Cannon Falls Duathlon Race Report

>> Monday, May 03, 2010

Or “Oh, The Wind Won’t Be THAT Bad, Right?...”

Saturday was the kick-off of multi-sport season in MN! It was the Cannon Falls Duathlon in Cannon Falls, MN. Matt, Pharmie, and I were all heading down. We knew there were going to be a LOT of people there that we knew! We LOVE that!

I got my typical “pre-race potty shot” in the porta-johns:

Right after taking this photo, I put the camera down and pushed out a good one

It was windy, but the sun was warm. I was HOPING that I could get away with wearing short sleeves, because I wanted to be able to wear the “Leisure Suit” jersey that Pharmie got for me for Christmas. Here I am in the jersey, along with Matt and Pharmie:

Matt and I finishing our warm-up, running back to transition

Matt M and Katie doing their first team du

Pre-race meeting

High-school buddy Tim and I

At the starting line, I said hi to Mario and Julie. Mario’s a SPEEDY duathlete who ended up finishing 1st in his age group and 3rd overall! Julie ended up finishing just behind me as the 1st female! (That’s good company to be in!) I also introduced myself to Omar, a runner who I’ve seen at lots of races before. Later, I learned this was his first multi-sport event!

Mark got on his bull-horn and started the race. “On your marks... get set... [bull horn noises]”


One of Pharmie’s college roommates came to watch, and she took a TON of great photos. Here we are about 60 second into the first run, and I was running in about 8th place:

From the left: Mario, Omar, and me

Matt and Pharmie were running side-by-side at this point:

I briefly chatted with Mario as I passed him. (Don’t worry about him - he FLEW by me on the bike!) I enjoyed the little rollers around the beautiful waterfall in downtown Cannon Falls. I worked my way up to about 6th. I passed Omar with about a half mile left, and we talked about dreading the wind on the upcoming ride. (Oooh... foreshadowing...)

I came running into T1 in 5th, but I’d later learn that I was right behind someone on a team, so I was 4th overall at this point. I started zipping up my leisure suit jersey to be ready for the upcoming chilly ride:

“Hi Jess!”


I threw on my helmet, grabbed my bike, and I was off:

It’s not often you see a guy in an aero helmet wearing a baggy t-shirt during a race!


I was off on my ride:

Shortly after, Pharmie and Matt came running into T1. Pharmie was hoping to keep up to her brother during the first run, and she did!

Matt running out of T1 (ready to try out his new wheels!)

Sarah ready to ride

An empty transition zone while everyone was riding

The ride was a 7 miles out and 7 miles back. The first 7 miles were WITH the wind. When I checked my pace at mile 3.5 and saw 22.9 mph, I wasn’t surprised. I was pulling 27 mph up a gentle hill. I KNEW it’d be bad at the turn-around, but I was hoping it wouldn’t be too bad. A few people passed me, but I was doing pretty good out there. Right before the turn-around, Chad passed me and said it was time to hammer into the wind. I didn’t wanna. ;) I was 15th or 16th at the turn-around.

At the turn around (mile 7), my average was 24.3 mph. I have NEVER seen numbers like that. Call me na├»ve, but I was really hoping the wind wouldn’t be TOO bad when we turned around........

HOLY CRAP. I. HAVE. NEVER. FELT. WIND. LIKE. THAT. IN. A. LONG. TIME. Turning into the wind was like riding into a brick wall!

It was bad. I went from staring at the upper 20s on my bike computer, to the lower teens. I couldn’t stop pedaling to get a drink of water, or the wind would stop me in my tracks. I was going up a gentle, gentle hill, and I was in my granny gear. De-press-ing. I saw Matt, Katie, and Pharmie after the turn-around. And Julie and Tim both passed me shortly after. They both laid down GREAT bike splits!

Overall bike averages:
- Mile 3.5: 22.9 mph
- Mile 7: 24.3 mph
- Mile 10.5: 20.5 mph
- Mile 14: 19.4 mph

It was disheartening out there. I just wanted it to be done. Like a watching a Matthew Mcconaughey movie. Alright, alright, alright. I said hi to Sean near the end of the ride, and I was HAPPY to be done as I rolled into T2:

All smiles


Mark watched me hop off my bike at the “dismount line” and then run my bike into transition:

Racking Goldilocks

Matt and I both expected him to catch me on the ride, but I held him off! (He had a much better bike split, but he didn’t quite make up for my stronger first run.) He came into T2 just a bit behind me:

Running his bike into T2

Matt running hard out of T2

Pharmie hopped off her bike and ran into T2:

Running out of T2

Sporting her new Sugoi tri suit


So, we were all running. I saw Matt M as I headed out on the run, as he was waiting for his teammate / girlfriend to get in from the bike. ** EPIC PHOTO ALERT!!** Jess snapped a photo at the PERFECT time as I ran out of T2. I had JUST grabbed a cup of water from a young volunteer, and the water seems to be exploding out of the cup:

Awesome! (Plus, the leisure suit jersey looks SWEET here!)

