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Route 2 Change Duathlon 2014 Race Report

Created: Saturday, 18 October 2014

This was the 2nd year for the Route 2 Change Duathlon and my 2nd year participating. 5k (3.1 mile) run, followed by a 15 mile bike, then finishing with another 5k run. This is a nice race for a few reasons:

  1. It supports ending sex trafficking, which is apparently pretty bad in Atlanta. 
  2. It's located in downtown Atlanta (Below, you'll find out why I may remove this one from the list)
  3. It's the last multi-sport race of the season

My goal was to beat my time from last year. I was disappointed with my race last year because I got lazy and distracted on the run, and slowed down. I had a nice sized lead, and I lost it. Once several guys zoomed past me, I didn't have the momentum to catch up. I finished 3/6 in my age group and 17/86 overall.MACC Racing KitMACC Racing KitThis year, I didn't prepare as I would normally for a race. No brick workouts. In face, I only had 2 bike rides in the 2 weeks prior to the race. It's because I have been more focused on swimming this year and preparing for my triathlon races. And the past 2 weeks, I have been excited to learn and practice the flip turn in the pool, and also not train as many days/week. I laid out my lucky MACC racing kit the night before, and got about 5 hours of sleep before my alarm sounded at 4:30 AM.Ensuring that I have plenty of time to set up my transition area properly (unlike my last race), I arrived at 6:00 AM, an hour and a half before the scheduled start time. I was the 2nd one to rack my bike my assigned rack. Surprisingly, the other guy racked his Cervelo P2 in the middle of the rack (WTH?) so I grabbed the first spot on the rack.  It was located right in front of the transition entry area so I had only had to take a few steps to reach my bike, and had no concerns of not being able to find it. Everyone else in my rack had to juggle for space as everyone else arrived. After talking to the Cervelo P2 guy, he's an experienced triathlete and duathlete, raced this race last year. So I have no idea why he intentionally racked in the middle.It was nice to see so many of my training partners arrive for the race!  Most were participants. Some just came to support us. And one was a race official. I was very calm and relaxed, and was eager to help my buddies get set up.The race start was delayed by 15 minutes since there was another race going on that morning in the area and they didn't want them to overlap. So after 2 warm up laps,  I had to warm up yet again.  Finally at 7:45, we head to the starting line. Unlike triathlon starts, where I'm slow to line up and will start after everyone clears out my way, I need to be at the front of the starting line for any running or duathlon race. This positions me to start in the front, and hopefully stay there.  Today, it seemed like they held us at the starting line for another 10 minutes.  I know my eagerness was apparent. The mascot from the Atlanta Dream was there to provide some much needed humor.Leg 1: Run 5kSunrise start. GA Dome behind us.Sunrise start. GA Dome behind us.*Bang*Off we go. Usually, I take off like a speeding bullet, but I intentionally held some back this time. I didn't want to see anyone in may age group in front of me. I learned not to worry about anyone younger than me, or had their name written across their butt.  LOL  If they have their name on them, they have competed in some type of national or world competition. That also means that one of us clearly signed up for the wrong race!  I felt great for the run.  About 5 young folks and ladies finished in front of me, and I was ready to do some damage on the bike. I made sure not to go all out to conserve energy. I completed the 5k in 21:08 with a pace of 6:49/mi. T1Transitioning from the run to the bikeTransitioning from the run to the bikeMy transition area was neatly arranged, so I no issues ensuring my helmet was on first, shoes were ready, sunglasses, fluids, gel, all set. Time: 0:50. 2nd fastest in my age group. Lady with the name on her butt did it in 23 seconds! Leg 2: Bike 15 miI started off pretty good on the bike, but that changed very quickly. I no longer was excited that the race was downtown. The streets were blocked off with cones to separate the cyclists from the vehicles. But intersection after intersection, I was running into backed up traffic with cars crossing the cones and blocking the cycling lane. In race, the competitive athletes are not stopping for anything. There was one intersection where I had to split traffic. With cones also splitting the lanes, it was pretty bad. When I sprinted into the intersection, I just had to pray that volunteers and traffic police see me coming and clears the way for me.  When I came through, I went straight through the intersection, when I should have turned right.  I lost a lot of time here.  I wasn't the first cyclist through, but I was among the first. Maybe they weren't ready. Maybe the cars were in the wrong for not following the cones. It was bad. I talked to a cyclist behind me who agreed.  I lost my comfortable lead that I had on him, and just tried to keep him in eye sight for the rest of the way.  There was another intersection that was backed up.  I actually rode into oncoming traffic so that I could have a clear path. This time, I made sure I knew to make the right turn.  I hope they fix this in the future. I'll be sure to write in my suggestions to the race organizers.My goal was to beat last years time, which had a 21 mph pace.  About 5 miles in, I look at my Garmin, and I see an 18 mph pace. Ugh! Time to crank it up.  The pace picked up with mile, but I was still not going as fast as I planned.  I assume it was because I haven't been biking 3 days/week like I typically do. Then I also had the 2 traffic snarls that slowed me up. Most of the ride, I was by myself.  I could see one cyclist at times in front of me, and couldn't see anyone behind me the few times I looked.About 10 miles into the bike, my legs started tightening up. *whoa*  That's when i realized that I haven't been drinking my fluids. I was so focused on racing, I forgot to drink!  So gulp-gulp-gulp I went. Meanwhile, I could actually see my calf muscle pulsating, it was cramping up, then the other calf. I can't have that, especially with a run leg coming up.  So I coasted and stretched out both calves. That helped a lot.About 3 miles from the finish,  Eric Miller came flying past me on the bike. I tried to pick up my pace, but with sore legs, I didn't want to push it too much. I kept him in eye sight, and I finished strong on the bike. I made sure not to push it hard at the end so I could conserve some energy for the run. Time: 47:22 Pace: 21.5 mph.T2I was one of the 1st cyclist back!  That felt great. I racked my bike, and switched shoes. My legs got real tight when I bent over, so I put on my shoes while standing straight up. Time: 36 seconds. The fastest among all the men was 35 secs. The fast lady I mentioned earlier transitioned in 22 secs.  Yeah... she's in the wrong race!Leg 3: RunFinal run, now it's time to go all out. My legs are feeling like logs. It took about a 1/4 to 1/2 mile to loosen up my legs. One group of volunteers cheered me on at an intersection, and my leg issues magically disappeared!  After that I was ready to pick up my pace. I see Eric in front of me. He burned me on the back, so not it's payback time. He looked like he was hurting, so that gave me more motivation.  An older guy came up to pass me on the run, so I used him as an opportunity to catch Eric. I talked a bit, and paced with the guy until I was able to make the pass. We continued to run together for another mile or so.  The last mile, I ran alone. I wanted to make sure no one else passed me on the run. I finished strong, and was thinking that I didn't see anyone in my age group in front of me.  Time: 25:04, Pace: 8:06 I checked the race results board to confirm my speculation. I did it!  1st place age group. 2nd place was 3 minutes behind. Overall, I came in 10th place out of 65.1st  Place Trophy!1st Place Trophy!It was really great to see that the folks I ride with also walked away with trophies. Some weren't even expecting to walk away with any hardware!  Congrats to my fellow MACC riders:

