10 May 2015

Tri - Du - Run for Your Cause - 5/9/15

I raced the duathlon yesterday morning at BBSC's Tri-Du-Run for Your Cause at Lake Mead near Boulder City, NV.  I signed up for this race months ago to lock in the early bird price when the registration first opened up so I have been looking forward to it for a while.

Packet pickup was Friday afternoon at McGhie's in Henderson, NV.  Packet pickup for local BBSC races is always nice because we know the owners and a lot of volunteers from Las Vegas Tri Club events and other BBSC races. The packets contained t-shirts, bibs, chips with ankle bands, samples from sponsors and assorted flyers and catalogs from sponsors.

On race morning, we were up at 4:15 AM for breakfast and loading the car. I set all of my gear, bike included, in the living room the night before so I was prepped and ready to go pretty quickly. After that, we made the hour drive to the lake and got there right as the transition opened at 6 AM.  My wife made the rare decision to not race the triathlon for this event and went straight to her volunteer duty as a body marker.  I set up my bike, helmet and shoes in my section of the transition area and then went to find her to get my arms and calf marked with my race number.

Almost halfway through Run #1
My first impression of the race area was that it was a little chilly. It was overcast and the temperature gauge on the car was showing 54 degrees with the forecast not scheduled to warm up much.  There was a bit of joking/grumbling from the triathlete crowd about getting in the water to warm up (water temps were in the mid 60s). At 7 AM, the first triathlon group started their swim and groups started out into the water every five minutes after that through 7:45.

A few minutes before 8 AM, the race director called all runners (duathletes and the 5K/10K crowd) to the run start for final instructions. While getting the instructions, I doffed my sweatshirt and handed it to my wife.  I also made a quick decision to put on my cycling gloves before the start of the first 5K so I wouldn't have to mess with them in transition.  Once the directions were done, the air horn blasted and we were off.  The 5K route was an out/back route with the first mile being on dirt/rocks with the first 3/4 being level and the next 1/4 uphill. After reaching the top of the hill, the course turned onto a paved road that took us to the turnaround. After that, is was back along the paved section to the dirt/rock final mile. There was an aid station set up on the paved section right where it met the dirt/rock section.

As I ran the final straight section over the rocks to the transition, I mentally rehearsed my steps for when I got to my bike.  Visor off.  Helmet on. Running shoes off. Cycling shoes on. Bike off rack. Hustle to the mount line and get on bike.  Transition went just like I mentally rehearsed and I was away on the Cervelo.

The first .42 miles are not a fast start to the out/back 12.4 mile course since it is a climb from Boulder Beach to Lakeshore Road and climbs a little over 100 feet in that distance. Combine that with zero momentum with the uphill coming immediately after transition and it made for a slow grinding start on the bike. However, once I made it to the top of that hill, I was able to shift gears and pick up the pace.  On the way back, I did hit some good headwinds as I crested a ridge around the 8.5 mile mark but overall, it felt like a good ride.
bike elevation chart
As I came down the hill back to the transition area, I once again began to mentally rehearse transition.  Unclip before the dismount line.  Hop off bike and run with it to the rack. Rack bike. Take off helmet. Switch shoes. Run.  This one didn't go as smooth as the first during the donning of my running shoes.  Prior to the race, I made a decision to wear my Hokas instead of my race flats with quick laces due to the rocky terrain on the running course.  While it was the correct decision for the terrain, getting the laces tightened and tucked away made for a slower transition than other racers who entered the transition right after me.  After that the shoes were on, I headed back out onto the course for the second 5K.  As I began the run, I peeled off my gloves and shoved them into the pockets on my jersey.  Shortly after that, I mentally kicked myself for not putting on my visor in transition.  On the beginning of this run, my pace felt pretty slow.  I had a bit of a groin strain going on and didn't feel like I could open up my stride.  Once I got to the pavement section, I opened it up a little bit more and pushed relatively hard on the downhill section.
After I crossed the finish line, I gave my wife a quick kiss across the fence and then got my finisher's medal and handed in my ankle band with chip.  I walked straight to my bike and grabbed my bottle of Powerade off the back of it.  After chugging half the bottle down, I went to check my times.  I finished with an overall time of 1:49:24 which was good for 12th out of 39 finishers.  My split times broke down to 26:07 for Run 1, 50:40 for the bike, and 29:23 for Run 2.  Overall, I am happy with the times. I will get another chance to race this course in September and look forward to improving those times to get sub 1:45.

Next up - another duathlon at the Sand Hollow Tri-Du-Run at the end of this month in Hurricane, UT