This past Saturday I took part in the inaugural Powerman Muncie Duathlon. Although I've officially been a pro duathlete for three years now this was my first pro duathlon and just my second duathlon ever. In all we had eight pro duathletes make it out to Muncie Indiana for the race including two of the top ranked duathletes in the world who made the trip over from Europe.
Run 10k: 34:49 7th fastest split
The run went out very hard. I went out hard but being in 7th position and watching everyone run away from me I was having some serious negative thoughts. Most of those thoughts went away when I saw a mile split of 5:10, nearly everyone in front of me was under 5. Now the first mile is a net downhill but that's still very fast when we have 20k of running on tap for the day. I got the pace under control after that and just tried to focus on my race and setting myself up for a good bike and run. Having not done much speedwork with my focus on Ironman training, the fast early pace caused me to get some severe soreness in my calves as well as blisters on my feet from being up on my toes for the first time in months. Those weren't a major issue in the first run but they caused a lot of trouble in the second.
Bike 61k: 1:30:33 25.4mph 2nd fastest split
Onto the bike in 7th with only one other person in sight. From the very first pedal stroke I felt very good. Took no time to get into a groove and I was moving. About 5 miles in a cold rain arrived and it wouldn't stop until well after the race was over and everyone had left. Caught 6th place after 5 miles and by 10 miles I was all the way into third and feeling good. Through 20k in under 29 minutes. Now all that remained in front were two European Du stars. After 25k I made the pass into second and then wanted to put as much time as possible into everyone for the second run. I couldn't shake third place off my rear wheel. I won't say he was riding illegal but he finished the first run 2 minutes in front of me. I made those two minutes up in the first 25k of the bike. In the final 36k of the bike I put zero seconds into him, you can surmise what that means. Good ride for me, ended up with a 25.4mph average for 38 miles on a somewhat hilly, somewhat windy, wet course. I'll take that.
Run 10k: 40:12 7th fastest split
On the second run my very sore calves and blisters immediately started causing me a lot of discomfort. The French athlete I came off the bike with ran away no problem. The same first mile which I ran 5:10 on the first run was 6:00 on the second. Was having to alter my stride due to the discomfort. Got passed by another and then another. Had gotten myself under control and was able to stay with the final athlete who passed me to the turnaround. We were holding 6:00 pace, racing for 4th place. At that final turnaround I saw that we were a good 7 minutes up on 6th place. Then the option was with fight it out for fourth place or jog to the finish 5th. With all the discomfort I was in from my blisters and sore calves and only $140 difference in payout between 4th and 5th position I decided pretty quickly to call it a day and was content to run 8 minute pace to the finish and 5th place on the day.
Overall: 2:47:03 5th place
Was a little disappointed that my body let me down since I think I had the fitness on the day to get on the podium, but that's part of racing. At the finish I thought maybe I was just being a wuss and could have just pushed through it but then I saw the red stain coming through my shoe. I've had enough blisters in my day to know that when you see the red stain all the way through the shoe it's going to be pretty bad and it was. I can't complain though because my friend Nick W. started passing a kidney stone on the bike and still finished the race. Really pleased with my bike, only a multiple time Du world champ out split me. But the highlight on the day was competing in a Pro race in the state of Indiana. I've been saying for years that we need a major race since every surrounding state has one and it felt great to have multiple athletes traveling over from Europe to compete in Indiana. Likewise it felt great to compete in a major race just two hours from home. So want to thank the crew at Muncie Multisport for making this race happen. And it's only going to get better because next summer we'll have an Ironman 70.3 coming to town. I've got July 9 2011 circled on the calendar! Now the entire season is down to just one more race, Ironman Florida on November 6. Time to train again.