Sunday, October 04, 2009

2009 Riverport Duathlon - Race Report

I am nothing if not consistent.Under rainy,albeit fairly warm,skies I competed in the 2009 running of the Riverport Duathlon(4km/28km/4km). My plan heading into the event was to better my benchmark time set last year; a 49th overall placing(14/21 in my age group)with a time of 1:38:07.

That said my running has been sporatic at best this summer as I admit I was definitely lax about my training.Part of it had to do with my purchase of a new road bike in late July and my desire to get the "bike fit" zoomed in for the remainder of the cycling season. Time spent on the bike should have been time spent on the run knowing the duathlon was soon approaching. The good thing is I am loving the new Giant and feel so much stronger as a cyclist. The carbon fiber frame, fork and seatpost make for such a smooth comfortable ride.

Knowing that I expected to suffer more on the runs but expected better results on the bike.With that mindset I headed off to the South Shore with some trepidation knowing the weather forecast was for heavy rain and wind. The only question would be when it started so I hoped the 10AM start would be early enough to avoid the lousy weather.

The first 4km run went as expected and I lived up to my reputation of being a slow starter. I dread the first run as it feels like my worse segment of the race. I need to suffer miserably before I can get comfortable and in a tempo I am capable of maintaining over the duration of the event.Heading into transition I finished the first run in 62nd position with a split of 20.04, 49 seconds slower than 2008. Not a surprise.

The transition to the bike was slower than I hoped but once on two wheels I felt prime. I`m sure it is a mental thing knowing that cycling is my stronger sport so I pushed hard in an attempt to gain back some ground on the field. The conditions were crappy with lots of water on the road. At one point I nailed a pothole that was filled with water and just looked like a puddle. There were a few anxious moments waiting to hear the PSSSSSSSS of a pinch flat that,thankfully,didn`t happen. I was happy with my ride and passed about 15 riders heading back to transition. I ended up posting a time of 52.14(32.2kph average speed)and finished the cycling leg with the 27th best time,an improvement of six places over 2008.

The transition to the second run was agonizingly slow. Wet socks into wet sneakers led to a wet tongue scrunched up on my foot so I had to remove the shoe and try again. Then I started to leave only to return after a couple strides to my bike to drop off the pump and multitool in my jersey pocket.I didn`t want both of them bouncing around on the run. Once back on the course I felt good but was slower than the first four kilometers of running. I suppose that is to be expected. I felt much better, however,and was able to control my breathing and heart rate - a definite improvement over the first run. I finished the second run in 68th place with a time of 25.53 which was the exact same as 2008. Go figure? The only difference was in 2008 I finished in 66th place so I dropped two spots in 2009.

My overall time for todays race was 1:38:11 for 48th overall(out of eighty competitors)with a 15/20 placing in my age group.In comparison to my 2008 numbers I gained one position overall but was 4 seconds slower in 2009 and one position lower in my age group.As I indicated at the beginning I am nothing if not consistent!(wink)

The body feels good tonight with some stiffness in the legs but ankles, knees and lower back are fine. To be truthful I experienced more discomfort on Friday from the first Thursday of ball hockey than I have from today`s duathlon. It`s all good. With the conclusion of today`s race the 2009 race season is finished as I switch over to the start of Sunday/Thursday ballhockey for the Fall/Winter season.

Photo compliments of BTC. KO,a teammate from the Bridgewater ballhockey league during the 80`s was marshalling and snapped the photo about a kilometer from the finish. Been years since we met and it was good to see him,albeit fleetingly.

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