Monday, June 4, 2012

Twinsburg Duathlon Relay Race Report

After not racing since April I was pretty excited to have some action this weekend! When my husband asked me if I'd like to do the Twinsburg Duathlon relay I couldn't resist saying yes. He would run and I would bike. It sounded good to me.


Twinsburg would be my new bike's maiden voyage along with my new wheels! Have I mentioned how much I love my Kestrel and Gray wheels? It would also be the first time I raced in my new Team Rev3 kit and my new aero helmet. This was a race with a lot of firsts! Steve and I headed up to the Twinsburg expo and had my coach and bike mechanic Sean put my race wheels on and tune up the bikes a little to get race ready.

We went home and rode 22 miles to see how the bike and wheels would handle for race day. I had only used the wheels once maybe 6 weeks back. We rode one of our usual routes. I was quite speedy on the first half. Unfortunately we had some bad winds heading back so it slowed us down a little. I was in a silly easygoing mood on Saturday night. Steve and I cooked a nice pre-race dinner of gourmet pizza and salad and craft beer and took it easy.

Race Day:

We got up Sunday morning and ate a quick breakfast, got dressed, loaded up the bike and our other stuff and headed out around 6am. We arrived at the Twinsburg Rec center where the race starts around 6:45 to get setup. We were both really excited. Here's a picture of me rocking my awesome new Rev3 kit and posing with my new bike.

The Start:

Finally around 7:40 I watched Steve and the others lineup. The race director Mickey made some announcements along with the local USAT official covering some of the race rules. And then they were off to run the first 2 mile leg.  A quick run to the ladies room for me and then I headed over to the relay area to get my bike shoes, helmet, shades and jacket on. It was starting to drizzle so I grew a little nervous about the weather. I hoped it would stop. Not so much luck!

T1, Bike

 Steve met me in the transition area 12:24 later and we switched the timing chip as per the rules. I grabbed the bike to run it out of transition and mounted pretty easily and we were off. I was a little nervous starting up with the rain since I don't have a lot of experience riding in the rain and had never raced this bike or wheelset before.  I knew I was close to the front of the pack so I just wanted to get on it. The start of the course is hilly for about the first 2 miles so I was probably just averaging 17-18mph and had to watch the turns with the rain. 

Once we hit a flatter section I opened it up more averaging between 22-26mph for much of the flat and slowing down for some turns. The rain unfortunately was coming down pretty good in parts of the race including some downhill parts with traffic as the roads are not closed. I just tried to be cautious. There's one section of the course with a longer climb and I slowed down there to 12-14mph as it was a tougher climb. Once we hit the descent I was back quickly to over 20mph hitting some downhill in the 30s. That's always a good feeling. The whole ride was good. There were a couple of other guys that I stayed with pretty much most of the race as I passed them and they passed me. I kept them as my markers. I wanted to finish in 30 minutes or less for the 10 miles. I ended up at 32:43 including our two transitions. This means I likely averaged about 20mph. Not bad for racing in the wind and rain and being a little conservative on the push. In fact I learned from my coach later that I had the fastest bike split of all the women in the race! And I think I ranked like top 15 or 20 overall with the men so that made me feel pretty good about all those miles I've been putting in!

T2 & The Finish:

I raced into the transition area and met Steve where we again switched the timing chip and he was off. I racked my bike and then got myself dried off a bit and headed over to watch the finish. It's always fun watching people finish! Steve made it back in 12:24 again for the second 2 mile run. Talk about even splits! Not as fast as he had hoped but still pretty good at a 6:12 average. For not doing a whole lot of running lately and no speedwork I think that's solid. They held the tape out for him since we were the first co-ed relay team with a time of 57:52!

Our first relay was a success! In fact we would have been third in the men's relay in terms of our time)! Not bad. Needless to say we were happy with the results. We stuck around to hang out with friends, get a bite to eat and collect our awesome award plaques. It was a great race again this year. Mickey does a fantastic job with the event. It draws a lot of strong local competition and it's just a fun atmosphere. We'll definitely be back again next year. Either for the relay or individually. TBD.

Special thanks to Rev3 Triathlon for the awesome new kit! And also to Swiftwick, who makes the world's best socks, Pearl Izumi who made our Rev3 kits and supplied the awesome Pro Aero jacket I wore, which  kept me dry through the race as well as the comfy and light tri bike shoes. Finally thanks to PowerBar for the pre and post race hat and race fuel. I used the PowerBar Perform for the race and use it for much of my training. It tastes good and keeps me going without any GI issues, which we all know is important!!!

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