Note, night before Michelle and I stayed at the house of one of the most powerful cyclists I know, Paul, and we had quite possibly the best pre-race meal ever: A huge steaming pot of slop. It had brown rice, potatoes, chicken, different kinds of beans, spinach and mushrooms, and probably more stuff that I don't remember. It was an awesome meal.
Race morning, good weather, a little chilly, which is good for a duathlon. Don't want to get too hot, right? Right. Porta-potty evacuation went well, except for the one potty that everyone avoided because someone went all over the seat. Come on, people. I lined up with Michelle and Erik Reitinger, who finished a spot in front of me at that weird Doylestown Duathlon. Pleasantries exchanged and memories conjured, it was time to race!
Run 1 had me out in front, running 5:15 average for 1.5 miles, and it felt comfortable. Had Erik and James Braconnier right behind me, but I took an extra step to get into T1 first and have the fastest Run 1 on the day.
I also had the fastest T1, so I was out on the bike first. That didn't last. Erik, a far superior biker, charged ahead and I fumbled with my shoes on the bike. I let him get about 50 metersahead and that was a mistake. I ended up getting further and further behind as the ride went on. However, I was getting further and further AHEAD of everyone else. From 2 miles in, I never saw anyone behind me. I did see Erik in front of me until the last 3 miles, when he built up his 2 minute lead into T2. I averaged 23.5 mph and 4th fastest split, decent pace considering I was alone and there was a noticeable headwind. Racked 002 and started the run.
However, it was a weird run. Erik was 2 minutes ahead of me, and I knew he wasn't much slower than me... at the same time I was at least 90 seconds ahead of the guy behind me. I decided to put in a hard run but not kill myself and risk injury... I'd have to kill myself to catch Erik, so I put in 5:45 pace for 5k and finished 2nd overall (fastest 5k run time also)! In the money too, $100, my first multisport cash prize. Cool!
Michelle flatted out of T1 and took way too long to change her tire, but she put in a mighty 22 mph (effortless, she says) and passed Leslie Randall, who was leading thanks to Michelle's bike mishap, at mile 1 of the run... and CRUSHED her, along with many male souls as she cruised past them on the run to put in the 4th best run split in the race, coming in at an (inaccurate) 18th overall... if she had those 5-7 minutes back she'd be top 6. Scary. 1st female and $150 to the lady with the pigtails.
I think that was a great way to end the season for both of us. For me, I am incredibly anxious to pound away on the bike this winter and not get bashed on the bike anymore as I was by Erik at this race. I'm looking to make 24.5-25 mph a reality during this offseason.