Oakdale Duathlon Race Report

>> Monday, May 11, 2015

I was nauseous and feeling like crap the day before this race. In a moment of weakness, I stopped at Dairy Queen for lunch with the boys hoping that would help:

News flash: it didn't help. But I love the comments from my twitter peeps.

My sister-in-law and her boyfriend came into town the evening before the race. It was going to be Annie's FIRST DUATHLON!! Here they are on our couch the night before the race:

I don't know what Matt is doing.

The next morning, we loaded all 3 bikes on the back of my car, and headed for the race site. The park ranger at the Lake Elmo Park Reserve acted like we were the first ones there. Once we pulled into the lot, we realized we WERE the first ones there:

First spot in the lot.

Empty transition.

Nabbing the 3 best spots along the fence.

Matt's sweet stem cap.

Pre-race business.

Ross was going to cheer at the race, so I gave him my camera. Ross and I had an upcoming race in T2, but we'll get to that in a moment. THANKS ROSS for all of these race photos! He first snapped one of what we knew would be the top 4 ladies:

Jenn, Diane, Nicole, and Suzie, photo-bombed by yours truly.

Nicole won the long course race at Cinco Du last weekend, and she was the ONLY 1 of the
4 winners who I didn't show in my race report! I felt bad. Making up for it now. :)

We headed to the start. Ross told me he might fill up my memory card with photos of butts and crotches. I told him I'd post his photos. Here are 3:

My butt (and traditional SMILY FACE!) along with Nicole and Suzie.

Pre-race crotches.

Thanks Ross.

Related: when I was chatting with Suzie in that 3rd photo up, we were talking about when we first met 6 years ago at the Gear West "Splash and Dash" event. Here were the 7 of us in that tiny "training race:"

Back to the race... I was in the first wave of men under 39, along with all male and female elites. I figured I might be running on the tail end of some of the male elites, so that could be a good push for the first run. Randy shouted GO, and we were off!


You can see a little of my blue shirt behind the guy in green near the middle.

More crotches from Ross.

Annie starting the female wave 2 minutes later! (In the pink with the headphones.)

I took off and settled into 8th. We circled back pretty quick and ran right past the start again, and we were back there JUST after the women started in wave 2. So I got to see Annie starting and shout to her! GO ANNIE!

The top 3 speedy runners over a half mile into the run.

Running next to buff Scott.

Scott and I running away.

Other waves behind us looping through the park. It's a beautiful run!

I stayed in 8th or 9th for the entire run. I went out HARD. My first 2 half mile splits were 2:42 and 2:54, for a 5:36 opening mile! I wanted to ease up a bit so I didn't die, but I didn't want to ease up TOO much. Mile 2 was 6:09 (maybe a bit too easy), and my final mile back to transition was 5:57 (good).

Nearing T1. No one around me. Lonely. Tired. Sweaty. Hungry. A little gassy. Etc.

This is an un-edited, un-cropped photo from Ross.
He took over 200 photos for me, but many look like this.


Normal stuff. Normal speed. Nothing to write home about.

It's GREAT being on the end of transition.

Doing unspeakable things to my bike.

Riding off with a sweaty back on a beautiful day.


Like at the Cinco "DU" Duathlon 10 days ago, I wanted to bike pretty hard. I had a 21.4 mph ave at the base of the 1 big hill about 2 miles in, and that dropped to 19.6 by the top. I cranked away.

Runners coming towards T1, bikers biking out. And there's Annie in the pink on the left!

After 5 miles or so, I had been passed 2 times, so I was 11th. Suzie was the first female to pass me to put me back in 12th. (I knew I'd be passed by a few of the ladies on the bike.) Diane wasn't far behind her. After a few more miles, Jenn passed me, and Nicole wasn't far behind her. I KNEW WHAT WAS HAPPENING. I KNEW WHAT I WAS WITNESSING. I WAS GETTING EXCITED. FOUR BIG BIG NAMES IN THE LOCAL MULTI-SPORT SCENE WERE GOING TO BE DUKING IT OUT FOR A WIN IN FRONT OF ME, AND I'D PROBABLY BE RUNNING THROUGH THEIR BATTLE IN THE FINAL RUN. (WE'RE TALKING *NATIONAL* DUATHLETES OF THE YEAR AND SOME SPEEDY SPEEDY LADIES!) I WAS ABOUT TO HAVE A FRONT ROW SEAT TO AN EPIC THROW DOWN!

