Life as a triathlete, Vehicross's and off-roading

First race 2012

A little late but here it is…

3-10-12 I raced the TriSports.com Desert Classic Duathlon at Fountain Hills, Az.’s McDowell Mt. Park. This has been a traditional first race for several years. The course is a lung buster…especially this early in the season. The race consists of a 3.65 mile opening trail run, 30 mile bike and 3.75 mile closing trail run.

I arrived at the race site early (I don’t like to be in a rush). I racked my bike and then proceeded to packet pick-up. Afterwards I set up my transition area. I then caught up with a few old friends. About 20 minutes prior to start time I went out for a 10 minute warm up run. The legs felt pretty good.

I was to start in the 4th wave (men 35 and over). Pro men were off first followed by pro women and men 35 and under/relays.

I toed the line up front and on the inside. The horn sounded and we were off. The lead group went out hard in attempt to get good position before the road turned to trail. I was just off the back of the front group of about 8-10 as we entered the trail section. The opening run trail is rolling with plenty of twists and turns. I was running hard and maintained a strong pace.

Entered transition with a run time of 23:11 (6:22/mile pace).

T1 went smooth. Shoes off, helmet on and away I went 48 seconds later.

The 30 mile bike is a mixture of large and small rollers with a few longer climbs thrown in. I quickly got into a solid pace and onto my aero bars. My bike legs came to me quickly and I found myself zipping through the slower athletes from the earlier waves. At the first turn around I got a look at the leaders positions and did a quick check of the watch. The wind was whipping up a bit but I felt good. At the second turn around I saw that I was closing the gap on some of the leaders. Entering back into the park the road turns a little rough. On the park loop I closed the gap and passed a few of the guys that were ahead of me. I then enjoyed the last 3-4 miles of the bike…slight downhill and fast!

Bike split 1:24:44 (21.2mph avg.)

A quick dismount and into transition. Helmet off, shoes on and I was gone 35 seconds later.

The second trail run is several degrees harder than the first. Short, steep up and down hills, rocky sections and one really evil hill at mile 2 (1/4 mile at 20% grade). Lots of technical twists and turns (which caused a few of the leaders to get lost). I enjoy these type of runs since I train on similar trails. My legs were screaming but I maintained a strong pace. I picked off a few more athletes while only surrendering one spot to a fellow Team TriSports athlete. After scrambling up the hill at mile 2 it was mostly all downhill from there. I finished strong with a 29:15 (7:39/mile pace) second run.

I crossed the finish line in 2:17:57! 10th amatuer overall and 3rd in the 45-49 agegroup.

As a reward for a strong season opener I enjoyed an awesome burger from Joe’s Farm Grill on the way home!

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