Gear West Duathlon 2010

>> Monday, May 24, 2010

(Part 1 of 2)

Matt came over yesterday morning, and he drove Pharmie and I to the Gear West Duathlon. It was WARM and STICKY out! As we were unloading the car about 2 blocks from transition, we were already hearing about the car in the middle of transition. Someone had parked at the school Saturday morning, and transition was set up around them on Saturday night for the race on Sunday!! Have you ever seen a sedan in the middle of transition?

I hit the pooper:

Here’s Pharmie and her college friend Jess who was getting ready to do her first duathlon!! She picked sticky and hilly race to start with!

The car becoming even more engulfed by transition

Tiffany, Pharmie, and Jess in line for the potty

We chatted with all kinds of friends, and soon it was time to head down to the start line. We all walked down there, seeing more friends along the way.

Me, Pharmie, and Jess walking to the start

Wave 1 was the competitive men. Wave 2 was the competitive women and teams. So I got to start with all the buff chicks! ;) Matt biked down to see us all off at the start, and snapped some photos as Trent from Gear West shouted GO!!


Starting on the far side

Peter (team runner), Jenny, Cathy, me (in the back), Jen, someone I don’t know, Julie, a bit of Catherine, some of Jan, and Julia

Running on the far side

The first 1K of the run is down the road and past transition. Peter and I hopped out to the lead after the first 100 meters, and we chatted a bit. I knew his team would be our team’s biggest competition, but Peter is such a nice guy. It’s hard to push against such a nice fella! ;) I hit the turn to run back near transition (about the 1K mark), and I had taken the lead. I heard my name being shouted from all around! That was great!!

Here’s Pharmie starting in a later wave as she came running past transition at about the 1K mark:

The majority of the remaining 4K was grassy, gravel, and winding trails near a little swamp / marsh. Peter was right on my butt through the most of it. We looped around ball fields and soccer fields. We hit the trails near the marsh. I was SOAKED with sweat! I felt like I couldn’t catch my breath because of how humid it was! There weren’t any mile markers out there, but I felt like I was running slower than in the last 2 years.

I was happy to get out of those trees and into some moving air!! I hit the grass again, and soon I was running towards the last, little, b*tch of a hill just a few hundred meters before transition. Here’s a photo I took of it later in the day:

I hit the hill and just tried to stay strong running back towards transition. A glance at my watch showed that I had NOT turned in a great time. Stupid humidity! It was like swimming!


I ran up to Matt, and he took the chip and headed off on the ride. Apparently, I had pulled away from Peter (one of the other team runners) in the last 1/3 of the run. He was on my butt for the first half of the run, but he came into T1 about 30 seconds after me.


Matt was riding. I caught my breath and grabbed my camera to get some photos of other people I knew in the race.

Jenny heading out of T1 as the first female (with Cathy Y in the background)

Julia (swimming buddy) heading out, with Julie H behind her

(Funny side story: Jen Harrison is Julia’s coach. When Julia came running up to her bike, she slowed to a walk for just a few steps. I shouted “I’m telling Jen I saw you walk!!” I saw Julia flash me a bit of a smile!)

Soon Pharmie came running out of T1 with a pack of guys:

Getting clipped in and ready to ride

And soon our friend Jess came through doing her first duathlon:

Go Jess!

While Matt was riding, I chatted with Sean and Chad. I said hi to Terrance, Curt, Erik, and Heidi. There were lots of friendly people to talk to! I didn’t do any running while Matt was biking; I just stretched a bit and kept loose - which was easy to do because of how sticky and warm it was.

Soon local rockstar David Thompson came running in from the bike. He FLEW off his bike and into transition:

After a few more speedy individuals, Peter’s biker came in with a CRAZY FAST bike split. Here’s Peter getting the chip and getting ready to hit the final run:

I knew Matt wasn’t going to be coming in for a few minutes, but I HOPED he’d be in soon! I knew we had a SHOT at the first place team, but Matt would have to show up quick.


Matt turned in a GREAT bike split, but he came running into transition about 5 minutes after the first place team. There wasn’t any way to make up that much time. I was just ready to hit that final run hard. I grabbed the camera to snap a few shots just before Matt got to me:

Flying off the bike


So the second run is 1K shorter, but they just take off the EASY 1K on the road and leave us with the rest of the trails. Yeah, thanks. ;)

Heading out of transition, a kid working the water stop said “Do you want to be splashed?!” I was warm, so I said “Yeah, splash me!” He nailed me in the chest with a cup of water, and it felt good. But then, the 3 kids behind him all nailed me with cups of water too, and that SOAKED my “bowl full of sunshine” shorty-shorts. And we all know what happens when those shorts get wet: they turn to cling-wrap and become see-through. Thank goodness most of that run is out in the open with no one around. Time to dry out! ;)

With all the little loops on that final run, I saw (and cheered for) lots of people: Cathy, Kerry, and Suzie among others. I had a pretty good push on that final run, and I felt like I was turning in a pretty good time. I hit that b*tch of a hill just behind a pack of guys. Here I am a few hundred feet past the top of that hill, and a few hundred feet from the finish:

Yes, we’re about ready to run though a flock of flamingos.
No, I don’t know why.

Hey! My eyes are up here! (Sorry!)

