2010 Oakdale Duathlon Race Report

>> Monday, May 17, 2010

Matt and I decided to revive “Team Happy Pants” a week early this year and race at the Oakdale Duathlon this past Saturday (3 mile run, 13.5 mile bike, 3 mile run). Next weekend we’ll be racing the Gear West Duathlon as a team as well (5K CC run, 17.4 mile bike, 4K CC run).

On Saturday, I got to Matt’s, we loaded up, and he drove us to Oakdale. Here’s Matt getting body marked pre-race:

Customary pre-race porta-potty shot. Not many potties, but never a long wait!

Transition filling up.

I kept bumping into people I knew or people who knew me from the blog-o-sphere. I LOVE that about local races!! I had to work my way back to our spot in transition to have a quick gel and get ready to warm-up. (Yes Jen Harrison, I warmed up!)

My lower back was really sore about 10 days ago, and that pain seems to be slowly moving up my back. My left shoulder / neck has been really sore for a number of days, and I didn’t know how running hard would make it feel. I threw on my racing flats, and tested out the course. I got in a good mile+ warm-up (easy running with some strides), and my back / shoulder / neck felt fine! Good news!

Matt headed to take a duke, and I headed off to the starting line. I chatted with Mike and Mindy. Mike was going to be doing his first du! Then I found Manny, Omar, Marlo, Tracie, and lots of other familiar faces to quick say hi to before starting.

It was a beautiful day for a race! Sunny, calm, and 65 degrees. What more could you ask for?!

“On your marks.... GO!!!”


Relays were in the first wave with male and female elites. So I knew I’d have a handful of speedy dudes in front of me. I liked that thought: they would be there to pull me hard. We started about 1/4 to 1/2 mile away from transition, and here we are as we got close to the transition area early in the race:

Running in about 15th place.

The pack rounding the first corner.

I knew I was not the first place team. You can see the topless guy in those photos above, and being he was just wearing running shorts, I knew he was on a team. I tried to keep him in my sights, but he just kept slowly pulling away. The pack was holding a FAST pace! (Or so I thought.) I was really working, and I HOPED I was running fast. I had told Matt ahead of time that I’d like to really push the pace on the first run. I was doing that!

I moved up a few spots around the middle of the run. There was no marker for mile 1, so I had no idea what kind of pace I was holding. When I came up to the mile 2 marker, my watch read 10:50. So that was 5:25 / mile over those first 2 miles. Good: my pace WAS fast, and that was why I hurt so much!! I told myself to ease up a little, but I still pushed the pace. I was getting HOT, and it was a HARD run. Good effort.

Here’s a shot that Mindy got of me as I was heading towards transition:


I ran up the hill to the parking lot, looped through the cars, and came running to Matt through transition. He had my camera, and grabbed a quick shot of me running toward him:

He dropped the camera and got ready to make the chip exchange. He grabbed the timing chip off my ankle, and he was off.


I picked up the camera and grabbed 2 shots of Matt riding off as I was yelling “GO MATT” to him:

Clipping in.

Getting up to speed.

Side note: do you see Matt’s sweet jersey? It’s for a beer company (Pyramid Brewing), and there are 3 beers sticking out of the 3 pockets in the back:

Photo from later in the day showing the back of the jersey.

Anyway, I went over to talk to Emily who was the biker for an all female team, and I told her I was HOT and that the run ate me up! I wished her luck on her ride, and I headed out of transition. I went over to the porta-johns and had a little pee. I didn’t really need to, but I figured “why not.”

After peeing, I snapped a shot of the uneven sweat marks on my sweaty boobs:

I stopped to talk with Erik and Katie, and then figured I should do a little jogging to stay loose. I also figured that I should lose my shirt. I was WARM, and being there was at least 1 guy without his shirt in the first run, I figured it was OK. So it was JUST going to be the “bowl full of sunshine” shorts covering my goods for the second run.

Soon, the first guy came into T2. Everyone (including the race announcer) thought it was the first individual. But it was the first team!! That’s the first time I’d seen a team be the first back off the bike! The second biker back was a team as well!! This race was not going to end with a first place finish by Team Happy Pants. Oh well. Still a chance to get in a hard, hard run.

I saw Matt’s bright jersey come over the hill after a few minutes, and I got ready to run!


I took Matt’s chip, he told me to “go get em” (yeah right), and I shot out onto the run.


I heard Erik and Katie yell for me at about the same time that Mindy was shouting for me. I waved my hand and shouted “THANKS” as I ran by:

The second run was the same run as the first, but it was backwards. So I knew there’d be a mile marker at mile 1, but nothing at mile 2. Running up to mile 1, there was this BIG HILL that was NOT there on the first run. Really. ;) I hit mile 1 in 5:49. I didn’t know if I could hold onto that pace, but I was going to try.

