Treadman Duathlon Race Report

>> Monday, September 22, 2014

Or, "HOW Can This Bike be Called 'Fairly Flat' on the Race Website?!?"

Or, "Lots-O-Snot"

A few days ago, I caught a bad cold. Early Saturday morning as I was driving to the Treadman Duathlon, I rolled down my window to hack up a loogie. It was appropriate that it was during this song (which described previously stated loogie):

I'm not joking. This song was on the radio as I left a piece of me on Hwy 52.

I got to the race site and took care of some business:

Dark clouds (and a few distant lightning strikes) making part of the bike course wet.

Set up in transition.

Sean "Easy-Peasy" Pease snapped one of the most awkward photos of me ever as we were nearing the start of the race and I was fueling a bit more:

Dear God.

I talked with Jenn Scudiero a bit - she was racing, and she was one of my 2 relay partners at the Trinona Sprint Triathlon this past June:

Me, Jenn, and Jeremy after our Trinona relay win!

We all got lined up, and soon we were off!


I was back in 4th place right away. I checked the legs of the guys in front of me: no one in my age group. Nice. Someone came up behind me pretty quick: it was a skinny, speedy 30-year-old female. (If you know my Mom, she was built a little like my Mom, but even a bit skinnier.) I ran behind her in 5th for a bit.

My first 2 half-mile splits were 2:52.8, and 3:00.5, for a first mile of 5:53. I knew I had slowed up a bit in that second half-mile (well, the pack of us had slowed up a bit), and I was 100% OK with that - I didn't want to kill myself on the first run.

Runners coming back down the same trail later in the race after I finished.

I was pretty consistent when we climbed a gravel hill and went down the other side: mile 2 was 3:00.1 and 3:00.6 for a 6:00 mile. Good. The little hill is right near the middle of my elevation chart from the run, after we turned off the paved trail:

Our turn off the trail and back towards town was around a farmyard that reeked of cattle was we got close. Mario Minelli was just in front of the speedy woman in front of me. I shouted "Mario, I blame that smell on you!" On the gravel road, I was a little hashed. I ALREADY started having thoughts of having to walk on the final run. My mind was not in a good place. I tried to let up a bit. I was still in 5th after someone in front of us dropped back, but someone behind us passed our group.

As I just said, I "tried" to let up a bit, but nearing the end of the run made me want to go a little harder. For mile 3, I ran a 2:58.3 and then finally slowed up to a 3:06.6 for a 6:04 mile. I ran the remainder back to T1 at about 6:04 pace (my Garmin tells me), and I was nearly 20 seconds behind the Mom look-a-like (I made myself ease up more).

My goal stated in Saturday's post was "somewhere around 20 minutes" for each of the 3.3 mile runs, so I was happy to be running in at 19:38. I was curious to see if I'd have enough left in my legs for another sub-20 run later on...


The usual. Shoes off, shoes on, helmet on, sunglasses on (I don't like to run in my sunglasses unless it's super bright), and I was away. I made up some ground on the Mom look-a-like.


I passed the speedy female 2 blocks into the ride, and then I had empty roads. I was now in 4th, but the people in front of me were WAY up there. I knew this could be a lonely ride. And I was worried about the wind - it was a little breezy. But I should have been worried about my snot. My head was a little congested from my cold, and I blew 8-12 snot-rockets over the course of the ride. Many landed on my leg. Awesome. As Chris Martin was singing earlier that morning: "...and they were all yellow."

I got passed twice before mile 5, and neither were in my age group. "Sweet - could I get a wire-to-wire age group win?" It was waaaaaaay to early to be thinking about that, but it crossed my mind. But then I was passed by a 31-year-old who left me in his dust. Damn. I deserved it for having those sexy, sexy thoughts.

The first 5 miles were a bit uphill, so I was happy to see a 20.5 mph average there. Then there were LOTS more hills over the next 5 miles, so I was OK with seeing a 19.7 mph average over those miles. And then came the hill.

