Well, I found myself getting back in the mix this morning at the Big Sky Duathlon - 2.5 mile run, 15.5 mile bike, 2.5 mile run (www.racingunderground.com) in the pleasant community of Bennett, CO. It has been about five years since my last duathlon. Friday evening I felt like a kid getting ready for the first day of school as I organized my race day bag. Darren & his crew put on a great event and I really enjoyed the low-key atmosphere. The FastForward training group from Boulder had a strong presence with several podium finishes including the top two elite women...way to go Sunny & Lianne! Of course my favorite part was talking a bit o'smack with Ivy, Scott & Randy from FastForward. Here's a quick re-cap:
The runs were two loops through a small neighborhood with one dirt trail section (my favorite part). The bike was an out & back affair over gently rolling terrain.
First Run (12:30) - Our wave included the elite men & women. Joshua Merrick was off like a bullet. Man this guy has some wheels. Justin Hurd was second, Leroy Popowski third with me just a few yards back. Joshua & Justin were heading out on their bikes as I entered T1. One of my goals was to have quick transitions. I was swift through T1 and started the bike just ahead of Leroy in third place.
Bike (36:55) - My hold on third was brief as Leroy quickly went to work on the fastest bike split of the day and passed me just outside of transition. Another goal I had was to respond to any surges from other athletes. My quads were tight and Leroy was gone. I continued to press my effort through the rollers, but never found any kind of range. About six miles into the bike, Jim Hallberg passed me and I fought hard to stay with him for a bit. I thought if I could stay with Jim he might help bridge me up to Justin who was still in my sights. Through the turn-around Jim soon began to open a gap on me which I could not close...dang! Although I was frustrated with how my legs were feeling, I continued to stay positive. As I entered T2 I could see Jim just leaving the transition area for his second run...is the gap too big??
Second Run (13:42) - The transition to the second run felt really good. I was enjoying the experience of racing in good health and went to work on cutting into Jim's lead. Through the first loop I could see I was gaining on him and held my foucs on maintaining a quick turnover. As we continued the second loop I enjoyed seeing some friends on the course. My form felt comfortable & relaxed. I soon realized I did not have enough realestate to catch Jim, but was exuberant upon crossing the line and congratulating the guys for their efforts.
This was a very fun event and gave me and Coach Z a good snap shot of my run as I prepare for BSLT 70.3 in two weeks!
Keep it smooth...