Last Saturday a couple of Big Ring Racing mountain bikers put on different hats and competed in the Ottawa Riverkeeper Duathlon and Triathlon. Kari is a seasoned veteran of triathlons and this was a piece of cake for her compared to her Ironman, but this was my first "real" attempt at something like this. I took up running last year just for something to do at lunch at work. I've been running with a friend, never getting out of zone 1, and did the Ottawa Race Weekend half-marathon recently alongside her. I figured this was my chance to try something new.
Upon arrival, I immediately ran into Kari and set my bike up next to hers in the transition area. Kari felt that this would be a good time to clean her bike and lube her chain for what appeared to be the first time in 3 years, but was in a hurry as she needed to hit the potties before the rapidly approaching race starting time. I took over bike cleaning on her behalf. I also adjusted her gears a bit which seemed off and tightened her brakes. The announcer casually mentioned something about the race starting. No sign of Kari. I waited around as long as I could then sprinted to my start line. The duathlon started with a 5k run and I watched the swimmers leaping into the water, sans Kari who was still at the potty. Seasoned veteran that woman.
My cunning strategy was not to go out too fast on the first run, blow everyone away on the 45km bike, then hold people off on the final 10k run. Didn't happen.
Here's Kari looking like a true tri-geek with her decked out bike and serious look:
Meanwhile, I finished the run as planned in amongst a bunch of people who clearly had eaten a bit too much over the past 40 years. Hit the bike with confidence. But I didn't seem to be catching anyone. Sure, I passed two or three people, but two people passed me. I was not pleased. I was truly surprised to see some of these folks riding so fast. They did appear to be pushing pretty hard I had to admit, but I was chunking along only about 3 beats under threshold myself, a pace I held (without dropping in velocity) the full distance. I finished the 45 km in 1:20 which I was pleased with. I tried to tell myself I'd have done better had there been any hills to speak of instead of such a flat course.
Part of my problem appears to be that I have terrible roadie posture. First of all I seem to be smiling, secondly I'm sitting up like a goof, and finally what's with all that flabby ass business going on? I know, I know, the camera adds ten pounds, but just how many cameras could possibly have been trained on my butt? Three?
We ended with a 10k run. As I said, I'm not a runner and all I really knew was that I did a 10k run Terry Fox run in 45 minutes 5 years ago and it almost killed me.
Well, I felt just fine. In fact, the 1:20 on the bike seemed to have allowed me to recover and I had an easy time doing a 45:30 10k, passing everyone who'd gone by me on the bike and catching a few people who'd been ahead of me all along. I now felt better about my biking. I may not be fast, but I can go at a decent clip for some time without it affecting me.
I was in at the finish a full 15 minutes faster than my "best" estimate had been pre-race so overall I was very happy with the day. I got to watch Kari cruise home like it had been a typical day for her:
In the end, both Kari and I finished 9th overall. Thanks to being old however, I was first (of 6) in my age group, while Kari was 3rd in hers. Two podium finishes for Big Ring Racing! Maybe our new motto should be "We excel when there is very little competition."
It was a fun day.