Sep. 9, 2006

Wasaga Beach Duathlon

Wasaga Olympic Triathlon start?I was out the door at 5:00 AM this morning with a club mate for my last race of the year, the Wasaga Beach Olympic Triathlon. It was still pitch dark and we passed several groups of teenagers coming home from parties on our way out of town. We arrived shortly after dawn and even had time to divert from our route to follow the bike course and check for problem areas.

We got to the parking lot to find strong (and chilly) winds were driving breaking waves onto the beach. In the end the swim was cancelled and instead we had an "International Distance" Duathlon. I'd never considered a Duathlon before, so I was uncertain how to prepare for it. The race was broken down into a 10K run, a 40K bike and another 5K run.

My overall time was 2:29:29, which translated to 101 out of 343 and 13 out of 36 in my 45-49 age group. I have nothing to compare this too as I've never raced a Duathlon before and have never raced these distances.

First leg: 10K run (two loops of an out-and-back 5K course). 43:03, 4:19 min/k, 86 of 343. The run was along the shore starting on a raised boardwalk, crossing a short section of sand and then following a long road section. The run felt pretty good except for crossing the sand.

My T1 time was 3:26. The transition times were all very long because the run in was over a long stretch of soft sand and the bike mount point was pretty far down the road.

Second leg: 40K bike (single loop). 1:16:28, 31.4 kph, 100 of 343. This is where things got weird. I felt strong and thought I was holding my own, but I didn't recognise the course I had just driven over an hour before at all! Turns out there was a reason for that, I had driven last year's course. There were some strong winds, but not unbearable. I felt good here on my bike, passing quite a few riders. On the way back in there was a short section of unstable and bumpy gravel which was not fun. We had to ride single file through it. We also crossed over it on the way out and I noticed an distraught rider who seemed to have crashed there.

T2 was 3:12, again because of the time it took to run in with my bike and then run out over the soft sand.

Third leg: 5K run (one lap of the run course). 23:22, 4:41 min/k, 121 of 343. All I can say is this run was survival mode. My pace wasn't massively slower, but it sure felt tougher. I managed to pass two racers in my age category on the final part of the boardwalk, which was satisfying.

Afterwards my legs felt (still feel!) pretty sore. The total run was 15K, which is furthest I've run and the bike, while not the furthest I've ridden, was the longest distance I've raced. (I know, I'm a wimp.) I've signed up for a Half Marathon in October, so I'll be adding more distance to my runs now.

I tried using my iPod nano's pedometer accessory during the run. It worked well, so when I got home I was able to see that my pace was consistent within each run. The iPod stayed in my pocket, I wasn't listening to it... My other trick was bringing a small dispenser of hand sanitiser. Once again the Portapotties didn't have any.

Listening to: Give a Little Bit by Goo Goo Dolls from Let Love In.

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