I ran the ENTIRE second run by myself. There wasn’t anyone behind me, and I only caught a glimpse of someone in front of me when there was a long straight stretch. I never passed anyone, and no one passed me. It was a good “mental effort” running out there on my own. (If that makes any sense to you.)

I was pretty beat up. I was hurting. But I wanted a good “test run” for the Gear West Duathlon next weekend. So I still went hard. Here I am rounding one of the final curves before heading up a little hill towards the finish:

And here’s a series of shots Matt took as I was hitting that final straightaway heading to the finish. Warning: I’m nearly nude, hairy, and pale. That’s the “MN-Triathlete-in-May Trifecta!” Ha!

Flying but hurting.


Oooh. Caught on the downstride. NOT a flattering photo.

That dog’s looking for a hunk of meat, and it’s not finding anything there. ;)

Heading up to the finish with a little visible swass.

Results are posted, but they are “strange.” Only the first run and maybe the T1 time are correct. The bike and the final run are all weird. However, the final time is correct. So that’s why I’m only giving the "unofficial" results below. They are the splits I took from my watch. They are close, but not 100% accurate.

Unofficial Results:

#470, Team Happy Pants, Steve Stenzel and Matt Linder

3 mile run: 16:44 (5:34.6 pace)
T1: 0:24
13.5 mile bike: 35:41 (23.0 mph)
T2: 0:20
3 mile run: 16:32 (5:30.6 pace)
Total: 1:09:45

3rd out of 30 relay teams
3rd out of 9 in the “male relay” category

Over the past 6 years of the race, the “relay course record” was 1:17:47. We SHATTERED that, but there were 2 CRAZY FAST teams there that finished in 1:02:31 and 1:03:50. No thanks. Matt and I could NOT do that!

We were both happy with how we had done - no complaints from us! Here’s a photo shortly after we finished:

Matt seems to be keeping his distance… I wonder why...

We cheered Mike (Mindy’s boy-toy) to the finish of his first duahtlon!! (He beat Mindy’s time from last year! Oh-oh, will that lead to a couple’s issue! Ha!) Look at his cheering section as he neared the line:

Congrats Mike!

Kevin O’Connor (owner of Gear West Bike, local duathlete rockstar, 2009 USAT Duathlete of the Year, and 3rd place finisher at this race [only because he was sick all week leading up to the race]) was manning the grill. Kevin has excellent wieners:

I wasn’t shy, and I bit right in:

As Matt and I loaded our stuff into his car, we noticed this truck with a SWEET post-race set up!! The bed of this truck had a mat, a foam roller, and “the stick” for massaging out sore / tired / cranky leg muscles:


We grabbed a spot in the grass, chatted with all kinds of people, and watched the awards ceremony:

Matt standing, Shelley, Katie, and Mark behind him

Matt and I got called up for the 3rd place team. We love it when someone has to say “Team Happy Pants” over the loud-speaker! ;)

Sitting in that sun all morning led to a little bit of a burn. Here I am with a cherry face and a good “farmers tan” later that day in the shower:

Hairy, red, and nipply tricep close-up.

To see more photos from the race (that do NOT include me in the shower), click here to go to a little examiner article that has a little slideshow at the bottom.

Time to gear up this week for the Gear West Duathlon on Sunday!! Team Happy Pants is racing again, and so is my lovely Pharmie. And our friend Jess will be racing her first duathlon at GW too! Should be a fun day!

Have a good week everyone!!


Anonymous,  7:39 AM, May 17, 2010  

Way to go Team Happy Pants! What great weather - we couldn't have been happier. And I'm glad you noted that the results were wonky too - we were confused yesterday looking online. Good luck at Gear West.


Jennifer Harrison 7:51 AM, May 17, 2010  

AWESOME job, Steve! You look leaner too - must be that RD helping you! AND (of course) glad you warmed up - it helped! your 2nd run was faster - nicely done!!!

X-Country2 4:12 PM, May 17, 2010  

Great job Team Happy Pants!

Christi 6:55 PM, May 17, 2010  

Congratulations team happy pants!

Suzy 7:26 PM, May 17, 2010  

Congrats! Love the Packer colors you wore! :D

Joe 8:03 PM, May 17, 2010  

Great race, Happy Pants!

Also, did you notice that in the sweaty boob picture you can totally see the face of the devil above-ish your left boob? Seriously. ;)

Greenking17 "TRI-harder" 10:25 PM, May 17, 2010  

Way to go guys! Good job out there...glad you had a beautiful day for racing. Looking forward to the Gear West DU! Chad and I will be out there cheering you guys on :)

RhodeyGirl 11:22 AM, May 18, 2010  

You are so hard core!!! LOVE IT!

Great job!!!!

Liza D,  3:30 PM, May 18, 2010  

Go team Happy Pants! But how come we never get to see Matt with his shirt off? :0(

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