Last Sunday I completed my first duathlon. I was planning on completing the Lycra and Lace triathlon the week before but it was cancelled. I figured with my big work event coming up that only having to practice 2 sports instead of 3 was a good choice. That and I kinda hate swimming.
Packet pickup was quick and easy. On Saturday, we popped over to the community center in Longleaf and checked in, grabbed my envelope and a nice little swag bag and headed home. Prepping was interesting since there isn’t a whole lot about duathlons.
I switched out my old laces for lock-laces to make for a quicker transition. A number of articles talked about using 2 different pairs of running shoes but I decided 1 pair was enough. I got packed up and ready to go!
Race morning we got their early but it wasn’t necessary. The organization of this race was pretty spot on. I got my transition area setup, the kitty-oke towel made a reappearance.
I have only 1 complaint about this race. You can see I got there early and setup my stuff. I was chatting and such and I come back to my bike and there are 9 bikes on the rack, mine had been moved to the middle and my gear was piled up. Now, thankfully I checked my stuff before transition closed and could fix things. Apparently, people complained because the racks were miss-numbered and the volunteers decided to cram them onto the 1 rack. Normally, I’d be annoyed but that’s how it goes. Except that there were easily 12 empty racks around transition. Had one of these volunteers found the race director this would have been an easy fix. Instead they moved everyone’s stuff for the 2 people who showed up late and apparently insisted on being on that rack! My only suggestion for this race would be to either let people choose any rack or number them the day before so you know it is correct!
The first 5K was actually kinda nice. It was an easy out and back. It was well supported and had an excellent number of volunteers. I knew I needed to take it easy the first time out. I was planning to hit 40 minutes on the 5K, my usual time is 37 minutes. I came in dead last for the first 5K but I’m knew I wasn’t going to win so I was just running my race! I pushed my 5K but only hard enough to get it done. I started out a little fast but had a decent time.
5K – 38:59.4 – average pace 12:35mm
Transition 1 – my plan was to fuel quickly, change shoes, and get out on the course. Pretty much went to plan!
Transition time – 2:04
Bike: I’m really starting to love the bike! The only downside is that they didn’t let you mount your bike until the main road, which was a kinda tight area. Also, a decent little walk from the timing mat. I mounted the bike and got on my way. Downside, I was having watch difficulties because I had only practiced multisport mode 1x before the race. Instead of hitting the right button I kept pausing my watch. Since I was racing I said screw it and saved my data and switched to bike mode. I really just wanted to know my speed! The bike course is pretty good. A straight shot down a closed road. Into Starkey Park where you turn around and head back. Easy peasy! The volunteers on course were great! The only issue I ran into is on the way back at a stop light the cops had parked in the middle of the road in front of a road closed sign. Typically, this signals you are supposed to turn right into the community. I yelled “straight???” and a volunteer said “of course”. It was just weird cause this sent me over the yellow lines into the same lane as the bikers going out. Nothing dangerous just confusing. Still, a decent bike course. Since the triathlon apparently started 30 minutes late, I’m guessing it won’t be as nice if I do this race again next year.
Bike course – 39:03. (including walk to mount). time just of biking 10 miles 38:50 or 15.3mph
Transition 2 – 2:00 – I love when they say dismount like I can do a flying dismount. I come to a stop and get off my bike. Not like the guy who came in behind me and looked annoyed and my inability to take my shoes off while dismounting. (bite me). I racked my bike and headed out to the second of my 5K runs.
Run (number 2): Ok, so the second 5K was a lot harder than the first. Not just because I had just run a 5K and biked 10 miles but also because it had gotten hot quickly. I had my intervals set to 45:30 and my plan was to just move when it beeped. As long as I kept shuffling along I would do ok. The second 5K was out 1 mile on the first run course and then back through the community to end at the finish area. UGH! There is ZERO shade in this community. It is on blacktop and it was. just. hot! I mean I know it is Florida but by 10am it is just freaking hot! I trudged along through this and got it done. By mile 2 I was finished. I’m happy to say I left everything on the course. My legs just were not used to doing run/bike/run.
2nd 5K – 41:23 – 13.21mm
Total race time – 2:03:31
All in all, for what it was, it was a really good race. For the most part it is well organized and well done. It had ample volunteer support and community support. It wasn’t super expensive and the amenities are pretty good. The finish line food spread was EXCELLENT. Pizza, cookies, rice & beans, fruit! Just an all around great experience. I highly recommend this duathlon if you happen to be in the Tampa area in the fall.
I also got to rock my new Smashfest Queen kit! I absolutely LOVE the colors and it looks pretty snazzy. I just signed on with a coach to help me get ready for the chilly willy duathlon in January and then start training for my redemption race at Rev3 Williamsburg in July!