Gear West Duathlon Race Report

>> Sunday, May 18, 2008

Or, “Another cool, windy duathlon”

Or, “This is more of a ‘cross country’ race than any of my cross country races in high school!!”

Or, “Holy crap, Pharmie - that’s A LOT of photos!”

Pharmie and I had a great pre-race meal last night: we stopped by “Grand Ole St. Mark’s Day” where we each had a burger, and we split a big strawberry malt and some fries. THEN we both had a piece of homemade pie (blueberry and pumpkin). We were ready to race!

We got up around 5:30, and loaded up. Matt (Pharmie’s brother) came over to ride out to Orono with us - Matt and I were doing this duathlon as a team: I was going to do the runs and he was going to bike. When we got out there, Pharmie learned that the race-day registration had filled up, so she couldn’t compete. Dang! She had put off registering to see how she felt after her 20 MILE RUN YESTERDAY! And you people think I’M the crazy one in this relationship! She was bummed at first, but quickly realized that it was probably all for the best that she couldn’t compete. Also, because she couldn’t race, she’s the one responsible for all the following great photos of her hubby and brother! Thanks Pharmie!

Matt and I got set up in transition. Our official team name was “Team Happy Pants.” Yep, that team name was my do-ins. It was STRANGE not having to worry about the bike - that was Matt’s job today. I just needed to have my run stuff ready. Here we are stretching out before the start:

I’m getting my achilles stretched and loose

And here’s Matt and I when the race was about to begin:

The Wardrobe:

OK, so here’s my story. I start teaching a summer Color Theory class at the College of Visual Arts tomorrow, so I figured I would wear an outfit made up of the subtractive primary colors: red, yellow, and blue. I’m such a geek.

A super geek ready to race

Notice in that photo that I’m NOT wearing my Under Armour shorts under the short yellow shorts. Pharmie was worried that something would happen. She was afraid that “something” would pop out and be dragging along the trail. Don’t worry, everything stayed in place. No children had to be scarred.

Toeing the start line, literally

5K Run (3.1 miles):

The gun went off, and I was running. I shared the lead for the first few blocks (the only straight and flat part of the run), and after that, I had the lead the rest of the way. The run was NUTS!! It was SO OFF-ROAD! After 1 kilometer of nice, paved road, the run became solid trail, grass, gravel, wood chips, and muddy trails through the woods. At one point, we had to cross a little creek on a few pieces of 2x12 lumber that looked a little iffy. Here’s the run course, and you can see how many sharp, nasty turns we had to do in the area that’s labeled as a “marshland:”

Here’s Matt getting ready for the bike while I’m out on the run:

During my run, I had one guy on my tail the whole time, and he caught me about a quarter mile from transition. He passed me as we headed up this one, last, nasty hill:

(this photo is from later on in the du)

I followed him into transition, and finished just 1 second behind him:

I was pretty happy with my time, considering the nasty, rough, off-road conditions.


I ran up to Matt, he dropped down to take the chip off my ankle, and he strapped it to his leg:

Matt’s behind all the bikes, taking off the chip

Then Matt was off on the ride, only seconds behind the first place team:

28K Bike (17.4 miles):

Matt was out on the bike. He said it was hilly and windy. He had ridden the course this past week, so he was ready for the hills. A bunch of us from the relay teams hung around in transition. We all were laughing because we felt guilty that our team members were out there in the wind, and we could just hang out for a while.

One of my legs got a little muddy and scuffed up by my shoe during the nasty, muddy run:

Pharmie snapped this sweet photo of the short shorts as I was walking away from her:

How do you spell “Bow-chica-wah-wah?”

I put on some clothes to stay warm during my break, and then cheered for the other athletes:

The guy next to me was the first place runner

Chatting with some of the other relay teams:

The guy who finished just in front of me chatted it up during our down-time. He was a nice guy. He was a runner by trade. He didn’t even have a bike. I didn’t feel too bad getting beat in the run by an actual runner. He just finished Boston 4 weeks ago, and he’s thinking about trying out some duathlons and triathlons (on his own - not as a team). He asked how good my biker was. I told him he was hoping for a 49 or 50 minute ride. He said that’s what his biker was hoping for too. We both smiled, and I said, “It sounds like we might have a race here!”


A few minutes before Matt was scheduled to come in, the other biker that had gone out just before Matt came riding in, and his runner took off. I figured that was it - there wasn’t any way that I could catch him. I stripped down when I knew Matt was close...

...and it wasn’t long before I heard Pharmie shout “STEVE! HERE COMES MATT!”

Matt headed toward me

I took off his chip, and strapped it on:

We had a good transition strategy worked out for passing the chip. We had the second fastest T1 time, and the 3rd fasted T2 time.

