Darren came to X3 in early 2018 with a few goals for his season. One was to win a race – an outright win, mind you, not just age group. This past weekend, he did just that. It goes without saying that we’re all super proud of him! Here’s the report.
I’m quite happy with the result!
The long course duathlon was a really small race this year, but with all of the duathletes starting at the same time, regardless of distance, it made for an energetic experience.
I arrived race morning well rested with almost 8 hours sleep. Magic. There were several old friends competing so it was like a reunion before we started.
Socializing aside, having warmed up well beforehand, I went out fast on the first run, ready to fend off challenges and hopefully tire people out. I heard footsteps behind me and thought it was my friend Kathy, which would be a good thing as we could work together. Then I hit the turnaround and saw it was another guy from my race. (I later learned his name is Charles and he’s from Sudbury.) The 1 km back to transition was a slight downhill so I pushed it and dropped him.
On the bike, I rode scared! In a silly mistake, I hadn’t reset my Garmin after my warmup, so it was inaccurate for the first few km. (Luckily, I race with two: one on my wrist and another on my bike and I still had the data from the former.) The roads were surprisingly bumpy this year and my VR bottle containing my flat kit catapulted off my bike when I hit a bump on the first 11 km lap! Ah well, I got it back after the race. I focused on my position, holding a high power output, and remembered how my training prepared me well for this course.
At the turnaround points, I saw Charles behind me in a tight aero position, slowly gaining time. He eventually caught me at about 19 km and when he made the pass, I kept him in sight. I tailed him about 10-15 seconds behind all the way to T2, watching to see his technique and what I would need to do to regain the lead. When I saw he didn’t do a flying dismount, I did one and made my move, leaving him behind.
I’m quite happy with my bike performance, except the sports psychology of passing: next time, I want to pass back when someone passes me. (After the race, Charles told me he actually wanted me to pass him as he didn’t know how to pace
the bike leg! You never know what a competitor is thinking.) Sometimes I am too quick to let someone go and just “keep them in sight.” That can be risky business in a race situation…
Following a fast T2, on my second run I ran scared. I went by feel and despite only one brick training workout this season, my leg turnover was quick, even as I had to run on the grass and unstable surfaces. When I saw Charles at the turnaround I figured I had it, but still pushed hard and didn’t glance back until the final 200 metres. When we spoke later, Charles shared that this was his first duathlon and that he comes from a cycling background. He will be back for more, including some MultiSport Canada events later in the season. I think we’ve got a great new addition to the du community in Ontario!
The race is no frills and so they didn’t have timing mats at every entrance to transition, which meant run splits on Sportstats are combined with T1 and T2. Roughly speaking, I’ve pieced together my splits, although I’m still missing a few seconds somewhere.
The race by the numbers:
2k – 7:23 – 3:37/km
33k – 49:58 – 39.62 km/hr – NP 281W!
5k – 18:42 – 3:51/km
I am seriously limping now with an inflamed tendon. I iced it earlier and just finished a hot/cold water rotation. I will be taking it easy until it is back under control. My next big race isn’t until July, so I’ve got time to recover.
Thank you for all of the coaching – it is working well and I hope to keep building from here!