Sunday was the second race of the season for me and it went pretty well. I went up to Cannon Falls for the FALLS DUATHLON (click THIS for results). The race director emailed the start list out to me the day before and I recognized a handful of names. One of which was Brent Bruessel--we both raced for Peace Coffee Racing the last few years and both live in Kasson. I didn't know he was getting into multisport racing. He's been mtb racing many years and over the last few he's been doing some endurance gravel road races (Ragnarok 105, Almanzo 100). Anyway, I shot him an email on Friday and we ended up carpooling. It was to be, and ended up, his first solo duathlon--congrats to Brent! Over 150 people raced in the Falls Du and when we left, they only had the top 50 posted. Brent didn't make the top 50--it was his first du (and he never did a brick workout before--ever).
As for me, I finished 4th over-all and 4th in my age group. If you're terrible at math you should still be able to figure out that the 3 guys in front of me were all in my age group (they did 10 year AG's for this so it was the 30-39 group). As for how the race went, here you go... The first run was 2 miles and it went ok at I finished in 11:43 so I did sub-6's. It was a nice loop thru some side streets, along and across the river, then hit a section of the Cannon Valley trail for a bit then back to the start/finish/transition area at Hanna's Bend Park. I hit T1 in 7th position and mounted the bike for 14 miles of fun. Within 2 miles on the bike I was in 4th. The WHOLE route was windy!! It was a cross wind so it wasn't so bad as far as wind goes, but it felt bad. By the time the bike section was coming to an end, I was in 3rd and was only 10 seconds or so out of 2nd by the time I was off the bike. Not sure of my bike time, but I averaged around 23.8 mph. (photo courtesy of Steve In A Speedo--see his blog on the right.) The only way I was going to be in 2nd at any point was if I passed Jesse Nelson on the bike--that didn't happen so I would have to catch him on the run. Ok, that was a joke. I didn't have a prayer catching him and his 5 to 5:30 mile pace on foot. As he was leaving T2, I was running toward the exit. He quickly faded into the distance as the gap between us got bigger. Ahead of him, I would find out later, was Troy Vargas--a 35-39 age-grouper. I usually finish ahead of Troy, but today he was on fire! Flashback to the beginning for a second: Ian Lanza and Jesse were way out in front of everyone at the very start of the race, but at mile 12 (of 14) on the bike I closed in on Jesse and Ian as they were just about side by side. A few turns to get us back to the transition area I only saw Jesse. Ian made a wrong turn somewhere, but quickly got back on course just before the bike course ended--that cost him a few seconds. Now back to run 2: He was right on me entering T2. About 1/3 of a mile into run 2, he (Ian) caught me. Soooo..... getting passed by Ian I was back in 4th position and that's where I stayed for the remainder of the race. Run 2 was an out-n-back. About 100 yards from the turn around, Troy and I were crossing (he was about 100 yards running away from it, I was approaching it). Then seconds back from him, Jesse, then Ian. Jesse and Ian both caught Troy with about 1 mile to go in run 2. Jesse continued to expand the gap on both of them by the time the finish line was passing under him. I think he finished in 1:04 and some change, Ian and Troy were 1:05 - 1:06 and I was at 1:07:30 or so. Had I known that Troy was fading I would have kicked it into 'throw-up' mode and tried to snatch 3rd. Oh well. I think I may have scored the fastest bike time, but not sure as the full results aren't posted yet. At the very worst I was 2nd on the bike and Troy posted the fastest bike split. The link at the top of this page will take you to the results, but at the writing of this update the results weren't posted.
On the way home, Brent and I hit Burly Coffee Brand--a coffee shop in Cannon Falls. YOU GOTTA GO THERE. Looks like nothing on the outside, but awesome on the inside. I introduced Brent to the iced soy mocha. SWEET!