On Saturday, I participated in my second-ever duathlon. The Run, Bike, Unite was in Stevens Point and benefited the United Way. This race has been going on for several years, and you could definitely see that they knew what they were doing. They were very organized. There were a lot of volunteers and I even took advantage of the free bike check prior to the race. Good thing too…both tires were low in air.
The transition area was set up in a parking garage the second floor of the parking garage. There was a ramp that you went up and down to get to the transition area. The start/finish line was at the bottom of the hill, next to a large, grassy area where the refreshment and registration tents were set up.
The race started in waves. First the men started, followed two minutes later by the women, followed two minutes later by the relay teams. I was at .40 mile when the first relay guy passed me! He was really fast.
The first run leg was 2.2 miles. My plan was to stay at about a 10:00/mile pace and just take it easy so that I’d have energy for the bike leg. I ran the first leg in 22:12 9:44 pace. I had a little bit of a side stitch early on. I maybe should have warmed up a bit. After the first mile or so, I felt fine. The run itself wound through a very nice residential neighborhood. There were a few people in their driveways, drinking their coffee and waving as we ran by. I saw a little blond-haired boy standing with his parents. His eyes were so big as he watched everyone. I waved at him and he got this big grin on his face!
The approach to the transition area was tough because of the aforementioned hill to the parking ramp. I got passed by quite a few people as I was approaching the transition. I ran to my bike, sat down on the ground and changed my shoes, put on my helmet and my sunglasses and jogged my bike out of the transition area. T-1 time: 1:37. I was pretty happy with that.
The bike leg started with the downhill I had just run up. At the bottom of the hill was a sharp right turn. There were a lot of volunteers yelling “Hold your line!” I squeezed my brakes. I’m not comfortable enough to try taking a corner at that speed. The bike course was relatively flat. There was one hill about 2 or 3 miles in and it slowed me down a little bit. My goal on the bike was to work at about 90% to see how fast I could do it. I typically bike at about a 15.5 mph pace. I actually wasn’t worried about the second run leg, I just really wanted to see what I could do on the bike. I passed a lot of people on the bike leg. It felt great. I just kept my head down pedaled. Actually, I didn’t really keep my head down much, because the scenery was gorgeous. Lots of family farms, orchards, sheep pastures. It was great. It was a 12.5 mile bike leg that I completed in 43:42. 17.58 MPH!! I was so thrilled with that.
Loved passing these guys on the bike! They were having so much fun.
Then I got back to the transition area (up the hill again) and changed back to my running shoes for the second run leg. T-2 time: 1:37 pretty consistent.
The second run was through the Schmeeckle Reserve. It was a small wilderness area where we ran on trails gravel, dirt, even some wooden bridges. It was very nice. There were volunteers at all the trail intersections helping to direct traffic and cheer us on. I was really impressed with the volunteers throughout the course. They were very encouraging and helpful, but the guys in the Reserve were particularly awesome. They were blasting music and giving out high fives and dancing on the side of the trail! The second run leg was 2.3 miles and I completed it in 22:25! I couldn’t believe that I had that much left after pushing it on the bike. (Makes me wonder if I should have worked even harder on the bike?)
I finished the course in 1:31:25. I was so much happier with this duathlon than I was with my first. I worked harder and felt better with the results. I think part of it was the weather. My first duathlon was the end of July and it was a very hot and humid day. This race had perfect weather. There was a slight breeze and temps rose to the low 70’s.
I feel like I need to find another duathlon to do before the weather turns cold. I just don’t want to travel too far.
32/64 Females 30-39
(can’t get much more middle-of-the-pack than that!)