THEE hill.

Mother f*cker.

Just before the hill, Jenn passed me. We both yelled at each other (positive things). The roads were wet from previous rain, and I got SLOSHED up when she passed me and got in front of me! I kept wishing I had my camera to get a photo of the scale of this hill with her climbing it in front of me. Look at a close up of my Garmin elevation chart:

Those lines aren't like 20 feet. They're 100 feet. So it's a nice 300 foot climb.
That's not INSANE by any means, but it WAS pretty brutal in the middle of the race!

Mario warned me that once you THINK you're over the hill, it actually keeps going for a bit, and he was right. That 5 mile split (miles 10-15) was 17:35, or a 17.1 mph average. Yikes.

But after a few more miles, we turned north and had the wind at our back. It was still hilly (oh God, the hills never stopped), but it was more downhill overall. Here's my overall Garmin elevation data:

I set a PR over the next 5 miles! The wind wasn't TOO bad out there as shown by my first 20.5 mph split over the first 5 miles - that's not great for me, but that's about where I expect to be (I had a 22.0 average at my last tri, and that was GREAT for me!). The combo of the wind at our back and the hills being more downhill rose my overall average quickly. And my 5-mile split was 11:59.1 - that's a 25.0 mph ave over 5 miles!! Once during a wind-aided 5-mile interval on a flat trail in Alexandria, I biked a 12:01. Awesome.

Checking my OVERALL average every 5 miles looked like this:

- Mile 5: 20.5 mph
- Mile 10: 20.2 mph
- Mile 15: 19.0 mph (having JUST climbed out of the 18s)
- Mile 20: 20.1 mph
- Back to transition (21.60 miles): 20.3 mph

I saw the guy in my age group who had passed me running out as I was headed back (the runners came out for 4 blocks on the bike course, so it's a nice way to see who's in front of you). He was about 3 blocks away from transition already, and I still had to get back there, go through T2, and start running. I was pretty sure I had my 2nd place age group spot secure with no shot at 1st. Considering the hills and some wind, I was happy with my 1:03 bike when I had hoped for "just over an hour."


I came to my normal awkward stop, hopped off my bike, and did all the normal T2 stuff. I asked a relay runner waiting in transition if he wanted to run for me. He figured it best to wait for his ACTUAL partner. Fine. Jerk.


OH DEAR BABY JESUS MY LEGS WERE DEAD. The run was the same as the first run, but in reverse (which was kinda great). The only problem was that there's a short climb over a bridge to start it (see the end of the elevation chart in first run section). I dropped to well over 9:00 pace there. I couldn't see anyone in front of me or behind me, so I just ran. I was hoping to find Jenn before the finish.

Jenn was a few blocks up after turning corner. I was s-l-o-w-l-y gaining on her. My first mile was 3:09.8 and 3:04.9 for a total of 6:14. I knew the next half mile would be rough, because we were now running up that 1/4 mile gravel hill. It felt horrible, and it ended up being my slowest half mile split of the day: 3:12.0.

I got right on Jenn's tail as we turned off the gravel road and onto the straight trail that would lead us 1.5 miles back to the finish. She told me to "go get em," and I motioned to the wide-open space in front of us and said "there's no one to get!" I ran a 3:06.7 to give me a mile 2 split of 6:18. Oh, and don't feel bad for Jenn that I passed her - she went on to break the female course record!

I THOUGHT I was gaining on someone near the end, but then I realized it was a middle-aged female runner out for a jog. Damn it. (I wouldn't have caught her anyway.) Mile 3 was super uneventful as I ran 3:00.7 and 2:57.8 for a 5:58 total. I was happy to get one under 6. My final 0.3 to the finish was done at 5:31 pace.

From later in the race: we ran over 2 little bridges in the final half mile.
Beautiful morning for a run!

I ended up 7th overall, over 90 seconds behind 6th (but the age grouper I was chasing finished 5th over 3:00 ahead of me), well over a minute in front of Jenn in 8th, and almost 14 minutes ahead of 3rd in our age group.


