Oakdale Duathlon Race Report

>> Monday, May 16, 2011

Matt and I teamed up as "Team Happy Pants" for the 7th time on Saturday! And we picked another wet and cold race....


Matt told me he's pretty sure every race in 2011 is going to be like this. Great.

I was there to do the 2 runs (3 miles and 2.5 miles), and Matt was there to do the 13.5 - 14 mile bike. Here he is getting back from a wet and chilly test ride. Look at how happy he looks:

Matt and I chatted with LOTS of familiar faces as the rain came and went. Soon it was time to head to the starting line. Matt snapped THEE most awkward photo when we were waiting around: I'm on the right keeping my hands warm, Lydia is in the middle checking on her multiple layers, and Greta is practicing her shadow boxing on the left:


(Greta had the best comment on that photo on Facebook: "Lydia, what's going on down there? I will punch it." Well played, Greta.)

A better photo of the 3 of us (except for my "Trump" hair)

Oh yeah, the "tutti-frutti" shorts were back for the race! I would have worn the shorty yellow shorts, but those turn see-through when they get wet. So that wouldn't have worked out too well. For ANYONE.

Wave 1 was elite men, elite women, and teams. So I got ready to go:


I gave my "race plan" on twitter the night before the race: "Race plan for tomorrow's duathlon relay: Go TOO HARD in the 1st run (really), and hold on for as much speed as possible in the 2nd." Time to do that.


We did a little loop through a parking lot before heading back past the startline. Katie grabbed a photo of me next to a tall strider:

I ran in 7th or 8th place the whole time. I slowly passed that tall strider (next to me in the photo above) around mile 1. I had to work to keep my foot-strikes faster than him - I'm still working on keeping a high cadence so I don't heel-strike as much based on what my running PT told me a few weeks ago. We chatted briefly as I passed him. His name was Kyle. Nice kid.

I hit mile 1 in 5:10. "Well, that was SHORT." Kyle would move up on me during the uphills, and I would try to pull away on the flats. He passed me again, and I was back in 8th. I hit mile 2 in 5:57 - that one was LONG to make up for the short first mile.

I was following my race plan - I was going HARD. Nearing transition, I had caught back up to Kyle and someone else:

I passed these 2 a few seconds after that photo was taken, and I moved into 6th overall. I hit transition as the FIRST PLACE TEAM!! (My 3rd mile was 5:37.)


I came running through transition towards Matt on the far side:

Pam watching Matt take the timing chip off my ankle

I look pretty calm in that photo, but BELIEVE ME, I was breathing hard!!


Matt took off and hit the bike just behind nice, tall-kid Kyle:

(And that's Jesse N and Ross W off in the distance)

Matt was working in the chilly rain. I threw on some pants and a hoodie, and tried to stay warm. I cheered on the other athletes and talked with friends. It's easy to be on a relay team during crappy weather IF you're the runner! I feel bad for the bikers who have to start off cold and have all the rain pelting them.

I hit the porta-potties, jogged just a little, and watched the top few individuals come in. Ross came into T2 in SECOND - he had passed Kevin O'Connor, which he was THRILLED about! (You'll remember seeing a lot of photos of Ross in my Cannon Falls Race Report from 2 weeks ago.)

Suddenly, a biker showed up and someone started taking his timing chip! MATT WAS PASSED BY ANOTHER TEAM'S BIKER!! I had talked to this team's runner a few minutes ago, and when I saw him taking his teammate's chip, I cheered for him and said, "ALRIGHT! Now we've got a race! I'll be gunning for you!!"

Matt was just about 45 seconds behind this team. I saw him coming, threw off my hat, and got ready to meet him at the edge of transition:

Matt running to the far left, me waiting on the right


Matt ran up to me, stuck out his ankle, and I transferred the chip:

Ladies, you're welcome.

Running after that other team!!


This was the same as the first run, only it was run in reverse and without the first little loop through the parking lot.

Starting the run.

A bit too much of a heel-strike. D'oh.

