Column: Twelve in 2012We knew before the race even started that we were pretty much guaranteed to have a faster time than we did last year. But it wasn’t because we were going to actually be faster.
By: Carolyn Bray, The Republican Eagle
We knew before the race even started that we were pretty much guaranteed to have a faster time than we did last year. But it wasn’t because we were going to actually be faster.
Chad and I competed in the Minneapolis Duathlon Sunday for the third year in a row. We participated in the mixed two-person team competition.
The event — which is advertised as the world’s largest duathlon consists of three legs — a run, bike and then another run. It used to be a 5K run, an 18-mile bike and then a 5K run. At that distance our best time was 1:59.44.
But this year race officials shortened the bike portion to 15 miles. So we were pretty sure we’d be able to beat last year’s time unless we suffered a major injury or had a bike malfunction.
This might sound like a good thing on paper, but it actually was a disappointment to us. It was fun last year to have a goal in mind (to finish in under two hours) and with the course change, we weren’t sure what time to shoot for. To make matters worse, we drove the course on Saturday afternoon and it measured as a 16-mile bike instead of a 15-mile bike.
So we went into Sunday’s race without a good idea of how fast we could finish. We estimated a finish of around 1:50.00.
This duathlon is a huge event put on by Team Ortho Foundation as part of the Monster series. It draws a very large crowd and closes down several streets in Minneapolis. More than 1,150 people participated as individuals and more than 200 teams registered as two-person or three-person relays. There was also a 5K-only option.
The way Chad and I do the race is that Chad does both running portions and I do the cycling leg.
Here’s how we did: Chad finished his first 5K in 27:02. Our first transition took 1:36. (This is the amount of time it takes to run into the relay team area, transfer the timing chip and have the next person run out with their bike and hop on.) I completed the bike portion (either 15 or 16 miles) in 56:11. Our second transition took 1:38. And then Chad ran his second 5K in 26:05. That puts our total time at 1:52.30.
We were initially disappointed. But as we ate our post-race snacks and walked back to retrieve my bike, we both talked about how we really thought we did the best we could and decided not to waste any time being upset. We ended up finishing 39th out of 91 mixed two-person relays.
My favorite part about this race is that it’s fun to do an event where Chad and I work together as a team to finish. I saw one husband/wife team get into a fight during their transition — which made it extra cool that I was greeted with a kiss and “great job” when I handed off our timing chip after completing the bike portion.
I think I’m really going to miss that support from a teammate when I do my next duathlon in a few weeks all by myself. The Iron Girl duathlon will be my toughest race of the year.
But after this event — which was our 10th race in our quest for 12 races in 2012 — I think I’m ready to challenge myself again.