Friday, March 30, 2012

2012 God's Country Off Road Duathlon Long Course Race Recap - 03/25/12

This past Sunday, I ran the God's Country Off Road Duathlon long course at the Kansas River Trails in Lawrence, Kansas.  Part of the God's Country Fat Tire Festival weekend, it was the Sunday event while the Saturday mountain bike race was canceled due to the rain received earlier in the week.

Luckily for us duathlon fools on Sunday, the trails dried out and were perfect for the race Sunday.

We were greeted with bright sunshine, temperatures in the 60's and 70's and a great event.  The only unwelcome spectators were garden snakes infesting the transition area.  A few racers were seen flipping snakes out of their helmets before the race, but no snakes and no people were hurt in the making of this duathlon.

Before the race, I had two goals...
1.  Not aggravate my left knee that has been giving me problems for a few weeks.
2.  Have a good showing and not embarrass myself for lack of trail running and mountain biking in the past 6 months.

During the race...
I threw on an old Ace knee "brace" sleeve thing in hopes it would alleviate some stress on my knee.  I'm not sure what's going on, but it's been getting better, but I need support when I'm out there running.  It only hurts when I run... so I'm thinking some strained ligament or something lame.  And yes, I've been taking it easy on the running lately.  =P
It was somewhat awkward, but after the first half mile on the levee gravel trail, I noticed no knee issues and ran my first mile in 6:37.  It was pretty sweet, I won't lie.
My goal was to speed my way to the front on the first run leg to avoid having to pass slower bike riders on single track.  I don't mind letting people pass, but passing sucks.  This worked out well as I passed the unicycle rider before getting to single track for the bike leg.  He was a little slow.

I would guesstimate I was around 10th after the first run.  After the bike leg, I was probably 30th.  Seriously, I was passed by a lot of people.  Some were short course people (since I was 20th out of 41 for long course).  It wasn't legs that gave out, it was my back.  With as little time as I have spent on the mountain bike, 18 miles of speedy single track will take a toll and my back gave in.  I had to stand on the pedals and stretch a lot, losing time.

The last run was nice in the fact that I passed 2 people and no one passed me.  I tracked some dude down and passed him with a quarter mile left.  His tank was empty and I had more left if there were more people to catch and more miles to run.

Notice the KU kit... an omen for KU making the final four, I think.  Maybe I should wear that around the house this weekend?

After the race....
The knee was right as rain.  No real issues.  It was a little mad the next day, but I took it easy and my Puma Trailfox 4's provided the just right amount of support.  I even wrote up a review of the Trailfox 4 for Everyman Tri HERE.
My performance was good enough for middle of the pack.  Had I been in better mountain biking condition, I was have fared better.  My running was on, but my back was KILLING ME on the bike.
HERE's my take on the event as a whole.  I have a great time racing this event.  I've raced maybe 3 times, DNF once due to broken chain and skipped twice due to weather.  I thought it would have been too soupy, but they had the race anyway and I missed out.
It took 02:02 to finish 4 miles of trail running and 18 miles of mountain biking.  My Garmin said it was more like 5 miles of running and 20ish of riding, but I'm not going to argue.

It was a good time.  Em even brought the kids and they survived!  The kids didn't kill her and no one was attacked by snakes.

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