Monday, April 30, 2012

Hagerstown Duathlon #1

Well on April 21st I participated in the Hagerstown Duathlon #1.

This was the 5th year that they have put this on and in the past this race had been plagued by not so good weather. Cold, rainy and windy, much like what we are having right now as I type this up.

Well this year was their year.  It was almost the perfect day. The sun was shining, very low humidity and no rain.  It was a little warm for me though.

This event was put on by  They put on a lot of events in the Hagerstown MD area. On this day they were also doing a kids duathlon as well as a 5k.

So I drove up to Hagerstown, which took about an hours time.

I was able to get checked in, get my bike set up and start trying to relax and go over my "game plan".

My plan was to run pretty hard for the first run leg, just under 2 miles, then comes the bike leg. I was thinking that I could rest a bit on the bike leg as it was not that hilly of a ride. Then with the last 5k just try to survive.
So for my time goals, I was looking for about 17 min for the first run, 33 min for the bike and 30 min for the 5k.  All in all I was hoping for a time better then 1:30 and more along the lines for a 1:20.

So here we go. After the kids du and the 5k, they start the Adult Duathlon.

I stuck with my plan and was running hard, but not at a "sprint".  I would call it just shy of being uncomfortable.

I enter the transition area and get to my bike. I am feeling really good and am excited to see what I can do on the bike route.
Now I am not an expert or elite athlete to the multi-sport event venue, however I am no newbie either.   I feel comfortable with the different "rules" around the event. It was interesting to look around and it was easy to pick out those that have not participated in a high profile event. Not a complaint mind you, just an observation.  Now I did go back and read the website and it says that it is going to be chipped timed and that there are no additional sanction charges for the race.
It does state that you need to have an approved helmet with chin strap fastened.  Drafting is not allowed, not that I saw any race officials on the course.  Also, the courses were open to vehicular traffic and that you would need to obey all traffic rules/laws etc. 

So some of the things that I saw.  Girl got on bike while still in the transition area. A couple of people wearing headphones - on the run, did not see any on the bike.  I did see a couple bikers pass on the right instead of the left.

So I get out on the bike course and go out on my way. We traveled on roads that were opened to traffic but no big deal as they had volunteer there to assist us.

The bike was fairly easy as there were no real hard climbs. Just had to watch out for traffic that's all.  There was one instance were I was making a right where a semi truck (coming towards us) was making a left. As he made the turn wide I had to slow down and almost stop so I would not gotten crushed between him and the guard rail.

So I come into transition off of the bike. My legs did feel a bit wobbly as I had suspected they would. I rack my bike get my shoes on and start on the last run.

It was a little difficult getting started.

I could tell that the heat was starting to get to me. My calves were starting to twinge, so I backed off a little bit. The run was not too hilly but it did have some elevation change.

I felt a bit defeated as I did stop to walk a bit, but I mustered on.

So I took a couple of deep breaths and started to move forward slowly step by step. I started to feel a bit better and started to get into a groove.

It was tough and I think the combination of the heat and the pollen bothered me more then I wanted to let on.  But the water stops help as I was able to pour some water over my head and splash some in my face.  They had indicated that they were going to have Heed sports drink on the course, but all everyone was yelling was water.

Well I finally was able to cross the finish line.

In my age group there were 13 of us. For the first leg of the run I was in 8th place with a time of 15:02. My first transition was 1:38 (need to work on that) For the bike leg I was 9th in a time of 32:44 my second transition was 1:30 and the final run I was in 11th with a time of 31:11. My final total was 10th place (age group) in a time of 1:22:02

There were 107 participants and I finished 77th.

Over all I was satisfied with my performance. I really enjoyed this event and I am looking forward to doing another one either number 2 in Oct or this one again next year.  There is also an event in the summer and it is listed as a USA Triathlon sanctioned Event.  (so no riding your bike in the transition area).

Well that is all for now.  This was my third duathlon. Looking to get more in.  I guess I will need to become a member of USA Triathlon

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