, glasses off, and I'm outta there!
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. Good T2 time for me.
  • 09m 24s
  • 1.42 miles
  • 06m 37s  min/mile

I come flying out of T2 onto the path mostly by myself and I'm also redlining, pouring my all into this second run! Up ahead, another guy (Seth Hall) forgets a bit where the run course is and is cutting a bit short to which I remind him which way to go and he's back on track ahead of me. Well, I'm going to see if I can stick with him now. Around the little pond area, off the path, under the branch, and coming up to the horseshoe pits. Amazingly, despite the pace Seth and I are setting, the second to last guy I passed on the bike (Jon Gabb?) passes both of us! He had a great pace and was leaving both of us quickly behind! Well, never mind that now - just keep pace with Seth and see if I can overtake. Around the soccer fields, over the roots, onto the parking lot, to the end, right turn, turn around at the end, and back. Here I see Jon N! Wow, I got out of T2 before, can I maintain the lead here? Turn right going to the counter-clockwise loop behind the ball field. Seth seems to be slowing a bit here and I start to pass, pull back and then as we round the loop to come back, we are neck and neck. Here Seth pulls ahead and then I see Jon N on the other side. My Garmin buzzes to let me know I've gone a mile into this run and about a 1/2 mile left to go! Can I maintain??? Well, as you can from my HR data, I am REALLY pushing and Seth is starting to pull ahead a bit. I'm not really caring and just want to hold onto the pace for a little while longer. Over the roots we go for the last time, around the back end of the soccer field, dodge right of the horseshoe pits, and there's "Mount Dover" and the Finish in sight! Just a few more yards, quickly make the short climb, and cross the Finish Line!! WHEW! Dave has done DU Dover!!
What would you do differently?:

The only thing I wish is that I could run like this with a bit less effort. If this had been longer, like a 5K, I would not have been able to maintain (though I could do a high sub-7).
Post race
Warm down:

I am pretty much out of it after the finish, but recompose fairly quickly. I also quickly realize that I've finished quite well with only a few competitors around at the moment. We all congratulate each other on a great race and I say especially so to Seth Hall who came in 6 sec ahead of me as well as to the guy on the bike I passed who later passed both of us on the 2nd run. I then congratulate Jon N who came in 32 seconds after I did.

I talked to a few other folks - Matt Miller, 2nd Overall, and Lester Benitez, 1AG 45-49, 7 OA (from Reston, VA). Grabbed some food which was excellent - freshly made breakfast burritos plus some other food and orange drink. That really did hit the spot! Mostly just milled around waiting for awards. I was cautiously optimistic that I had taken 1st in AG but without chip timing, I didn't really know as they just had overall times without AGs. I wasn't in any real hurry anyway and I was planning to ride after this in the local area.

At last awards ceremony took place and they gave awards 5 deep for overalls. Each place finisher in OA and AG got a different sized brick (for Bricks Multisport ;) ) with an engraved plate noting their accomplishment. And when it came to my AG, I smiled upon hearing my name called first and proudly took my place on the 1st place podium stand! Woo HOO! Lifted my brick for pics and posed a bit for other cameras. What a way to start the multisport season and du ranking!

Before and after awards, Jess had drawings for brand new GPS/HR watches and Injini toe socks. Unfortunately, I didn't win either and I would've been just as happy with some toes socks as the watch to tell you the truth.

I then milled around some more and talked to Jon N for a bit. He asked how old I was and jokingly said he'd use my younger age as an excuse for coming in second plus a touch of Plantar Fasciitis. Whoa! If he can run like that with a touch of that, I can only imagine how fast without it! He ran a good race and was definitely a challenge to the 1st place spot! I wished him well in his season and set about leaving the park. Turns out I decided just to head home and ride there.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Not really too much. Still probably need a bit of adjustments and to continue to drop some weight.

Event comments:

Overall nice race. Good mix of beginners and experienced folks. Different cross country run courses which provided additional challenges. I will say that the lack of chip timing is a negative and one of the reasons I gave this 4 instead of a 5. In this day and age, chip timing is rather normal to expect, especially from a USAT-sanctioned event. Another negative is that Bricks website is very much outdated (nothing updated since 2010, 11, and 12) and I wasn't quite sure if the event was legit or not at first. Still, there were plenty of volunteers, good food, nice race support folks (Jess was great!), Dave's Road Bikes provided great bike support, and a flat fast bike course provided for an enjoyable event. If you're looking for a fast race that's USAT-sanctioned for an early event or you're beginning in multisports and want something without the swim, then DU Dover might just fit your bill.

P.S. yes, the plate says "2013" on it...problems with the engraver. Jess said he'd get us another plate with the correct year to place over that one :)

Profile Album

Last updated: 2014-02-22 12:00 AM
00:10:01 | 01.5 miles | 06m 41s  min/mile
Age Group: 2/6
Overall: 15/96
Performance: Good
HR/Pace label Range data label Time Zone 1 97-113 00m 05s Zone 2 113-129 00m 05s Zone 3 129-145 00m 08s Zone 4 145-161 02m 32s Zone 5 161-177 07m 08s
Course: The course winds through the length Dover Park and is mostly cross country with only a little bit of pavement. You'll have to see the event page to see what I mean.
Keeping cool Good Drinking
Time: 00:48
Overall: Good
Run with bike? Good
Jump on bike?
Getting up to speed and into shoes: Good
00:28:21 | 10.46 miles | 22.14 mile/hr
Age Group: 2/6
Overall: 13/96
Performance: Good
HR/Pace label Range data label Time Zone 1 111-124 Zone 2 125-137 Zone 3 138-143 Zone 4 144-152 Zone 5 153-163 03m 07s Zone 6 163-180 25m 45s Lap Time Distance Pace/Speed AHR MHR 1 13m 10s 5.00 miles 22.78 mph 166 169 2 13m 44s 5.00 miles 21.84 mph 164 166 3 01m 46s 0.49 miles 16.73 mph 162 165
Wind: Little
Course: The was modified from it's original 8.5 miles to longer due to road construction. But only added two turns. Clockwise, flat course and decent shoulder in a few part, light traffic in others.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks:
Time: 00:24
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Average
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:09:24 | 01.42 miles | 06m 37s  min/mile
Age Group: 1/6
Overall: 13/96
Performance: Good
Lap Data Lap Time Distance Pace/Speed AHR MHR 1 06m 39s 1.00 miles 06m 39s /mile 165 168 2 02m 45s 0.42 miles 06m 35s /mile 169 170
Course: Same course as run #1
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2014-04-21 9:16 PM

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Extreme Veteran
Frederick, Maryland
Subject: DU-Dover

2014-05-08 12:32 PM
in reply to: 0

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, North Carolina
Subject: RE: DU-Dover

I just don't even know what to say about all that other than you are lightning FAST!  Congrats on the AG win!!!  Woo hoo!!!!!  Funny that they need to "DU-Over" the award plate!  Ha!

See Dave run.  Run Dave, RUN!

Edited by Maria527 2014-05-08 12:33 PM
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