Tuesday, March 12, 2013

South Bay Duathlon

This race blew me away. 10K run, 40K TT and 5K run, Morgan Hill. So, as often in my running races, I go out with the leaders, and that's a mistake: I'm unaware that in the small field (about 130) there are two young pros who are really good runners, who go out at sub-5 minute mile pace. And, unfortunately, I decide to let them go only after about one mile, a mile which really hurts. They finish the 10K slower than they started, but still in the 33's. I get passed by a third guy (who finishes in the low 34's) and get to transition in 35:08, which is actually a relatively good 10K time for me.

On the bike I feel good, and blow past the third guy at the first curve (in the end I will give him 13' on the bike leg!), but despair of getting anywhere close to the two pros, who have about 2' on me (in fact more, since as always my transition is not fast, while theirs is). So I settle into my own pace, for the 5x8K course, and go through the first 2-3 laps at a consistent high-12' (high 23 mph) pace. The loop has quite a few turns, and is not closed to traffic, and has one short but steep incline.

So at the end of loop #3 I blow past the guy in second on the incline, and I spot the lead motorcycle, and think I could actually reel in the guy in the lead. I push a little (I end up with a couple of about 12:30-12:40 laps) and sure enough I blow past the guy in the lead at the beginning of the last lap. He stares at me rather surprised when I pass him, and I have time to look at him and say "hello, how is it going?".

Although drafting is not legal, I see his shadow several times behind me, and surely he keeps me in close sight, so despite going relatively hard I get to transition in first place but with him on my heels. Unfortunately, he has a superfast transition while I don't, in fact his is 20" faster than mine, and he gets out just a bit before me. He then takes off, and I think in the final 5K I really paid big time for my early fast miles in the 10K run, way more than for the very consistent bike leg.

In the end the guy in second passes me as well half way through the 5K, and almost catches the guy in first with a stupid fast 5K, and I finish 3rd about one minute back but more than 4' before the next guy in fourth. I get the fastest bike time (1:04:01, the second fastest bike turns out to be a Cat 2 38 years old guy from Berkeley, Erick Pierce, with 1:04:37, but luckily he isn't a menacing runner).

In the end, to my amusement, on the podium the race director compliments me for the bike leg etc... too bad I'm not just as good a runner... Moral of the story: I was depressed for my lack of prowess on the final 5K, but very pleased and excited with the returns that the bike training with the Team has paid off so far!

1 comment:

Dennis the Mennis said...

Awesome write-up! I have personally witnessed how fast you are on a bike.