Steve Stenzel, 33, M, St. Paul, #1188

- 3.3 MILE RUN: 19:38 (5:57.0 pace), 1st in age group, 5th overall.
- T1: 0:44, 6th overall.
- 21.6 MILE BIKE: 1:03:52 (20.3 mph), 2nd in age group, 10th overall.
- T2: 0:37, 10th overall.
- 3.3 MILE RUN: 19:59 (6:03.3 pace), 1st in age group, 2nd overall.

TOTAL: 1:44:47

7 out of 68 overall
7 out of 56 males
2 out of 3 in the 30-34 age group


• Even though the bike was ROUGH with all those hills, I hit my race goals pretty well. I wanted runs around 20 minutes and a bike just over an hour. I said in Saturday's post that I hoped that would put me in the 1:45 - 1:50 range. I was really hoping for around 1:45, so my 1:44:47 is just fine by me. (Side note: I never tried to figure out my overall time when racing. I only saw my current "sport" time on my Garmin. So I wasn't easing up or anything knowing I had sub-1:45. I've gotten much better over the years at predicting what I can do.)

• Speedy Mario has done this race about 4 7 times (and he's placed 2nd a good number of those times). He claims this is the HARDEST multisport race in the state. The course makes a good argument for that. The hilly ride out around Square Lake (for the Square Lake Tri and the Cinco Du Mayo Du) is rough, but I think this was more relentless. I was in and out of my small ring soooo many times. In fact, here's a comparison of hilly Treadman vs hilly Cinco - it's clear Treadman is much hillier when you see it has about a 300 foot elevation change while Cinco has about 150 foot change:

"Treadman Du" in green, "Cinco" in red, and both at the same scale. (It's worth noting that Cinco
is half as long, so the hills seem artificially "longer" when placed on top of a 21.6 mile course).

• I didn't think of this until during the race, but this was my longest duathlon ever. The Apple Duathlon is 26.7 miles (3.1, 20.5, 3.1), and that's the longest I've done. Oh wait, I forgot about the no-longer-in-existance "Winter BeGone" Duathlon which was actually pretty close to this race site (maybe another 10-15 miles down the road). A bunch of us did that race in 2008, and that's where Matt, Pharmie, and I got our first age group medals. That race was 27.9 miles (3.1, 18.6, 6.2). We don't have too many 10K runs in duathlons around here.

• This is totally silly, but I didn't like that all 3 events were loops. I like a good "out-and-back" to be able to see how I'm doing compared to other people. At this race, it was all loops, so we didn't have that luxury. I still liked this (brutal) race, and I'm definitely keeping this event in mind for the future! Great race!

I stretched WELL, and even went for a little cool-down jog. My hip/sacrum was a bit sore, but stretching for so long really seemed to help. I stuck around for awards to get my 2nd place age group medal, and I cheered for Jenn getting some goodies for her overall win (and COURSE PR!):

That night, I celebrated. P-R-E-T-T-Y hard:

From Instagram: "Shut up. You don't know me. I had a long race today. Don't judge."

Good race. Good food.

Stop back later this week for a 5K/10K race entry giveaway, and for some photos from the "new" (temporary) TC 10 Mile course.


Shinianen 6:44 AM, September 22, 2014  

Arby's AND Papa Johns?! Ha!

Mario 10:21 AM, September 22, 2014  

Ok, I haven't done Cinco or Square Lake, but still...this has to rank up there.

I've done Treadman 7 times, placing 2nd three times. Sinn has the record for wins, but he's got nothing on me for being the First loser x3 :) The Treadman started in 2006 and was run out of Douglas 2006-2008. Douglas is that little town that we reached at a "T", went right and then headed for the big hill--known as Genoa Hill locally.

Steve Stenzel 10:25 AM, September 22, 2014  

SEVEN times?!? Awesome Mario. Nice talking with you! And I think the elevation charts shows that you're on to something for sure...

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