4K Run (2.5 miles):

Even though the other runner had a 2 minute lead on me, I wasn’t throwing in the towel. I went out pretty hard, thinking that I could have a great run or that he could bonk, and there’d be a chance to win this for Team Happy Pants. I saw him on one of the loopy areas, and he was running strong. At that point, I knew that Matt and I pretty much had second place locked up with no real chance for first. That doesn’t mean that I slowed up - I still was going for a good time and a strong run.

The second run was brutal. The wet, muddy areas from before now had 400 more feet that had traveled over them. It was a MESS. I’m not complaining - I enjoyed the harshness of the course. It was just a hellish run for everyone.

I headed for the finish, and heard Pharmie and Matt cheering me in:

Official Results:
Team Happy Pants: Steve Stenzel, Matt Linder
Overall Team Place: 2 out of 16
Division Place (Male/Male Team): 2 out of 9

5K Run: 2nd place: 18:55, 6:19 pace
T1: 0:37
28K Bike: 5th place: 48:32, 21.0 mph ave
T2: 0:29
4K Run: 2nd place: 17:24, 6:34 pace
Total: 1:25:55

We were 2:23 out of the lead, and Matt and I were talking afterward that there wasn’t any way for us to have made that time up: their runner was better than me, and their biker was better than Matt. I was happy with my first run time: it was right where I wanted to be, and only 1 second off the lead. Matt was happy with his bike time: he finished about 30 seconds faster than he had hoped. My second run time was rough: the course was more beat up, and so was I. I had hoped to run that about 1:30 faster, but that wasn’t in the books today.

Nothing left to do but eat: hot dogs!

I wanted to take a photo like this at the end, but I figured it could be inappropriate:

There were a lot of official photographers out on the course, so check back in a few days: I hope to have more photos up! Oh, and look for Matt and I (Team Happy Pants) to be doing the Apple Duathlon next weekend (only we’ll be splitting up the team to compete individually - I can be the “Happy” and he can be the “Pants”). Thanks for reading!

p.s. SUPER BIG THANKS to Pharmie for the great photos above! She took a ton! Thanks Pharmie!


IronTriTim 8:30 PM, May 18, 2008  

6.19 on trails.. way to go. Great pictures reminds me of my X country days in school.

KK 9:53 PM, May 18, 2008  

Nice race. Love the shorts. Pharmie rules. I hope the achilles held up for you.

Unknown 10:39 PM, May 18, 2008  

congrats on the great race.
That should really be your team T shirt graphic. You could get have them made in all the primary colors.

Wedgie 10:56 PM, May 18, 2008  

Is that an aerobar in your pocket or are you just happy to finish the race?

The pasty white legs might have scarred a child or two.

Another great race, and report. Although I still think there should be donuts along EVERY race.

- wedgie

Jenna 11:45 PM, May 18, 2008  

ha!! lol!! crazy little nutbar you are!!!

Marcy 7:04 AM, May 19, 2008  

Duuudeee, I'm surprised any man wanted to stop and chat with you in those shorts. Those are some pretty sweet butt huggers if I say so myself :P

CONGRATS homie! And Thanks to the Mrs for all the pics :-)

tracie 7:07 AM, May 19, 2008  

nice job team happy pants!!!

great report steve!

peter 7:26 AM, May 19, 2008  

Thanks for stopping by. Nice report, it had some suspense. There's battles at every pace, at every place. You were battling at 6:10s on the muddy trails, I was battling at 7:40s on the roads and hills. It's all fun. I have the Lake Tahoe Relay coming up in a few weeks, your report put me in the mental frame for it.

Thomas 7:45 AM, May 19, 2008  

Inappropriate: yes, maybe just a tad ...

ShirleyPerly 8:34 AM, May 19, 2008  

Wow, tough run course! Thanks for the details on transferring chips -- I had no idea how relay teams did that.

Congrats on second place!!

Mendy 8:43 AM, May 19, 2008  

Pharmie did awesome with the photos!!! Great photographer you have there.

Those shorts crack me up! Great race, indeed and you were only 1 sec behind that guy. Thanks for the cool race report!

CoachLiz 8:43 AM, May 19, 2008  


You need to get those team shirts printed up. They would have fit right in this past weekend at Muddy Buddy. Now there is a race you would have enjoyed!

Brianna 8:45 AM, May 19, 2008  

Sounds (and looks!) like you had a grate race! My husband and I were just talking about doing some duathlons this year (swimming is NOT for me, so I'll just keep cheering for him at tris). . . your report might end up being just the thing to get me to do it - thanks!

Black Knight 8:59 AM, May 19, 2008  

Congrats for the race, for the report and for the pics.

KodaFit 9:00 AM, May 19, 2008  

Nice Job!! I'm still struggling to type after that last graphic!

