Saturday January 21, 2012 I completed my FIRST Duathlon – The Chilly Cheeks Duathlon #2 at the Cherry Creek Reservoir. It was a cool sunny and overcast day and clear of snow. I arrived an hour before the start, picked up my race packet and got my bike racked and transition pack ready. Boyer’s coffee had a tent with free coffee, so I headed there for a warm up.
This Duathlon was a Run (1.5 miles), Bike (3.5 miles), Run (2.5 miles), Bike (7 miles) and then 50 yard run to the finish. There were 3 different waves, A, B, and C, all were mixed with all levels of athletes. I was in the B wave. I started off with my bike shorts, bike leg warmers (no not the kind from the 80’s), short sleeved tech shirt, long sleeved tech shirt and gloves. There were some pretty serious racers there with top notch triathlon bikes. They were the ones that had their bike shoes clipped into their pedals – that would just be a crashing disaster for me. They also wore their bike helmets for the runs – really does it take that much time to put on your helmet? Then there were the semi-serious like me, down to the super casual like those in cotton everything with coats and a borrowed bicycle. It was a HUGE mix of athletes and abilities. That is what I love about racing, it is for EVERYONE! Of course I made friends, and found some people that live near my Life Time Fitness so I recruited them to join and do our Cycle and Run Clubs – I can’t help it its my passion!
The A Wave took off, so those of us in the B Wave lined up for the first run. The woman next to me was debating on whether she should wear her stocking cap or not. Five, Four, Three, Two, One… and we’re off! Wahooooooooo! Run number 1 started on the road, then made it’s way to the trail. I felt great, but was still warming up. We made a 1.5 mile loop back to the bikes.
I switched my visor for my helmet, running gloves for cycling gloves, and running shoes for cycling shoes. Ran my bike to the mounting area and took off. This is FUN! Well, until the hill came… but I took that hill and shoved it in my back pocket. It was a fun 3.5 mile loop with a sweet downhill to make up for the uphill. I clocked 29 mph down that hill – wahoo that was fun! Made it back to the transition area and dismounted – oh, ok, my legs are like rubber now… Racked my bike, took off my helmet, shoes and long sleeved shirt. Put on my running shoes & visor and took off running for the second leg.
Man I could really feel my legs, and they felt like slugs! So, this run was a bit slower than the first and part of it was thru some sand, so that didn’t help my sluggishness… It was another loop, but different from the first leg. The more elite athletes in Wave C were now starting to pass us in Wave B, but I don’t worry about that, I compete against myself. Since this was my very first duathlon, I was happy where I was at. When I made it back to the transition area, it was a lot harder to change into my bike shoes that it was the first time.
Strapped on my helmet and ran my bike to the mounting area and took off. As I headed up the first hill, of the loop we would do twice this time, the wind started kicking in. The rest of the ride was either in a head wind or side wind. As if my legs were not already hating me, the wind had to help them hate me more. I just put my head down and pedaled through the best I could and had fun with it. As I was nearing the end of the second loop, I was trying to decide if I would run the 50 yards from the transition area to the finish in my socks, or actually put on my running shoes. I had seen a lot of people running in their socks to save time, but with my luck, I thought I may get hurt. So as I dismounted and ran my bike into the rack, I switched shoes.
As I ran through the aisles of bikes to the finish line, people stopped and cheered for me. It made me feel like I was about to win a gold medal! They announced my name as I crossed the finish line and a race official came up to me with a Rudy bicycle helmet and said, here you win this! WAHOOO!!! I was beat, hungry, thirsty and couldn’t stop coughing (I had forgot my inhaler), but I thought to myself, wow that was awesome, I am going to sign up for the next Chilly Cheeks Duathlon being held on February 25th!