On October 13th, I competed in my final race of the 2012 season, the RJ Corman Duathlon outside of Lexington, Kentucky. The race consisted of a 5k run, 16 mile bike, and another 5k run. Living in Louisville now, I was able to drive to the race the morning of with Amanda. We got to the race site right around 6:30 when packet pickup was opening. I grabbed my race bag, got body marked, and got everything set up in transition. The actual transition area was probably the smallest transition area I’ve ever seen for a race with less than 100 people racing the duathlon (there was also a 5k). With such a small field, the whole race morning was very low key and easy going. After getting set up, I was able to take my bike out for a quick 15 minute warm up. It was a gorgeous morning, a little on the cool side, but pretty much perfect weather for a duathlon. I headed over to the start area and got in a short 5 minute run warm-up with a couple short pick-ups. It was a pretty small field but there were two pros (Nick Waninger and Mike Hermanson) and another guy, Jeff Buhr, who I met that morning but knew he would be right there as well.
Pre-race ready to go!
Start of the race!
Run #1: 16:36 – 5:21/mi – 2nd OA
The race started and the three guys I mentioned took off at what felt like a dead sprint (not literally, but faster than I wanted to get out). I went with them for the most part, staying a little behind them, knowing that I wasn’t going to hold a 4:30-4:45/mi pace for the whole 5k. I came through the mile in 5:12 and was just a few seconds back from Jeff and about 10 seconds back from Nick and Mike. I slowly closed the gap and ran with Jeff and Mike for the next mile and half, and getting just ahead of them coming through the first 5k. Mile 2 was 5:23 and Mile 3 was 5:30.
Around 1 mile in
About 3 miles in
T1: 1:26 – 1st OA – The funny thing about the race was that after we crossed the 5k mark, we had to continue running another ¼ mile or so to get to the actual transition area (so in a way it was the smallest yet longest transition area at the same time).
Finishing the first 5k
Transition run to the transition area
Bike: 38:25 – 24.99 mph – 1st OA
I got on the bike quickly and new I was going to have to get to work and hopefully put some time on Nick, knowing that he can out run me. As I was getting situated on the bike, I could see Nick not too far ahead of me. I closed the gap over the first few miles and kept pushing the whole 16 miles. The course was a nice mix of some up and down hills and an out and back on an airplane landing strip. I could see Nick and Jeff toward the end of the bike and wasn’t exactly sure how much time I had on them. I knew I needed to finish the bike strong and have a good run to hold them off.
T2: 1:16 – 2nd OA – Nice quick transition with the same run back to the where we started the race and the official start of the second run.
Run #2: 16:56 – 5:28/mi – 2nd OA
I felt great at the start of the run. I was focused and in the zone and started thinking I had a chance to hold off Nick and Jeff. I stayed strong all the way to the finish and came away with the win!
About to cross the finish line!
Finish: 1:14:41 - I was very pleased to get the win and end the season with a great race.
The 2012 season has been very successful. It included a 7th place finish at USAT collegiate nationals (the top 6 were or are now all now racing professional), an overall win at the 2nd race of the American Triple-T Ohio (unfortunately had some mechanical issues during the 4th race, but was able to finish out the weekend), 2nd overall at the Copper Creek Sprint Triathlon (behind pro, Daniele Bretscher), an overall win at the Naperville Sprint Triathlon (my hometown race), a 5th place finish at the 5150 Hy-Vee Age Group Elite race in one of the most competitive age group Olympic distance races in the country, and a win at the RJ Corman Duathlon.
A HUGE thanks to my family (mom, sisters, brother in law, etc) and girlfriend for their continued support throughout the season. And another HUGE thanks to all of my sponsors. I know I say this a lot, but I truly would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for them. Thank you to Alex McDonald, my coach with Fast Forward Triathlon, who helped me have my most successful season yet. Thank you also to PowerBar for keeping me fueled all season long. Nutrition is truly the fourth part of the sport and having the nutrition to fuel before, during, and after makes all of the difference. Thank you to Brooks for keeping my feet happy with best running shoes (The Ghost for my everyday trainer, the PureFlow for tempo and track workouts, and the T7 for races, to name a few) and awesome gear to keep me cool in the summer and warm in the winter. And thanks to Computrainer, one of the many sponsors of FFT. This was my first season utilizing the Computrainer and I absolutely loved it. Having the computrainer, I was able to dial in my bike training and take it to the next level. Every race I did this year, I had the fastest or 2nd fastest bike split of the entire field, and I know that is from the high quality workouts from FFT and having the Computrainer to help push myself well beyond my comfort zone.
I’m currently in the middle of my “mandatory 2 week rest” (coaches orders). I’m enjoying the time off, letting my body and mind recover from a long season. I’m looking forward to starting things back up soon and gearing up for an even better 2013 season. I’m still figuring out what the plan is for 2013…more to come on that later.