Tuesday, May 24, 2011

2011 Gear West Duathlon Report

The weather cooperated on Sunday for the few hours we needed to do the race.  There was no rain before, during (caught a couple drops on the bike, nothing major), or immediately after (around the time awards started it was a different story).  I knew going in, without seeing the course ahead of time, the run would be muddy, how muddy is the question.  The answer, muddy enough.
As usual, I got there early, about the time transistion opened.  Setup, chatted, warmed up on bike and run, listened to pre-race annoucements (where it was annouced the course had been changed and we now had to run a loop of the track at the end of each run), and went to the start.  I started in the 5th wave, waves are two minutes apart.
I felt pretty good this morning, my plan was to run hard, but leave some in the tank so I could get a good bike and second run in.  As I have mentioned before, I have not been running as much this year, or as intensely.
I had my Timex IM with GPS on, so I could get an idea of pace and bike speed.  When my wave started I took off at a pretty good clip, for me, in the 7 min/mi pace and it felt pretty good.  I was actually going to start slower.  No worries, I was slowed, by the course.  Except for the first part, most of it is on grass or trail, which was now wet grass or mud of varying degree, which helped slow me down.  It was going pretty well, until I got to the backend where you go into the woods for a bit.  There was a HUGE mud puddle/hole, guy in front of me went down, and I went party way down, up to me knee on the left side.  I was able to get back going again.  My coworker, and fellow triathlete, Tim, was near me the whole first run and that helped move me along.
I was soaked pretty good and covered with mud after the first run, but didn't care, it felt good.
There is not much to say about the bike.  It is a hilly course, there was a decent headwind at times, and I was back-and-forth with a couple riders a different points.  It felt pretty good, overall.  Toward the end I felt myself getting a little lazy with my pedal stroke and had to get my head back in the game.  Otherwise, it went pretty well.
I got into T2 feeling pretty good.  Started the run off pretty fast.  As I was leaving T2 I heard the announcer, and coworker at OHP, Kris Swarthout, say my name and ask everyone to give me a hand.  That was nice of him.
I pushed hard out of T2, and that held for the first half mile or so, then I slowed.  My lack of running caught up with me, I still posted a time I am happy with, and a second run time that is my fastest at this duathlon.  Surprise!  I picked my footing a little safer on the second run, so I did not go down like the first.
I was pretty exhausted when I finished.  This is a difficult race, in good conditions, even more so in less than ideal.  The picture of me below was taken by Nick Morales.  I took the picture of my shoes.  They are basically destoryed.  I got a new pair, belated BDay present from Jackie, the day before.

I saw my times, and my time for the first run was abnormally fast for a 5K in these conditions.  When checking the results online they corrected the distance to 2.8 miles.  The first time then made sense.
If you extrapolate my time to the usual course distance I would have set a PR, so let us call the race a PR day and be even happier about it.  I like that idea.
I biked almost the exact same split as last year and last year I jogged the run in better conditions.  I would say I am in pretty good bike shape this year, and overall shape.  Yeah for me!

2011 Gear West Duathlon Results
Run (2.8mi) - 22:33 (7:59 min/mi)
T1 - 1:12
Bike (17mi) - 48:52 (20.9MPH)
T2 - 1:06
Run (2.5mi) - 21:16 (8:29 min/mi)
Total - 1:34:58
AG - 14/31
Overall - 129/321

Big thanks to Gear West and volunteers for a great race, as always.
Next Sat, 5/28, is the Apple Duathlon.  A faster run course and, typically, a windy bike course than the GW Du


Harvey said...

Glad you had a good one at Gear West Du (and that the weather cooperated)! You never cease to amaze me... Not only do you do race after race after race with a smile (well, not in the picture here but normally) but you do it for all the right reasons. Hope to join you soon.

- Harvey

Christopher Hawes said...

Harvey, thank you for your very kind words. I hope you can join us all out there soon.