OK. My first maxtrax duathlon (or any duathlon, actually). I really had no idea what to expect other than the swim part of a triathlon was replaced with a run of like distance. This particular race was a 1.5 mile run/15 mile bike/5K run. So if you have done triathlons…this is a hybrid sprint/Olympic distance type situation. First item of note…very affordable, less than $50. You can’t beat that for a race of any distance. Secondly…easy to find, and well organized. Check in was easy and everyone was super friendly. The bike transition was spacious and even in the racks there was plenty of room to set up. The big negative here was that there had been some rain on the previous days. This made for a very muddy and sloppy transition area. No bueno. The other negative was outside the transition there was crushed gravel. Well after wheeling my bike through the muddy transition area and then through the gravel I had to take a minute to brush off the rocks. Probably being overly cautious but not knowing the route, I didn’t want to be stuck someplace remote with no support if I got a flat.
1.5 run (00:12:10)
This was a short loop through a neighborhood…hilly neighborhood so it was a good test on the last ½ mile into transition. Well marked, safe and all pavement except heading into the transition area. I finished this with a 12:10 time/8:07 per mile average. I am good with that anytime.
15 mile bike (00:55:40)
Two loops 7.5 miles each. This was very well marked and had plenty of safety personel on hand to stop traffic and make sure we could fly through intersections without issue. Much appreciated Columbia police department! Now this route was not overly challenging but it was hilly, rolling hills, not steep inclines. There was some wind that posed a small issue for me and it put me about 10 minutes off my overall pace. Not too disappointed since I had never done a duathlon before but my second loop was 5 minutes faster than my first loop. Mostly because I knew the loop and knew where to push and conserve in regards to hills and open windy areas. This route shared the same last half mile of incline as the run, so it was also a tester coming into transition. Again, mud was a factor in T2 and probably slowed me up about 30 seconds or so. Worrying about the mud I forgot to rehydrate before the last run. Not a big deal on this short distance but I need to remember that going forward. I finished the ride in 55:40. I had set and initial goal of 45:00 and next year I am confidant I can do that knowing the route and conditions now.
5K run (00:28:32)
This was two loops of the same course we started with. More challenging this time due to leg fatigue. No cramping issues but my quads never “released” from my ride. They were rock solid and I felt on the verge of a cramp the whole 5K. I was very happy with my time here of 28:32/9:31 per mile average. I would like to get this closer to 9 minutes and knowing what to expect now, I can plan a little better and pace myself more consistently the whole race.
Everything held up well, my Specialized Tarmac was a trooper and climbed hills like a champ as always. This was its maiden voyage after being set up as a tri bike the week prior. So I was very happy with the feel and overall comfort of the ride. Since then I have added some new 25’s to roll on and am looking forward to the next ride. My Tifosi optics were also troopers since I tend to drop them everywhere. They are great glasses on the run and ride. My ON shoes did awesome! I love these shoes so much. They are comfortable and just great all around. Thank you to Graham and everyone at Swift Athletics for recommending them to me in my never ending search for the perfect shoe!
In the end I finished at 1:40:46. Ten minutes off my goal time and 7 minutes off the podium in my age group. I do believe next year I will crush both of those stats!
So next race will either be 5/2 The BattleGrounds Obstacle Course Race in Missouri or I may wait all the way until 5/30 for the Toughman Half Tri in Indianapolis, IN.
Previously Fat Guy