race report – Double Oak Duathlon

It’s been quite a while since my last post, but truthfully most of my rides have been early morning rides following the same routes as what I’ve posted about plenty of times before….nothing new to report for the most part.  But, I did get a chance to try my hand at my first multi-sport event, the Double Oak Duathlon.

The duathlon was held April 12th at Oak Mountain State Park and I elected to do the “sprint” distance version.  This consisted of a 5K run (mostly asphalt with some trail), then a 20K pavement ride, followed by a 2.5K run mostly on trails.  It was a great way to try out a multi-sport event, as it was very well-run and was also local so it involved no traveling.

Most of the race for me was a bit of a comedy of errors on my part.  First off, I put the seatpost wrap-around number sticker on my top tube.  Not sure why I did this since I knew better, but I guess I just wasn’t paying attention and then once it was on there was no getting it off without ripping it.  Secondly, I pinned my jersey plate to my chest which effectively blocked out the 41 Flyers Racing logo, whereas most everyone else pinned it down at the bottom front of their jersey.  I would also come to realize while riding my bike that I forgot my glasses.  It wasn’t too sunny, but having the wind/bug protection sure would have been nice.  Also while on the bike, I somehow forgot my gloves.  I spent the whole ride wishing I had made sure to keep my gloves at the transition zone, only to realize after the race was complete that I had put them in my jersey pocket and could have easily put them on at any time.

The race started out with a more-or-less out-and-back run on pavement.  But, on the return leg we detoured onto one of the easy mountain bike trails for the last little bit before hitting the transition zone.  Just before hitting the trail, I was passed by a group of teenage girls….a little humbling, even though they were all part of the US National Junior Team for the southeast region.

Having never done a multi-sport event, the transition zone was not exactly a strength for me.  But, I managed to fumble around quick enough to put on my biking shoes and helmet….but as mentioned above, no glasses or gloves.  The bike leg for me was actually probably my worst leg of the three, as I really had no idea how hard I could push and still have enough in the tank for the final run.  Turns out I could have pushed harder and likely shaved several minutes.  Plus, I was riding my cyclocross bike while the vast majority of the racers were on tri bikes, TT bikes, or really fast road bikes.  In hindsight, I should have asked Bike Link if I could demo one of their tri bikes for the race.  I got my revenge on some of the teenage girls though by passing them on the road.

The last run leg was almost all on trail and I ended up having plenty of energy in the tank to complete it in a respectable time….not a great time, but I never felt winded and could have pushed it harder if I wanted.  But after passing a few people on the trail I had enough daylight in front of me and behind me to not need to dig any deeper.  Running a little faster wouldn’t have gotten me up to the next racer so it just wasn’t worth it.

I had no idea what my placing would be, but I knew I had two other racers in the 40-44 age bracket in front of me.  I stuck around for the podium ceremony and was pleasantly surprised to find out I got third place in my age group.  At first they called me up for second place, but they somehow overlooked one of the racers in front of me and he was able to let them know in time to get his rightful spot and drop me to third.

All in all not a bad way to spend the morning.  I got to meet a few new folks, reconnect with a few others that I had met before, and walk away with a decent placing.  Plus it was a very well put together race, which made it a nice first venture into multisport events.  I am already looking forward to doing the same race next year and improving upon my time.

Some pics are below.

run leg #1 - never noticed before how small my head is

run leg #1 – never noticed before how small my head is

bike leg - notice the lack of glasses and gloves

bike leg – notice the lack of glasses and gloves, but my right arm looks like good muscle

podium - a little sweat stain and some good beard action

podium – a little sweat stain and some good beard action

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