Swallowing that water hard

No “Slow Children” jokes. Please. ;)

There was no one in front of me for the first part of the run, so I had no one to “shoot for.” I just ran hard. I think I passed 1 person before the first mile marker. Then, right after that mile marker, I had a loose pack of runners to catch. I passed Chad and patted him on the shoulder.

Nearing the turn-around, I saw Julie and shouted to her. She said, “Come catch me, Steve!” I still hadn’t seen Tim, my high-school buddy. He was just a bit in front of me at the turn-around, and he shouted (in a very “Tim” voice) “Come get this assssss!” as we met. He was a good “rabbit” for me to go after. Just like Kevin at my half marathon 10 days ago, Tim was the friendly competition I needed out there to push myself hard!

Over mile 2, I caught about 10 runners, and I caught Tim around the mile 2 marker. We chatted for a moment. He said he was putting down better run splits than he thought! Nice work, Tim!! I pulled away and just tried to go hard over that last mile.

I saw a ponytail a few 100 feet in front of me at one point, and I knew I had a chance to catch Julie. She had told me to catch her, so I figured I’d give it a shot. ;) I ran past her in the final section along the river, and I shouted my support to her.

I emerged from the trees running hard:

I was coming up on another runner, and I thought he’d be able to hold me off. I pushed hard, and I ended up flying by him over the last 200 feet:

Closing the gap

Making the pass

Heading into the chute

My mile splits were pretty good: I ran 5:59, 5:51, and 5:47 over those 3 miles. I hit the line running hard. ** EPIC PHOTO ALERT!!** Katie (Matt M’s biker on their team) snapped a photo of me heading down the chute, and I look like I’m BOUNDING:

Official Results:

(Note: The results are still being worked on by the race management team. My results are “normal” [and they match my watch], but some people’s splits are strange. I know that 2 women did NOT run sub-5:00 miles for the second 3 mile run. I also know that someone who ran an average of 12:00 / mile over both runs did not put down a 31.4 mph average on the bike [she’s female too]. So I’m pretty sure my overall place is right, but the place in my individual divisions might change a bit over the next few days.)

Steve Stenzel, bib 147, age 29

2 mile run: 11:35 (5:48 pace), 4th overall
T1: 0:37 [16th overall I think]
14 mile bike: 42:54 (19.6 mph) 31st overall
T2: 0:32 [9th overall I think]
3 mile run: 17:39 (5:53 pace), 5th overall [I think]

Total time: 1:13:14
12th out of 207 overall
2nd out of ?? [around 10] in the 25-29 age group

I’ll be back with more photos from the rest of everyone else’s finish tomorrow! And thanks for all the great photos, Jess! TWO “Epic Photos” in one report?!? That’s unheard of!! ;) Thank Jess! (and Katie!)

Back with more soon! Have a good week!

p.s. Pharmie actually got her race report posted before I got mine up! Check it out!


Christi 8:24 AM, May 03, 2010  

This statement is hysterical! "just wanted it to be done. Like a watching a Matthew Mcconaughey movie."

Mario 8:40 AM, May 03, 2010  

Man, you look like you're smiling in every picture. How do you do that?!?! I have to fake like I'm not going throw up.

Steve Stenzel 8:45 AM, May 03, 2010  

Mario, here's my secret: it's the leisure suit jersey. You can't keep yourself from smiling in that thing! ;)

GoBigGreen 9:26 AM, May 03, 2010  

Great race Steve and Pharmie! Matt's dismount pic is awesome, he has 3 arms and legs!

Kim 12:20 PM, May 03, 2010  

those are some fantastic photos!!!! you stenzels whooped some ass!!!!!

Unknown 2:01 PM, May 03, 2010  

Nice blog!! Great descriptions of the event...

Add the following for me:
- novice first time duathlon / tri
- first time riding the bike this year.
- just noticed underinflated tires.
- old archaic 1970's vintage schwinn
- Noticing on garmin, 2-3min/mi out
- Feeling helpless with the wind, thinking the downhills would help... nada/nope... Until the last 1 - 2 miles.
- mid 5's back
- I had spit off the side of my face that I did not dare take my hands off the bike for fear of slowing down.

Julie 6:19 PM, May 03, 2010  

Hi Steve,
Awesome job you super stud!! Great pictures:) You are always smiling and I love that! Pharmie, you look great too!! You look so strong and fast! Congrats to the both of you!

Unknown 10:57 AM, May 06, 2010  

Steve, I'm glad you came up and said Hi! I was looking for the bowl full of Sunshine and I didn't see you:( Omar was a student of mine in Montgomery - I'm glad you got to meet him - He does a lot of our races but I didn't know this was his first multi - Hooray!
Steve B

Unknown 10:57 AM, May 06, 2010  
This comment has been removed by the author.

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