To add some fun this year, I bought along Phil Graves, UK Ironman winner from 2009 and the winner of the Ironman Hawaii bike prime. Phil's staying in town and training with some of the pro's and I offered to take him along. We arrived in plenty of time after driving up Taylor, the longest and hardest part of the bike course. There were loads of friends there, mostly volunteering but a few like John, Amit, Phil and Tom racing. Much to my surprise, Laura was there racing with Big Red which she'd bought from me the weekend before.
The transition area was tiny, I racked as close as I could to the bike exit, and took all my non-race stuff back to the car. Phil Graves was racked behind me, Phil Davis was racked up near Phil G. and Tom B. racked one rack over, and almost the closet slot to the exit. The race was a mass start for the men, both sprint and F1 left together. I positioned my self towards the back and decided it push from the start. I was pretty much struggling for breath around the mile but my legs were feeling good. I hadn't lost much ground on the group I was with but Phil G., Phil D. and Tom B were well gone. The women set off 2-mins after the men.
Into transition and I grabbed my bike before putting my helmet on, whoops. I put it back on the rack, grabbed my helmet and it was too small, sloppy early season mistake, I hadn't tried it on before the race. I adjusted the strap tension, put it on and left running; Early season mistake #2, I hadn't put the bike in an easy gear and so had to grind out the first 20yds or so. I didn't attempt to put my feet in my shoes until I was headed down Burleson Manor Rd, and it was in quickly and then I started picking up places. As I left the park anricat shouted to have a strong bike, but not pass Roger, I did though, on the way down Burleson, Rogers a faster runner than me. I pushed as hard as I could and was busting a gut going up Taylor, but the field was only small and there were not that many to chase. I'm always better in a chase.
I figure I passed maybe 10-people on the first bike, and did a pretty good dismount, but ran into the wrong side of transition, another early season mistake. I re-adjusted, racked the bike, put my run shoes on and left with my helmet still on, loads of people shouting at me "helmet" but this wasn't an early season mistake, it was a race tactic I learnt from Dan Corner, and also some fun for the volunteers.
I actually felt good on the 2nd run, and was holding what I thought was a good pace, I caught a few more younger guys that were only doing the sprint. If I'd have been doing the sprint I'd have won my age group(there was no one racing), I also beat the winner of the 45-49 Age group, and at 58:33 would have been 3rd in the 35-39 Age group behind Tom and Phil(who won); I'd have been 2nd in the 30-34 Age group and 7th overall and a full minute and a half faster than my time over the sprint course in 2009. However, I was racing F1 so it was back out on the bike.
Out on the bike I was smoother into my shoes and I thought going faster, but post race analysis shows my 2nd bike at 1:30 slower, and almost all on the last section of Taylor. As I was running in on the 2nd run, I saw a guy on a yellow bike, wearing one of those tux bike jerseys leave. He was my target. Just ahead was also a 37yr old, who past me on the last 1/2 of the run, that would give me something to chase. A good transition this time and I was out for the final bike and into my shoes quickly, I caught and passed both my targets before the end of Burleson. After that, I never saw another cyclist and that was a spooky feeling, no one to chase.
Into transition for the last time and out, I was starting to feel the pace and my right leg below the knee was starting to hurt. A quick glance back once I got to the soccer field and I could only see one person behind me. After about a mile I got passed by Anne Ekem, who won the womens F1 and was 4-minutes faster than me. In the last 1/2 mile I got passed by the 37yr old I'd passed on the last loop of the bike, he said as he ran by "man you were strong on the bike", I replied "and I have a wicked sprint finish so no slacking" - only I didn't.
Final time was 1:43:44 - 2nd in my AG, 3.30 back from the winner.
Run 1: 14:56, T1: 40-seconds
Bike 1: 26:40, T2: 34-seconds, 20.9MPH
Run 2: 15:43, T3: 21-seconds
Bike 2: 28:09, T4: 26-seconds, 19.8MPH
Run 3: 16:15
Final placing 11th man in the F1, or 12th overall. By comparison, Phil Graves finished in 1:14:55, had a minor mechanical on the first bike, giving a 22:24, so 4:30 over 10-miles quicker than me. Phil did 9:45, 10:05, 10:07 for the runs, his 2nd bike was 21:29. giving 24.88 and 25.95 MPH. Stunning. Phil was be disappointed hear though that he lost the race to Austin based Duathlete Derek Yorek on the runs. Derek put almost a minute into Phil on the first run, over a minute in the 2nd run, and a minute on the 3rd run. However, even though Phil had a mechanical, he still only finished24-seconds back due to faster bikes and transitions than Derek.
Great to see Elizabeth(Betty) finish her first duathlon; however scary and worth a first mention is Laura Whipple. Laura bought my old "big red" last w/e, we did an approximate fit on the road outside the house and she hasn't done much else in terms of riding. Laura clocked runs of 16:35 and 14:01, with a T1 1:11 and T2 of 32-seconds. Scary ? She did the bike in 30:07, just under 4-mins slower than my first effort... wow. Laura won her age group and was 5th overall in the womens sprint.
Well done to Austin Duathletes for putting on the race, for getting the splits up quickly for manually calculated results; to Tune, Chris, Tammy and everyone else for helping out. After the race, Phil, me and Lisa went for an easy ride, or at least it was supposed to be. 21-miles in 1:03:30 or 20.5MPH.
Hopefully some pictures will show up at somepoint. There are some great pictures of Phil on Facebook.