Trying to Defend at the Cannon-Wells Duathlon

>> Monday, September 28, 2009

Saturday morning was the Cannon-Wells Duathlon. Matt and I were teaming up as “Team Happy Pants” again to try to defend our title from last year. And some “College of Visual Arts Triathlon Club” students were racing in their first duathlon!!

I got there early, and here was transition filling up next to Cannon Lake:

Katrina and Steph showed up shortly. Katrina is a CVA student, and she was teaming up with her friend Steph. My teammate Matt showed up later than he had hoped because he stopped to help a biker change a tire in St. Paul. (Nice guy!) Rudy, a CVA student, was REALLY late, and I was getting worried. He got there with about 20 minutes to spare. He took the wrong “Hwy 60” exit. Nice one. Here he is JUST before the start on the phone and changing into his “racing shoes”...

...and wearing a “Hummer” shirt to be ironic.

A few minutes later, there was the pre-race meeting:

Last year, there were 39 individuals and 4 teams. This year, there were 121 individuals and 15 teams (AND 25 people doing a 8.5 mile run too). All individuals and teams lined up at the starting line for a mass start. You can see me a few people from the “START” sign in the short yellow shorts “bowl full of sunshine:”

Ready, set, GO!!

I flashed a smile and a wave to Bryan and Monica (my in-laws) and Brianna who took control of my camera for the race:

Brianna’s kind of a perv. Look at this gratuitous “side boob” and ass shot she got:

2 Mile Run:

It was really flat, with about 1/4 - 1/2 mile of gravel on the far loop. I ran in the lead the whole time, but I had another guy breathing down my neck for the last mile. I think I took off too fast in the first 1/4 mile, but my mile splits were CONSISTENT: I ran a 5:38 and a 5:38.


I came running back into transition as the first runner. In this photo from T1, you can see the next guy behind me (the bald guy to the left), and the guy behind him running into T1 in the white hat:

(Those guys right behind me were just speedy individuals, so we had a decent lead on any other teams.) I ran up to Matt, grabbed his bike, and Matt transferred the timing chip to his ankle...

...and then he was off:

14 Mile Bike:

Matt was off on the ride. I grabbed the camera from Brianna and waited for my CVA Tri Club students to come running in. Rudy blew through that 2 mile run IN THOSE SHITTY SHOES in just over 15 minutes! I lent him my Rudy Project aero helmet, so he threw that on and took off with his bike:

Soon after, Katrina came running into T1, and Steph took her chip:

Steph was off to ride!!

While they were all out there on their bikes, it was my “down time.” I chatted with the in-laws a bit, cheered the other duathletes coming through T1, talked with Katrina, and then watched the start of the 8.5 mile run that did a lap around Cannon Lake:

The bad news about the bike was that there were 2 wooden bridges on the little trail that were SLIPPERY. There were a few bikers that went down on the trail. One of the bikers was on a team with her hubby. She knows my in-laws pretty well. Here’s a photo of her and some of her scrapes after the race:

One of her eyes was already starting to turn a little black. LUCKILY, she just got some scrapes, and nothing seemed too deep or serious. Everything should heal up with no scars. I hope you’re OK Lori!

I watched 3 speedy people come biking into T2 before Matt came in. Luckily, they were all individuals (not teams), so when Matt came in as 4th place, we were still the first place team. (Semi-pro Steve was in front of us, along with Mario and Jason.) Matt had taken 50 seconds off his time from last year, and that was even with his brakes rubbing!! I had made that mistake earlier in the season. I told Matt we should both try to have a “brake-rubbing-free” 2010. Jeez, what are we?... A bunch of noobs??


Matt doesn’t joke around once he hops off his bike - he RUNS his bike in. Here he is headed towards me:

Taking off the chip...

...and starting the final run with my dang tongue hanging out.

I rounded the sharp corner out of transition and took off:

Matt rested after having a solid ride:

3 Mile Run:

This was a different route than the first run. This was all paved with just a small hill around the halfway point. I took off after Jason who was about 2 blocks in front of me. I tried to take it easy, but I went out a little too hard.

