Duathlon National Championships (Part 1 of 2)

>> Monday, June 08, 2015

Saturday was a great day in St. Paul. My sister-in-law Annie and her boyfriend Matt came into town to race with me. Matt was doing the "standard" distance of Duathlon Nationals in the morning (5K, 21.4 miles, 5K), and Annie and I were racing the "sprint" distance at noon (2.5K, 14.3 miles, 2.5K).

This post will be the night before through the "standard distance" race - I'll be back with my personal race report in the next day or 2.

The night before the race, Matt and Annie were in town, and we went to a nearby park to work on our transitions skills. I've always jumped off my bike IN my bike shoes, but I wanted to try getting out of my shoes early while leaving them clipped in:

After 3 run-throughs, it went pretty smooth.

However, I could NOT get into my shoes quickly when they were on the pedals, so the
race plan was to put my bike shoes on in T1, but then unstrap them coming back to T2
and run in barefoot (based on my smooth run-throughs at the park).

The next morning, we headed to Harriet Island here in St. Paul:

From Instagram: "Good morning from Duathlon Nationals! #USATDU15"

Pre-race tradition. In my new retro shades. Loud. Nice.

At 8:00 a.m., Matt's race got underway:

Matt running past.

"Former student Jeremy" running past. (#129)

Matt agian.

Start of another wave.

Matt starting his 2nd loop on the run.

Another wave starting.

We went out onto the bike course to watch the cyclists go by a few times:

Matt going past the 1st time.


20 minutes later, he went past again (we almost missed him - that's him on the left turning up Ohio).

Annie and I walked back to the car for a snack. We got to the race site around 6:30, and Annie and I didn't race until noon. So it was important to keep eating. Oatmeal was on the menu. I had 3-4 servings at 5:30, and I brought another (cold) 3-4 servings to the race. I found these 2 bumper stickers in the lot:

Looking up the base of Ohio Hill. It doesn't look bad, but it just. Keeps. Going.

Jeremy getting back to transition.

Matt coming back in!

Matt seriously had one of the smoother dismounts!

SIDENOTE: You can see in 2 of the photos above that the cyclists have to do a sharp 180-degree-turn right before the dismount. We saw a lot of NOT great dismounts. So I decided that I was NOT going to try to get out of my shoes (for the first time in a race) and run into T2 barefoot. It just wasn't worth it because there was no way to come to the dismount line carrying a lot of speed. The ones who TIRED to come in with a lot of speed either got stumbled up or nearly crashed. Not worth it.

We watched Matt loop through the park for his final 5K. He looked rough - he looked hot. Before too long, he came to the finish:

He told me he was running so far to the right because he was afraid he would collapse.
And he thought the angled banners on the side could catch him.


The lovers after Matt's race.

Matt didn't feel so great right after his race.
But I didn't really need to point that out now, did I?

Matt finished just off the podium in his age group: the awards for the standard distance went 5-deep, and he was 6th. Dang. But Jeremy finished 3rd in his age group! And Jeremy's and my relay partner from last year's Trinona Triathlon sprint relay came in as the 2nd female OVERALL! Here's Me, Jenn, and Jeremy (formerly known as "The Fast and The FURRIEST" at Trinona in 2014) after Jenn and Jeremy had raced:

Nice job you 2! Now it was getting close to my time to race (notice my race number was already on). So I handed over my camera to Matt, and he got one final photo of me eating my Powerbar on the way to the starting line:

No really, THIS is the photo. It's uncropped. This is how he shot it. He's got skillz.

Annie and I headed to the starting line as the day got hotter. Back with my race report in a day or 2! Stop on back!

UPDATE: Here's Part II (my race report).


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