>> 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
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
Toeing the start line, literally
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:”
(this photo is from later on in the du)
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
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:
How do you spell “Bow-chica-wah-wah?”
The guy next to me was the first place runner
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...
Matt headed toward me
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:
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
28K Bike: 5th place: 48:32, 21.0 mph ave
4K Run: 2nd place: 17:24, 6:34 pace
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:
Mmmm...post-race hot dogs!
p.s. SUPER BIG THANKS to Pharmie for the great photos above! She took a ton! Thanks Pharmie!