Looping through the park, trying to find that first place team!

My goal of just going as hard as I could was only being HELPED by trying to catch this other team. I wanted to catch him ASAP. And I got him before mile 1! We wished each other well, and I took off. Someone was never more than 20 seconds behind me, and they kept pushing me. I was PRETTY sure it wasn't a team, but I wasn't 100% sure - and it was a good reason to GO HARD!!

I hit mile 1 in 5:39 and the long mile 2 in 5:47. I only caught that one team on the run, and I didn't catch any other runners. I was gaining on nice, tall-boy Kyle, but I couldn't get him. He finished 10 seconds in front of me. Matt got some photos of me hitting the final straight-away with 50 meters left:

Again, a bit too much of a heel-strike.

That looks like a B-cup.


Bib 403
Team Happy Pants: Steve Stenzel, Matt Linder

3 mile run: 16:44 (5:35 pace), 1st team, 6th fastest individual
T1: 0:29, T-4th fastest team
14 mile bike: 37:21 (22.5 mph), 2nd fastest team, T-23 individual
T2: 0:22, T-4th fastest team
2.5 mile run: 14:04 (5:38 pace), 1st team, 4th fastest individual

1:08:59 total time

1st out of 25 teams overall
1st out of 11 male / male teams

And since they changed the course this year and knocked a half mile off the final run, TECHNICALLY "Team Happy Pants" holds the new team course record!! (Oh, and if you were wondering, I was able to put about 90 seconds between me and the runner for the second place team.)

Like usual, I cheered for other athletes, grabbed some delicious things, and talked with friends post-race. Swimming buddy Kathryn came into T2 with good news and bad news: the good news was that she was THRILLED that she was able to change her own flat in those nasty conditions on the bike. The bad news was that her Raynaud's Syndrome mixed with the cold and rain (and exacerbated by having to change the flat) had made her hands numb and useless. So Dan (another friend from the same Y where Kathryn and I swim) helped her get out of her bike shoes. She was going to throw in the towel, and both Dan and I said that was NOT a big deal. She got her running shoes on and decided she might try to start the run. Dan and I offered to run with her, and she liked the thought of company. So Kathryn and I headed out for a nice 2.5 mile run together! We talked about biking and yoga and kids and family and etc, etc. Here we are on our run, as we're nearing the first mile marker:

Running through the trees half-way into the run,
about to pass all those runners!


That's Amy and Dan from the Y in that photo above, so it was a like a mini-Y reunion with the 4 of us! ;) Kathryn got through the race and did GREAT!

We stuck around for awards and giveaways. Matt and I got medals for being the first place team...

.... but the MOST important part of that is hearing someone say "Team Happy Pants" over a loud-speaker!! Ha! ;) Oh, and I had to get a photo of Ross's sweet shirt:

If you want to see more PHOTOS from the race (and the full RESULTS) CLICK HERE to go to my Examiner article about the race. Oh, and if you haven't seen it, scroll down to Saturday's post to see lots of great photos of my cute, pregnant wife racing the TC 1 Mile!

Team Happy Pants rides again this weekend!! We're back for our 4th straight relay at the Gear West Duathlon - we've placed SECOND 3 years in a row. We'll see what we can do this weekend!!....


SteveQ 10:27 AM, May 16, 2011  

Greta needs to square her wrists to avoid getting a boxer's fracture (otherwise, fun report!)

JP 2:26 PM, May 16, 2011  

Matt's pants don't look "happy" enough. You should do something about that before this weekend.

Bruther 2:38 PM, May 16, 2011  

you still heel strike, just saying - how can one be as fast as you and heel strike? great site, great report thanks

Jamie 7:40 PM, May 16, 2011  

Great race report!!!! You win hands down for happiest pants! And I disagree on the B-cup, more like little bee stings/A cups. Your perception is skewed bc you have pregnancy boobs only to look at I think ;-)

Richelle 10:00 PM, May 16, 2011  

Nice work and congrats on the team win! I bet it was the shorts! ;-)

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