Bill has taken pictures at several Great Lakes Multisport events, and always told me their races are well run.
I wanted to do a triathlon, but fortunately procrastinated on signing up for one for this weekend. Early week temperatures in the 90s sounded great for a swim-bike-run, but Wednesday night our temps dropped 40 degrees, and the rest of the week was in the 50s. That's a little cold for a triathlon, but perfect for a duathlon.
As many of you know, I am training for Ironman Wisconsin on September 11. I am nervous about the bike and swim. I don't have much experience with competitive biking or swimming, and want to work on those.
So, a duathlon will give me at least one of those. I also like to use races as training excercises by racing under fatigued conditions. My main focus is Ironman, so everything else I do all summer is intended to prepare me for that. Participating in a race following a week of intense training is a great way for me to push hard on tired legs. Something I will need to do during Ironman.
The downside is that you pay money to not do your best. Its a trade I am willing to make.
So we head out to the South Shore Duathlon. My goal is to run and bike hard enough to be slightly uncomfortable, and see what kind of pace and placement that gets me. I know where I stand as a runner, but I just don't have a good feel for how I do on the bike, compared to other competitors. I am hoping this will help my confidence. On the other hand, if it doesn't go well, it could completely crush my spirits and send me off to cry in a corner somewhere.
We arrive at Cudahy High School, register, get my bike set up in the transition area. The event is a 2 mile run, a 10 mile bike, then a 2 mile run. Run 2 is the exact same course as run 1. The bike course goes north from the high school about 2 miles, 180 degree turn, then goes south past the high school, 180 degree turn, then back to the high school.
The event uses a wave start. 1 - 50 go first, 51 - 100 start a minute later, 101 - 150 another minute later, and then 151 and up follow another minute later. I am 216, so I am in the last wave.
Run 1 had the level of effort that I wanted, but was a bit of a disappointment with pace: 15 min for 2 miles. I don't like it, but its not really worrying me, considering the running miles I've been logging.
The bike course was pretty flat, but we did have some wind coming off the lake. I ended up averaging just over 18 mph, which didn't crush my spirits, but ranked me barely in the top half of the field for the bike portion. I've got some work to do this summer.
Run 2 ended up being the exact same pace as run 1, but it was a higher rank overall than the first run. Again, I am not terribly excited about this pace, but not losing sleep over it either. I am hoping I can blame it on tire legs due to a tough training schedule.
The event was well organized, the course was well marked, the weather was perfect. I would definitely recommend this event. The field of just over 200 was a great size. It gave me experience riding with others, without overwhelming me.
The South Shore Duathlon was race #2 in a series of 5 events. The first was on May 21st. The upcoming ones are:
Shoreline ~ Aug 20 ~ Concordia University ~ 2 mile run, 22 mile bike, 2 mile run
Kettleman ~ Sep 25 ~ Long Lake Recreation Area, Dundee, WI ~ 2 mile run, 22 mile bike, 2 mile run
Lake Country ~ Oct 16 ~ Oconomowoc, WI ~ 3 mile run, 33 mile bike, 3 mile run