June 12, 2010
Race morning started dark and early at 4:30 am. I wanted to leave the house by 5:45. I had some coffee and watched a little tv before loading my bike and my gear in the car. Left the house right on time.
By the time I got to the parking lot, it was about half full. I found a spot right away and then headed over to the timing chip table. I got my race number and age marked on my body, then went back to the car to eat my power bar and relax in the air conditioning for a while. It was very hot and humid already. Temps were in the mid 70s at start and low 80s when the race was over. Of course with the humidity factored in, it felt A LOT hotter!
I headed out toward the water and the race start at about 6:45 am. No one seemed to know where the duathlon start was, so we all just kinda hung around together. Finally about five after 7:00 am, an announcer let us know where to go and told us that we would start in a couple of minutes. The group for the duathlon was very small. It looked like my competition was going to be tough. I kept looking around at the back of women's legs to find who was in my age group, but didn't see anyone.
Finally we were off! The run was only a mile and went by quick. I just had my regular watch on, but it would get my total time for the race. I had no way of knowing my pace. The run back over the sand to the transition area was tough! Lots and lots of loose, deep sand.
I got my bike pretty quick. Took off my visor, put on my helmet and headed out. The woman in front and to the left of me was taking forever to get her feet clipped in, so I went ahead of her on the right. I was worried for a few miles if I was going to get a penalty for that. The ride went pretty good. It felt pretty hard though the whole time. I really wasn't well trained for this. I hadn't been out on my bike much in the past couple of months. I did manage to pass a few people, but I got passed by lots.
The second transition was pretty easy. Jumping off the bike and walking fast into the transition, my muscles were supper tight! I knew once I got running they would loosen up. I got my helmet off and my visor back on. Grabbed my dry wash cloth, I use it to wipe the sweat off my face, and then headed out for the 5K. I ate one powergel bite and drank a little bit of water before really getting into the run. We had to run back over the dry sand and then we were able to run along the water were the sand was hard packed. I could tell most people were really feeling the heat. No shade out there on the beach, so with the heat, it was brutal. I think my once a week run on the beach for the past 3 weeks helped me a lot here because I passed quite a few people on the run. I got water at the stop just before mile two, which in a normal 5K I would not have. Just before the turn around I saw to women that were already heading back. I picked them as my goal people to pass. I actually passed them about 5 minutes later and one was in my age group! I got water again at the next stop and also ate one more gel bite. I just kept thinking "It's almost over, It's almost over." Finally we were heading off the beach toward the finish. I kinda looked behind me to make sure no one was coming fast, and then pushed it hard over the finish line.
I got a couple of drinks and some fruit and sat for a bit to cool off. Then I noticed the Breyers Ice Cream stand. Wow, that oval ice cream bar hit the spot! There was no waiting for the free chair message, so I went and had one of those done. Felt great! I hadn't planned on staying, because the announcer had told us before the race started that the computer was down and we wouldn't have official results until later. So age group awards would be mailed. I hadn't even thought that I might place, but when they informed us that the computer was up and running and that results were posted, I headed over to check them out. I was very surprised to see that I had second place in my age group! There were only 4, but I don't care, that's 2 other people I beat! So, I called Kevin and Aidan and told them I would stick around for the awards. I got some fruit and a couple of drinks and then sat in a shady spot for what turned out to be close to 2 hours before they finally got to the awards!!
Overall I felt like this was a great race. Lots of course support and plenty to eat and drink at the finish. The age group awards are very nice. The shirts aren't so great, but you can't have everything. I might do the duathlon up in Ft Desoto Park in August that is part of the same series. It's a short ride and run, so shouldn't make a bad impact on my marathon training.
Category Place: 2 of 4
Overall Place: 49 of 83
Gender Place: 19 of 43
T1 - 1:04
T2 - 0:56