I couldn't let them get too far ahead. The 4 ladies passed me, and 1 guy in my age group passed me with about 2 miles to go, so I was back in about 16 overall. I didn't give a SUPER good effort on the backstretch where the roads were a little rough and there were some branches all over, but I was biking better-than-average. Here's what my overall average looked like (according to my Garmin) every 3.5 miles:

- 19.7 at mile 3.5
- 20.8 at mile 7.0
- 21.3 at mile 10.5
- 21.2 at mile 14 (transition)

The 4 ladies in front of me were ALL IN TRANSITION AT THE SAME TIME:

Suzie running out, Jenn running in, and Diane and Nicole to the right.
This is insanely awesome!

Coming in to T2 just as the ladies had left. Again, with no one around me.


There was a "RACE WITHIN THE RACE" here in T2! Race buddy Ross (who has taken most of these photos so far) wanted to see if he could down a PBR "Tall Boy" in less time than it took me to transition. Remember, I had a horrible T2 at Cinco 10 days ago, so this was a chance to try to be better. Here's me running to rack my bike, as Ross runs off in the distance to the T2 exit while chugging a 16 oz beer:

Everyone knew what was going on. The volunteer in this photo was telling me
"just take your time... give him a chance to finish his beer... no hurries... [laughs]"

Sheesh. I look like the epitome of speed. Good Lord.

Chug, chug, chug!

I thought I MIGHT beat him, but he finished and put the can on his head just
as I got up to him. He wanted a high-five, but I just slapped his chest.


The final run is the REVERSE of the first run, but without the little loop at the start, so it's a half mile shorter. I ran out HARD because I knew I had 1 (maybe 2) guys in my age group in front of me:

With the lead females (Suzie and Diane) in the distance!

Seriously guys, THIS is how epic this was! These are the top 4 BIG NAME LADIES
all within a block apart just after leaving T2!

Lonely me.

Sweaty me.

Around a corner, looking for that guy in my age group.

I went hard. I wasn't gaining on the guy in my age group very quickly. But I WAS gaining. He was running with Nicole and Jenn (the 3rd and 4th place females). Before the first mile was over, I got past those 3. I was dying, but running nice even splits: 2:57 and 2:58 for a 5:55 first mile.

I rarely do this, but I checked over my shoulder a few minutes later to make sure the guy wasn't keeping up with me. I was REALLY putting forth a good effort, but (or I guess I should say "therefore") I was hurting bad. He wasn't behind me - I had dropped him nicely.

Suzie and Diane were just in front of me now, and there was another guy WELL in front of them. I had to make him my target. I passed those ladies SO slowly and was excited to finish before them to see how this women's race was going to shape up! With about a half mile left, I kept having conflicting thoughts about the guy in front of me: my thoughts were either "I'll catch him in the next 30 seconds" or "I'm never going to catch him and I should just lay down and die right now." At that point, I tried to tell myself to stop worrying about either of those possible outcomes and just "keep with the race" for the moment. Just go hard. Don't worry about him. Just run. See what happens.

My 2nd mile was 5:53, so that means my first 2 miles in this 2.5 mile final run were about 15 seconds faster than my final 2 mile run at Cinco! And at this race, I had ran 50% farther and biked 40% farther already! I'm just noting that to show just HOW much I was pushing!

Just before the final turn (about 2 blocks before the finish), I ran up along side the guy in front of me. I passed him and try to drop the hammer as much as possible, because I didn't know this guy or his kick. (I've got a decent "triathlete's kick," but not a great "runner's kick.) I'm happy to report that he was as fried as I was, and I was able to hold him off as we ran into the finisher's chute:

That's a grimace, not a smile. And a whole lotta sweat.

Holy hell. That was hard.

