seems awfully long, are you sure …
i eventually moved to a warmer climate. walked into the local bike shop and noticed the poster on wall. duathlon series begins this weekend and there was a couple extra spots open. i asked at the counter for entry and paid my dues. i was entered into my first multi-sport race. i raced home.
7km-40km-7km event held at the university grounds. of course my road bike hadn’t arrived yet so i was entered with my mountain bike. only 3 people tried doing that. everybody had very expensive tri bikes with solid rear wheels. holy smoly was i outclasses and laughed at. intimidation had set in before i began. i was hanging my head lower than my helmet was on the handle bars. they called for the start.
7am the horned sounded and off i go. slowly picking up the pace as i felt my way through the tree lined streets. i was feeling very comfortable recognizing all the sights that i would usually run and ride by daily. i started to think about the high altitude training that i had done. somewhere between 3500 – 7000 ft above sea level. they say it is easier to perform at sea level.
couldn’t figure out why everybody was going so slow. i stepped to the outside just inside the line and sprinted ahead of about 100 people. we were at the 2km mark of first leg. everybody looked at me like a freak. he is wasting his energy. they’ll pass me later – they thought. i continued to pick up the pace. of the 750 entrants i wanted to be in the top 100 after the first leg.
running into the bike paddock and straight to my ride. clumsy mountain bike. strapped my helmet on and rode out. as a avid cyclist, i kept shoes attached to pedals. everyone does that now. nobody else figured that out that day. within a few minutes i was up to full speed on my bike. unfortunately for the 38/12 gearing the tri-bikes could catch me just by logistics if anything else. oddly enough i passed virtually everybody i could. i never got passed.
riding into the bike paddock. place the bike in rack. slip on the runners and head back out. same course, same day – boring. i figure there was about 150 people ahead of me. i wanted to be in top 100. couldn’t see anybody really. some of the people were still on the course from the first leg. i was running very fast for a 7km run. considering i just ran 7km and rode 40km. didn’t matter i was simply accelerating throughout the entire course. wish i new where in the pack i was though.
i ran through the finish line to applause. the usual volunteers doing their thing. i walked over to my bike and changed shoes. grabbed a bottle of water and sat down in the shade. a gal came over and mentioned to me were the awards will be given out. i nodded and shortly walked over. about an hour & half passed since i finished when the speaker began some announcements.
third place in mountain bike category is … second place is … first place is … damn i didn’t place. there was only 3 mountain bikes entered. i must be freakin slow. third place for road bike … second place … first place ……. and we have another winner in a category we just created. in his first race – the third fasted person overall riding a mountain bike is ….