  • Don beat my at last year. He is my idol, but now he's also my rival. He usually beats me, buy I got him this time. He got 1st in his age group.
  • Tavona was killing it, she finished the race looking like she could run another 3 miles and still win. I hope to see her in more races next year.She won 1st for her age group.
  • Frances raced real strong. After just completing the Augusta Half Ironman, I guess this was her recovery plan. *Ha* She came in second behind Tavona.

Big congrats to Adrienne and Janelle, who are brand new to multi-sport racing and walked away with medals!  It was great seeing my man Dedric out there as well as his friend Jamie. I'm glad I can give you are a target!  Let's meet up to train in the off season, but don't think you're going to beat me in a race! *J/K*There were relay participants that killed the bike course. Especially Khadijah, who was blazing! with a 22.1 mph avg!!  I can only wonder how she would've burned up the course if she ran as well.  Ironman Felicia was also very impressive with a 21.6 mph avg.Glad to see Coach Iilonga out there, Chris, Dee, Roland and Darcina!  The support gives us all big motivation to perform better.What I really wanted to know was am I improving. Did I beat last year's time?      2013                      2014Run 1:       22:30        21:08Pace:         7:16        6:49T1:            0:45       0:50Bike:        48:20      47:22Pace:        21.1        21.5T2:            0:37        0:36Run2:      27:36       25:04Pace:         8:54        8:06 1:39:46.10          1:34:58I did it!I beat last year's time by 4:48!!!Age ain't nothing but a number!  Last race of the season.  Thanks for reading!Winners!!!! Congrats also to everyone that won and participated.Winners!!!! Congrats also to everyone that won and participated.MACC represented well with our trophies.MACC represented well with our trophies.

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