It's been nine years since I traveled south of the Dixie to compete at Powerman Alabama. This year's race served as the US Elite Duathlon National Championship and went back to its roots with the 10k-60k-10k format featuring an international field. The course was stellar being held at Oak Mountain State Park which provided plenty of rolling hills, twists & turns on both the bike & run. I particularly enjoyed the 12pm race start!
10k run (33:55) - Holy makerel did these guys go out fast, as in 5:08 average, for the first 10k. My goal was to maintain contact with the leaders and even that proved a challenge as the rubberband was stretched to the max. After a a short 200 meters the run shot up a tough hill to set the tone for the day. I stayed controlled through the first run, perhaps a bit too soft, coming into T1 in 10th position and about two minutes down from the leaders.
60k bike (1:39:17) - Exiting T1 I had my mind set on working hard and trying to bridge back up to the first chase pack, including Matt Russell, David Thompson and Ryan Guiliano. Through the first loop I was losing some time and really didn't feel too great. My legs came around though early in the second loop and I was able to start riding back to the some of the guys. By the end of the second loop I caught Derek Yorek who led the race early in the bike with a blistering 31:30 first run. Throughout the final loop I was feeling stronger passing Guiliano and Josh Merrick.
10k run (36:32) - Finishing the bike strong I was looking forward to the final run. Although I was unable to see the competition because of the wooded, hilly course I focused on staying relaxed while trying to push the pace. Unfortunately, I think I had a bit of a mental disconnect and seemed content with running within my comfort zone. The temp started to heat up and I was feeling very smooth. While I closed the gap on a few of the guys, I maintained my position off the bike finishing 7th overall.
Big props to the crew of Team Magic for putting on an outstanding race over a tough, honest course. Kudos to Joerie Vansteelant (Belgium) and Marisa Asplund (USA) for their overall wins as well as my teammates Jessica Jacobs (2nd) & Uli Bromme (4th).
This was a super fun race to kick things off for 2010 and looking forward to getting in the mix in two weeks at the Superfrog Half Ironman.
Keep it smooth...