Mile 1: 5:50. Just after mile 1, Jason turned around to see how far back I was. (I had barely gained on him at that point.) I took that as a sign of weakness, so I went after him a little more. I came up on him when we hit the trail back to the finish with about 1.5 miles left. We chatted a bit. Jason’s a nice guy. He told me he checked behind him to make sure he hadn’t made a wrong turn. He joked that he didn’t want to do that again! (I met Jason at the first “Splash and Dash” event in July. He’s the one who made the wrong turn, which allowed me to win.)

Mile 2: 6:07. I passed Jason around mile 2. He commented a few seconds after I got past him: “Man, you’ve got a smooth stride!” I waved back and said thanks as I kept booking it towards the finish.

I was pooped, and I didn’t QUITE go “all out.” I figured we had the team title, and I didn’t want to wear out my legs too much for this weekend’s 10 mile race. That being said, I didn’t just “stroll in” to the finish. I still pushed pretty hard, just maybe not 100%.

See that blurry thing with 1 leg on the left side of the trail? That’s me coming into the finish:

OK, WTF is going on with my left calf here?!? Is that just skin bouncing around? This is weird:

I don’t want to say what it looks like

Hitting the line

Mile 3: 5:46. The official results are up, but they don’t contain “official splits” yet. So here are our splits according to my watch.

Team Happy Pants (Steve Stenzel, Matt Linder)

2 mile run: 11:16 (5:38 pace)
T1: 0:22
14 mile bike: 38:37 (21.8 mph)
T2: 0:20
3 mile run: 17:45 (5:55 pace)

Total: 1:08:21
1st out of 15 teams

Rudy had just started the run as I was coming to the finish line. He was complaining to me about something hurting as I met him. ;) Because he was out of T2 when I hit the line, I didn’t get any photos of him racking his bike. But shortly after I finished, Steph came riding in to a very nervous Katrina:

Go get em’ Katrina!!

When Rudy emerged around the final little curve, he was MOVING. No, I mean REALLY MOVING. In his first duathlon, he had saved too much for the finish. I yelled over to Steph, “Rudy’s coming, and he’s SPRINTING LIKE A MADMAN!!” See what I mean:

Have you ever seen someone so enthusiastically
cross the finish line?

It was pretty funny after Rudy finished: he came up to me and said “Steve, I gotta puke!” “Well then... just PUKE,” I told him. “But I can’t get myself to puke...” he replied. “Well, stick you’re finger down your throat,” I said. He tried. But it didn’t work:

He felt better shortly. Oh, and it was GREAT seeing my Rudy Project aero helmet sitting next to his 1980s bike in transition. This made me happy:

Shortly after that, Katrina came running up to the finish line:

Nice job Steph and Katrina!!

Steph CAN’T WAIT to train more next spring and tackle her own duathlon!! Katrina, well, she wasn’t so sure. I think she’ll still come around...

We stuck around for awards, and “Team Happy Pants” was announced as the first place team, over 4 minutes ahead of the next team:

It looks like Mark is shouting at us! Ha!

Our winning medals and can koozies

Well, time for rest this week before the TC 10 Mile this weekend!! Oh, and after I finish the 10 mile on Sunday, the farm animal costumes are coming back out to cheer on the rest of the marathon runners...


Amytrigirl (aka Amybee) 9:20 PM, September 27, 2009  

Congrats on another first place finish, Steve. You've had a great year in both individual and team events. Good for you!

Congrats to your team too. Looks like they all had fun.

Unknown 9:31 PM, September 27, 2009  

If you ever need a spare 'bowl full of sunshine', I've got a back up for you. They're an old pair of shorts (obv) from HS. Our colors were green & gold, so I have yellow stuff like whoa (I noticed quickly that gold articles of clothing aren't really manufactured). They resemble yours very much.

Great win! I love the team name!

