Monday, July 22, 2013

Race Report: Big Sky Duathlon by Jeremy Geer

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I was originally supposed to be traveling to Phoenix this past weekend for work.  I got the word on Thursday that I would not need to go, so I made some arrangements to participate in the Big Sky Duathlon out in Bennett, CO.  The Big Sky DU is only a 4K run, 25K bike, 4K run, so it's a little bit shorter then normal.

Nutritionally, I didn't do too much to prep for this race because it was a last minute entry.  I didn't use any Race Day Boost in the days prior.  In the morning, I had my normal packet of oatmeal and vitamins.  When I arrived in Bennett, I took my normal-workout dose of 1 x Mito cap, 1 Anti-Fatigue cap, and 2 x Endurolytes.  Similar to the Northside Stride 5K a few weeks ago, I sipped on one of my aging cans of Monster energy drink during the drive over, drinking about 1/3rd of the can.  About 15 min's before the gun, I took a serving of Hammer Tropical gel.

Also due to the short notice, I didn't rent any race wheels or do any tapering leading up to it.  In a race of this distance, though, I don't believe that it would have made a whole lot of difference.

The run course is very flat and fast.  I was in the first wave, and we shot out like a cannon.  Everyone was on the same page: this was a short race so burn it all up.  My first mile was 30 seconds faster then the target I had come up with in my head during the drive, so I backed down a bit for the remaining 1.5 miles of Run 1.  My split was 15:44 and I finished with two other guys that I was guessing were in my age group.

The bike course is an out and back with rolling hills, and the target I had in my head was to maintain Z4 power on the bike ride.  I was struggling to stay consistent because of the rolling hills, so I just concentrated on being consistent on any flats or gradual inclines - I wasn't going to focus on the downhills.  One of the guys I finished the run with seemed to be staying right with me on the ride as we yo-yoed back and forth a couple times.  At the turnaround, I swallowed 1 x Mito cap, 1 x Anti-Fatigue cap, and 2 x Endurolytes and a serving of Hammer Tropical gel.  I also gave myself 16 oz. of water but I only finished about 12 oz.  The end of the bike leg was more dramatic then it needed to be: as I hopped off the bike with my shoes still in the pedals, one of the shoes caught and popped the bike up in the air.  I didn't lose a shoe like last time, but I later figured out I had somehow managed to pop my chain off.  My bike split was 42:26 with an average speed of 21.9 MPH.

As I exited transition for the second time, I noticed the guy I had finished Run 1 with and traded spots with on the bike was right ahead of me.  I knew he was a strong runner from our first run, so I knew I had my work cut out for me.  The beginning of the run course has four quick turns and blind spots, and by the time we got onto a straightaway where I could see him again, he had created a gap that I figured was about 30 to 45 seconds.  I put it in cruise control for the first mile, hoping he had gone too fast off the bike and would blow up.  I picked up the pace at the mile mark, but I was  not reeling him in as quickly as I hoped - I was going faster, but he was not fading.  I never caught him, and finished Run 2 in 16:07.

In the end, it was a second place age group finish, 27 seconds back from first, and 16th overall.  My overall time was 1:15:46, a little over 6 minutes faster then I managed last year riding my mountain bike.  Obviously, most of my time was shaved riding a TT bike vs. MTB, but I did shave nearly 1.5 minutes off my run splits as well.  I talked to the guy I had been chasing and found out he is also a long-time runner who picked up multisport about two years ago.  He was very friendly and I'm really hoping he does the third and final race of the Mile High Duathlon Series (the Westside Duathlon) since we are similarly set up to race and could pace off each other.

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