Iron Whore 9:07 AM, May 19, 2008  

Nice race! Yes, it's always nice to be right behind a single-sporter.

I had only 2 issues with your race outfit:
1. top too nipply
2. legs too hairy

but the colors were nice :)

Kim 9:18 AM, May 19, 2008  

oh steve, you are one fanfuckintastic guy. you ran your hairy legs off! :) congrats on 2nd place!

Kellye Mills 9:22 AM, May 19, 2008  

Great Race Report and I LOVE the Team's Logo!!

crazy tri mama 9:35 AM, May 19, 2008  

Great team logo!

Happy that your heel is healing!

Those must be really special to you!

Anonymous,  10:11 AM, May 19, 2008  

Great job THP!!

Hilarious team logo!

Jason 10:59 AM, May 19, 2008  

Dude, Team Happy Pants freakin' rocks!!!

Great logo!!

RobbyB 1:13 PM, May 19, 2008  

You know, it's shorts like those that help originate the "balls out" level of effort.

Nice work, speedster.

Formulaic 1:53 PM, May 19, 2008  

Nice RR.

I like how the timing chip matched your outfit!

Next time I think that Team Happy pants should have matching outfit.

Something like the ambiguously gay duo!

greyhound 4:38 PM, May 19, 2008  

There are just way too many pictures of boys in booty shorts on this blog.

Didn't Pharmie used to have a blog? I'm just sayin'

jen 5:03 PM, May 19, 2008  

Congratulations team Happy Pants!! Awesome finish. Great photos and report. :)

sRod 6:31 PM, May 19, 2008  

Can we talk about attaching a "Not appropriate for work" warning to any post involving pictures of you in the yellow shorts?

teacherwoman 6:41 PM, May 19, 2008  

Nice job guys! I thought maybe the two of you were participating in the Fargo 5K... I heard there were a couple guys racing in their underwear... you came to mind. I don't know why I would ever think that of you! :)

Great pics!

Michelle 7:16 PM, May 19, 2008  

Holy red and yellow suit. It's a bird, it's a plane,'s super duathlon guy!

triguyjt 7:51 PM, May 19, 2008  

Pharmie is awesome...great pics....
man, you did 6:19 on a trail... you are a freak, sir...

That was a hilarious Team Graphic...

kinda....graphic!! haha

J~Mom 9:01 PM, May 19, 2008  

Oh no you didn't. LOL

Sounds like a fun race! Where does one find shorts like that?

Rainmaker 9:29 PM, May 19, 2008  

Very nice runs! Oh...and a solid bike tossed in too! ;)

The real question is how many dogs did you intake. Cause that's what matters.

MissAllycat 9:40 PM, May 19, 2008  

Can I just say...


...DAMN! Your brother-in-law is a snacky treat!!

Oh yeah. And also...great job, Team Happy Pants!!


Unknown 1:15 AM, May 20, 2008  

You always provide an entertaining race report and you're pretty dang fast too. I was waiting for a close race at the finish, but that was a pretty large deficit to make up in 2 1/2 miles. Love the post race hot dogs!

GP 7:22 AM, May 20, 2008  

A) That grassy uphill looks like a good sledding hill that I'd love to sled down, but not want to hike back up. So, kudos to you for running up it!

B) Compliments on the outfit and all the color theory behind it.

C) I like the running photos of you running through the grass, past the playground, etc. It looks like a series of art photos... "Runner man in subtractive colors" or something.

D) Great race!

JenC 7:45 AM, May 20, 2008  

Who wears short shorts? : ) Go team Happy Pants!

Kim 11:48 AM, May 20, 2008  

p.s. i gave you a mission, should you choose to accept it, on my blog. good luck comrade.

Fizzgig 3:04 PM, May 20, 2008  

I agree with Jwim - that should be a tshirt graphic for your team. It would be one of a kind!

Great job too, second place!!!!

RunBubbaRun 6:42 AM, May 21, 2008  

You sure you didn't get a little chafing with those shorts of yours..

Great job to both of you..

Brian 8:08 AM, May 21, 2008  

Nice job. I was waiting to hear you say the runner in front of you fell and you ran over him for the win.

And yes, that picture for team happy pants might have been pushing the line a bit. Glad to not see that one.

Cy 11:03 AM, May 21, 2008  

Team Happy Pants=Awesome!!

Nice job out there-I know you didn't like your 2nd run pace, but relatively it was very fast. For what its worth, your run form looks great in that finish area photo.

See you at Apple!

Unknown 3:16 PM, May 21, 2008  

Love Team Happy Pants! And kudos to the photographer (not only for admitting she knows you and loving you none the less, but for the pictures!!!)

Look forward to the next race report!

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