GoBigGreen 9:52 PM, September 27, 2009  


Good job Steve:) Talk with you this week before the 10 miler. Cant wait to see the farm animals!

Coach Liz 10:24 PM, September 27, 2009  

Congratulations to Team Happy Pants!


1. Is it my imagination or is your red Under Armor shit and "The Bowl Full of Sunshine" getting smaller and tighter? How can that be when your run splits just keep getting faster???

2. How in the hell does Rudy manage to get 3 pictures of him catching air on the run and I have never managed that once in 7 years of racing???

3. I know what you were thinking of when you looked at that calf muscle picture. You boys all think alike and it is all about the same thing. It is either cars or the other subject.


Maria 7:04 AM, September 28, 2009  

congrats on your continued domination of the du-world.

Kim 7:54 AM, September 28, 2009  

woohooo!!!! awesome job out there team happy pants! your shorts are so short, it amazes me your junk doesnt fly out.

B.o.B. 8:40 AM, September 28, 2009  


Your calf looked crazy. WTF? You might want to get that looked at. LOL!

Carolina John 9:01 AM, September 28, 2009  

sweet win steve! well done brother.

Gabriel Losa 9:37 AM, September 28, 2009  

Congratulations to Team Happy Pants! Nice medals!

Good luck on the TC 10 Mile...

And... yay! Animal costumes!

Regina 9:42 AM, September 28, 2009  

Congrats! Why do I have a feeling there is a story behind those shorts? A story I missed, somehow, and am dieing to know.

Nice work!

The Boring Runner 9:53 AM, September 28, 2009  

Nice win!! and by 4 minutes!? That is amazing.

So, I strained (or something) my knee two weeks ago so I won't be running TCM as planned (unless there is some sort of devine healing) but I will be cheering you in the 10 mile/ everyone else on!

X-Country2 10:16 AM, September 28, 2009  


(Those shorts still kill me. :o)

Anonymous,  1:03 PM, September 28, 2009  

I thought I heard Buddy Bolden say....

Kevin 3:24 PM, September 28, 2009  

Congrats to team happy pants and to all the members of your tri club

Unknown 4:26 PM, September 28, 2009  

You guys are unstoppable! :) Great job to you and all the CVA students!

Calyx Meredith 8:00 PM, September 28, 2009  

Congrats to Team Happy Pants for a dominating win! I hope your friend Lori is all right - what a scary thing to wipe out on a bridge. Good luck in your upcoming 10 miler!

Jeff Vanis 9:09 PM, September 28, 2009  

Congrats to the teams who did this. Nice run times you had there.

I will be looking for the costumes on Sunday doing the full thing. It will give me motivation to push and find them.

Best of luck on the 10 miler.

TriMike,  1:07 AM, September 29, 2009  

Hey Steve,

Read your tweet on tapering. You might wanna check out this blog from my friend Maryka (she's going to Kona!) on the subject. All very scientific and all but great to take some general notes from as well.


TriMike,  1:08 AM, September 29, 2009  

And of course I forgot to paste in the URL :-)
So here it is:


Chris 1:06 PM, September 29, 2009  

Hey steve ,

keep your eye on the mail box ;-)

Cheers BS

sRod 1:14 PM, September 29, 2009  

Looks like it was a great day all around (save for the scrapes on the bike portion). COngrats to team Happy pants!

teacherwoman 7:39 PM, September 29, 2009  

Great race report! Congrats to your team!

Unknown 9:08 PM, September 29, 2009  

Rudy's amazing finish had to have been inspired by his "hummer" t-shirt! Great race for everyone. Your outfits seem to get a bit littler every race, are you bulking up Steve?

Unknown 9:08 PM, September 29, 2009  

Rudy's amazing finish had to have been inspired by his "hummer" t-shirt! Great race for everyone. Your outfits seem to get a bit littler every race, are you bulking up Steve?

Sarah 12:05 PM, September 30, 2009  

Holy fast, team happy pants! You guys rock. And those run splits? Freakin amazing.

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