>> Saturday, May 30, 2015
Well, my "A" race for the year (so far) is next weekend. I'm doing the short course race at Duathlon Nationals in St. Paul (2.5K run, 23K bike, 2.5K run - or 1.55 mile run, 14.3 mile bike, 1.55 mile run). I know Harriet Island pretty well, and I've biked up Ohio Hill countless times. I went out and took some photos of the bike course a few weeks ago, and I rode parts of the bike loop 3 days ago. Here are my thoughts on the course...
The run loops all around Harriet Island (which, if you're from out of town, is not really an island - we are aware of this; no need to bring it up). It's flat. There are just a few TINY inclines.
Map images from the Duathlon National Championship's website.
If you're doing the long course, you essentially do this meandering loop twice.
Here's the map of the loop:
Elevation chart. The short course does 2 loops; the long course does 3.
Here's the big thing you need to be ready for:
Only 70 seconds into the bike course, you'll be heading up THEE Ohio Hill. It's not the worst hill ever, but it IS pretty big. You have VERY LITTLE time to get a drink and "relax" from the run before you're in your granny gear working up that hill.
Close-up of the start/end of the bike loop.
Looking up the start of Ohio.
Looking down from near the start of the hill.
A few blocks later near the top - note the cyclist going to the right.
We do NOT do this - we still go straight.
Looking BACK along the course about 2.5 miles in after coming down this nice gentle hill.
(These were taken from my car, and I drove part of the course backwards. Sorry for any confusion.)
I hit 37 mph and all was good. (Again, looking BACKWARDS up the hills we ride down.)
Again, looking BACK after the straight open stretch on Hwy 13. Fast and flat.
Once down that little loopy downhill, it's flat along the river:
Moderately rough roads.
Some nice sections of new roads in there a mile later.
FYI, even if it's a dark, overcast day, you might still want to wear some sunglasses. This flat part along the river is usually a little gnat-filled. On Wednesday when I rode it, it was drizzling off and on, and it was around 5:00 a.m. (Yes really.) And I STILL rode through a lot of gnats! (Which I usually think of as an afternoon or evening problem.) Here's what I looked like once I got home around 6 a.m.:
I had 21 on my face post-ride, and it wasn't until an hour later that I saw the one IN MY TEETH.
Gross. (And yes, that's sweat dripping from my nose too. Double gross.)
First 5 miles in red. (My interval was between miles 6.8 and 11.8 miles into my longer ride.)
It's pretty much the same run, only starting a bit "lower" in transition:
THE SHORT VERSION: The runs are basically flat with tiny inclines. The hill is right away on the bike loop (that you'll do 2 or 3 times depending on if you're doing the short or long course), and it doesn't quite end when you think it should be done - it seems to linger on. But then you get to enjoy some "usable" downhills.
Oh, and the final thing worth noting is that I think this will be my first race with a noon start. The long course race starts around 8:00 a.m., but the short course doesn't start until noon. Weird. Well, wish me luck next weekend!
Click here for more info on the Duathlon National Championship's website. Sometime mid-next week I'll post my own goals and personal race strategy. Have a great weekend!