The official results aren't up yet (they're fixing some issues with the final run splits), and I'll post those as soon as they're in. But I'm pretty sure the 6 people I passed in the final run were the 4 top women and the first 2 in my age group. I ended up 1st in my age group, 11th overall, and the 4th non-elite! For the record, I'm curious to see how my splits stack up. Will my final run be faster than other people's final run? (Based on the first run?) Was my T2 time faster than usual because I had to race Ross through? I can't wait to see the splits. (Oh, and I forgot to mention earlier that Ross was shouting to me "SORRY I BEAT YOU! AT LEAST YOU GOT 2ND IN SOMETHING TODAY!" Ha!)

UPDATE: THE RESULTS JUST CAME IN. I'll talk about these numbers more in an upcoming post (and highlight more on Matt's and Annie's finish), but for now, here are my official results:

Steve Stenzel, #166, 34, Male

- 3 mile run: 17:44 (5:55 pace)
, 10th overall, 1st in age group
- T1: 0:32, T-25th overall
- 14 mile bike: 37:48 (22.2 mph), 33rd overall, 4th in AG [Garmin: 21.2 mph, 13.35 miles]
- T2: 0:24, 9th overall
- 2.5 mile run: 14:27 (5:47 pace), 7th overall, 1st in age group

1:10:54 total

11th out of 177 overall
4th out of 166 non-elite overall
1st out of 13 in 30-34 age group

And here's another update: my final thoughts on the race based on my results.

So just behind me was the epic ladies race. Diane held on and pulled away a bit from Suzie:

Jenn passed Nicole in the final feet (to the cheers of her hubby and daughter) to take 3rd!

Elite, sweaty, toned hugs.

Brad who should have won Cinco last weekend was all smiles after
he finished saying "all I wanted to do was make sure I FINISHED this one!" Ha!

Brad and I talked a bit after this race. He was on his way to beating me by probably around 60 seconds at the Cinco "Du" Mayo Duathlon last weekend before he made a wrong turn near the end of the bike. We were both sure he'd beat me at this race. But I actually got him by about 15 seconds. Again, I was really nailing that final run.

Oh, and a final though on the women's race: Suzie posted some post-race thoughts on Facebook, and she said how MN Tri News founder and local multisport bank-of-knowledge Jerry MacNeil was running around T2 as all 4 women were in there at once, and (to quote Suzie) Jerry was about to "tinkle in his drawers & sprint all over the run course for a sneak peek waving his clipboard yelling, 'Epic!!!! Epic!!!! This is Epic!!! Ross are you getting this?!!! Pictures!!! Pictures!!!!' I've never gone back & forth with someone so many times in a race as I did with Diane today, at least 7+ lead changes until she finally channeled her inner Ruth Brennan Morrey & ran away to a :20 victory with Jenn & Nicole ending in a sprint finish less then a minute behind me. That was the most painful but fun race, thanks ladies for the excitement & competition, congrats!" Seriously, I had THEE BEST SEAT IN THE HOUSE to watch this race unfold. Awesome. Nice work, ladies!

Back out on the course, I looked for Matt:


On the way to a 2nd place age group finish!

Matt and I talked and looked for his lovely Annie. We spotted her off in the distance, and I snapped this photo just after she got a high-five from a random Mom on the trail:

We soon learned it WASN'T a random mom, but Annie's sister Steph
who showed up to cheer her on to her first duathlon finish!

Go Annie!

Across the line with some more high-fives!

And a hug from big sis!

During awards, Matt was the only one in his age group still around.
So standing around for photos was awkward. But Matt does "awkward" well.


First in my age group, with the 2 guys I passed on the run.

We went to get loaded up, as our 3 bikes were among the last left in a deteriorating transition:




Thanks for racing with me Matt and Annie!

When we got back home, I came in to Mama and Henry cooking, and Charlie precariously climbing the stool behind Henry:

He'll do ANYTHING to be like his big brother!

Back with the official results when they come in, along with my final thoughts on how the race went down for me. That was a fun one!! Thanks again for the (crotch) pics, Ross!


Patty T 6:27 PM, May 11, 2015  

WOW! Great race, congratulations!

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