My nipples and I running past Matt

Hitting the line just behind Jason

Official Results:

Team Happy Pants = Steve Stenzel, Matt Linder

5K run: 18:53 (6:18 pace), 1st fastest team
T1: 0:32, 2nd fastest team
28K (17.4 miles) bike: 43:44 (23.3 mph), 4th fastest team
T2: 0:25, 1st fastest team
4K run: 16:53 (6:22 pace), 1st fastest team

Total: 1:20:25
2 out of 12 teams total
2 out of 4 male / male teams

So that makes 2nd place for “Team Happy Pants” the last 3 years in a row! The good news is that our times are getting better! We did the race in 1:25:55 two years ago, and 1:22:41 last year. So 1:20:25 this year is still a great improvement! We couldn’t be disappointed with second place when we turned in splits like that.

Here we are shortly after we finished our race:

Once the results went up, I was thrilled to see this:

I had the 3rd fastest second run of everyone racing! (Just behind the 1st and 2nd overall men.)

And it was CRAZY to see this:

The biker of the first place team had thrown down a 27.2 mph bike split!! That was nearly a full mph faster than the pro David Thompson (who is known for being fast on the bike)! Amazing!! Matt and I were thrilled with his 23.3 mph average, so 27.2 is just insanity!

I’ll be back tomorrow with more photos from Pharmie’s race, as well as some more photos of some of our friends that were racing out there. Thanks everyone!

(p.s. I posted a quick article about the race along with more photos on my examiner page. Click here to check that out. Thanks!)


Mario 8:22 AM, May 24, 2010  

Two things, 1. a flock of flamingo's is better than a 'Flock of Seagulls'. Ok, bad 80's reference.

2. Hans Arnesen, fastest bike split, was on a couple pro cycling/pro tour development teams. A friend of mine, Rick Hoover, who was 2nd with another guy, in the Team Div at Oakdale did some homework on the guy... Thompsons fast on the bike for a triathlete, but not for a pro roadie who can TT.

MajorMantra 8:22 AM, May 24, 2010  

I think more sentences should start "My nipples and I..." Nice job Steve and Matt!

Christopher Hawes 8:31 AM, May 24, 2010  

Steve, great race report and summary. Good to see you, and everyone else, out there. Even though it was humid, it was still a great day. You guys did a great job out there.

Erin Leigh 8:44 AM, May 24, 2010  

Sounds like a great race. Great to see the improvement over the years too. Wonder what it would have been without the humidity.

Kelly 8:48 AM, May 24, 2010  

I'm sorry but that flock of flamingos is amazing. If I EVER have a race, I'm marking the course with flamingos and havinga herd of them at the finish line! I think it's fun!

teacherwoman 10:07 AM, May 24, 2010  

Wow! Great job, guys! You always have wonderful pictures!

The flock of flamingos is kind of creepy if you ask me. lol

SteveQ 11:39 AM, May 24, 2010  

That's the first time I've seen Jen without helmet and sunglasses... so THAT's what she looks like!

Kim 11:59 AM, May 24, 2010  

congrats steve to you, matt and pharmie! awesome job out there.

yeah um thanks for sharing the picture of your "junk full of sunshine" picture. ha!

GoBigGreen 12:09 PM, May 24, 2010  

I had to walk to get around my car in transition:)
In hindsight i am not sure that was the best place for me to rack but i sure knew where my bike was. And yes I recall that last run thinking "Do i run thru these pink flamingos?" It kinda confused me!

X-Country2 1:26 PM, May 24, 2010  

Looks like fun! Nice work boys.

EZnJ 1:30 PM, May 24, 2010  

Happy pants rocks!!! Great work out there to both of you. so how fast are you going to be next yr... keep up the 2 min??

Cyborg Queen 1:52 PM, May 24, 2010  

Way to go Steve and Matt! Love the yellow can see everything once you blow it up (ctrl+ +) *snickers*

Jennifer Harrison 3:59 PM, May 24, 2010  

AWESOME STEVE!!!!!!!!!!!
LOVED the pics! :)

CoachLiz 4:05 PM, May 24, 2010  

1.) The car in transition is funny. Whoever parked there deserved to get everyone's gear bag piled on top of it.

2.) The flamingos were awesome. I hope they fly down here for a race.

3.) I was not looking at your junk. I was taking note that you have another picture with "air" under your feet. Do your feet ever touch the ground. Oh wait, they do, you had a foot down as you crossed the blue finish line.

4.) That hill on the run was a doozie!

Jennifer 7:47 AM, May 25, 2010  

Go Team Happy Pants! The flamingos, the splashing, the bitchy hill - another great report. The car. WTH?

richvans 8:42 AM, May 25, 2010  

I am pretty sure if I ever described my wife's running as "trudging" in a caption - I would be the one trudging . . . off to the dog house.

Looks like another great race/day/report.

doink 1:59 PM, May 25, 2010  

The car in transition had several dozen "I'm cheering for" stickers slapped over it by the end of the event. I guess they'll think twice next time.

Helen Keller,  3:18 PM, June 01, 2010  

Oh, Steve's racing again and he's wearing the little bowl of...oh my...junk... Cover your eyes children, I think I need to go and lie down in a darkened room somewhere...

FinnyKnits 7:18 PM, June 02, 2010  

Great race report! You're as pleasantly candid as ever and it's an awful mean trick they pulled with that naughty hill. I hope you gave it the finger.

Meanwhile, it's great to see someone else go through their first duathlon successfully since I'm doing my first one this coming weekend.

Any advice for my race? I'm convinced I'll crash my bike into someone.

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